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Interview: Coinbase UK CEO Explains Why a Lack of Regulation is the Biggest Problem Facing Cryptocurrency

Last Updated March 4, 2021 3:34 PM
Conor Maloney
Last Updated March 4, 2021 3:34 PM

Zeeshan Feroz, CEO of Coinbase UK, spoke with CCN.com recently about the recent developments in the cryptocurrency exchange industry and the space as a whole.

Feroz has been with Coinbase since February 2017 and notes that the UK is the company’s fastest growing market. After opening a London office in March of last year the company grew the team and introduced new initiatives like securing an e-money license from the FCA and adding Sterling support for UK customers, something Feroz says has been on the cards for a while.

“We have been working to introduce Faster Payments for as long as we’ve been operating in the UK. Customers not only benefit from increased speed, but reduced cost as well. By no longer having to convert funds from Pound Sterling to Euros and vice versa to add and remove funds, there will be no more exchange rates. This will make crypto easily accessible to most people in the UK.”

Feroz describes the company mission as establishing an open financial system to bring about economic freedom, innovation, efficiency, and equality of opportunity.

“We believe cryptocurrency will help achieve this. As a business, our priorities are to be the most trusted and easiest to use crypto exchange in the world – and our recent initiatives, especially in Europe, have demonstrated that. Over the coming years, we’ll continue to evangelise about the benefits of crypto and drive greater uptake in the use of crypto among both individuals and institutional investors.”

Commenting on the recent addition of ethereum classic, Feroz simply said that one of the most common customer requests at Coinbase is the addition of more assets on the platform, hence the move to enable trading of ETC, adding: “However, this is only the start and we are exploring a number of other assets to add to the platform in the near future.”

Ethereum Classic Price
Coinbase recently made ethereum classic (ETC) the fifth cryptocurrency available on its platform.

He had more to say when asked about the stiff competition from emerging exchanges such as Robinhood and what Coinbase has to offer in terms of UX over competitors.

“In terms of our UK customers, Coinbase is the first crypto exchange to have a UK bank account. This, coupled with faster payments, has allowed us to become the only exchange currently supporting GBP making payments faster on Coinbase than any other platform. Making crypto easier to use, trade and spend is key for us when it comes to improving the user experience. For instance, the launch of e-gift cards has allowed customers to spend their crypto balances more easily, realising its value to buy tangible things or experiences.

“We are a crypto first business and what sets us apart is our focus on trust and security. The FCA e-money license for our fiat operations demonstrates our commitment to ensuring that customer funds are always secure, and we now have safeguards and operational standards that are on par with those of other regulated financial institutions. This means Coinbase is not only the easiest crypto exchange to use – but the safest too.”

We finished our interview on the topic of regulation and the effort by Coinbase to list tokens classed as securites.

“Some tokens maybe considered securities and classifying them as such brings them within scope of regulation. This is the best way to provide individuals and institutions a safe environment to invest in them. The main challenge facing the crypto space at the moment in the lack of regulation, which leads to risk. We see the value in having some form of regulation for crypto exchanges as a means of ensuring due diligence and transparency in the crypto space.”

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