Crypto companies in the UK now have a banking option

In a world where cryptocurrencies are still considered by some to be the black sheep, it’s nice to see strides being made to give them their proper place in society. One of the most common areas where they are shunned is in the banking sector, but that is changing. For example, the London Block Exchange (LBX) is introducing a new service that will give customers in the UK a banking option for both their fiat and their crypto assets.

The LBX platform, LBX Pay, will allow users to store, transfer and manage funds, whether they be “regular” currency or digital. It is going to be offered, at first, to the business market, but could eventually be rolled out to other sectors, as well. LBX states that the retail version will “provide all consumers with a whole new way to interact with their cryptocurrency.”

LBX Pay will be available to traders, investment fund managers and initial coin offerings (ICO). The platform is designed to give customers an easy way to convert traditional fiat to crypto without having to move funds between accounts or across multiple service providers.

Users can manage their balances, payments and trades – including third-party payments – using a single app. In the event a business customer needs support for significantly larger transaction volumes, LBX will provide access to its over-the-counter (OTC) trading desk. An application programming interface (API) is scheduled to be released early next year to facilitate the access.

As an added security measure, cryptocurrency will be held in cold storage, not connected to the Internet. Traditional fiat will be held in segregated bank accounts and each will have its own IBAN (international bank account number) for routing.

LBX launched its OTC desk in November of last year. It also serves as a crypto wallet services provider, which is registered with the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority. The LBX Pay platform is more than likely being facilitated through a partnership between LBX and Clearbank, a bank that was formed last year by Nick Ogden, founder of the Worldpay payment services company.

LBX supports Bitcoin BCH and Ethereum Classic (ETC) pairs against the British pound. That support was introduced this past May.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Coinfloor, UK’s first crypto exchange, lays off staff: report

Coinfloor, the UK’s oldest cryptocurrency exchange, is to lay off staff following the announcement of a slew of redundancies at the firm this week, Financial News reported.

Founded in 2013, Coinfloor is considered to be the first cryptocurrency exchange to setup in the UK. Focused on institutional and larger investors, the platform currently enjoys daily trading volumes in the region of $1 million.

However, according to informed sources, the exchange is now turning to significant redundancies amongst its 40 strong team, as part of a wider essential restructuring of their business.

Coinfloor CEO Obi Nwosu was quoted by the news outlet as saying the move has been prompted by changes in trading volumes at the exchange over recent months. He confirmed to Financial News, “Coinfloor is currently undergoing a business restructure to focus on our competitive advantages in the marketplace and to best serve our clients. As part of this restructure, we are making some staff changes and redundancies.”

The news comes at a time of increasing difficulties for some notable cryptocurrency exchanges, following the bear market conditions that have prevailed through much of 2018 so far.

In the last few weeks, similar rumours had emerged from Kraken, suggesting they too were laying off staff, with their offices in Halifax, Canada, earmarked for closure.

However, the firm subsequently denied this was the case, issuing an unequivocal statement that they “can confirm that we are not shutting down any operations in any specific place.”

Much of the difficulties can be attributed to the plummeting price of BTC, dramatically down on its highs of nearly $20,000 in late 2017. According to a growing number of crypto analysts, it looks unlikely BTC will even nearly recover this lost ground any time soon, if ever.

According to Nwosu, Coinfloor has handled as much as $1 billion in BTC transactions over the last 12 months—perhaps indicative of the current extent of their apparent problems.

While it remains to be seen whether the rumours of job losses are confirmed, the news is further confirmation of the dwindling relevance of the old BTC coin in today’s cryptocurrency ecosystem.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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