Recent data from Coindesk has pointed to how fast the Bitcoin ecosystem is growing; however, it’s not just the number of companies that is growing – the reach of existing companies is growing as well.
We’ve previously discussed Safello’s expansion to provide services to other European markets, through co-operation with existing networks. Indeed, they’ve exchanged Bitcoins for Euro and Pounds, in addition to the Swedish Crown, for some time.
Today, we’re told that they’ve taken the next step: they now have a physical presence in the United Kingdom. This is important because, according to Safello: “The UK Bitcoin market has been plagued by a catch 22 situation where Bitcoin companies were not able to secure bank accounts to offer its services. Some operators found workarounds by cooperating with banks from the Isle of Man, but unfortunately this was halted shortly after. UK customers are since left with no options to quickly and safely buy bitcoins.”
With Safello’s move into the UK market, this should change. Now, not only will Safello offer Bitcoins in exchange for Pounds, but its local banking partner should make this simpler for those based in the UK. Safello’s CEO, Frank Schuil elaborates:
“Like other companies in the Bitcoin market we already supported British Pound Sterling through the international wire, but this was a costly and time consuming experience for our customers. The new bank setup changes this and we are excited to serve bitcoins throughout the UK.”
This move also increases certainty in the Bitcoin market; many companies, including Safello, already use Jumio to simplify identifying customers, and BISON to communicate fraud concerns among other Bitcoin entrepreneurs. However, when in comes to certainty, much more needs to be done. Safello is, as far as I know, the only company that freezes the Bitcoin purchase price for 7 minutes when selling Bitcoins through their platform. The increased support for more countries, starting with the UK, is just one more step towards making customers more comfortable buying and selling customers. As Schuil says, describing Safello’s entry into the UK: “We had to build trust with our banking partners and this simply took time. However, the risk perception is changing and we expect other banks to follow suit in 2015. Bitcoin is no longer a fad.”
A PhD student and voracious reader based in Stockholm, Claire Ingram is interested in open innovation, co-creation, start-up funding, public policy and pictures of puppies on Reddit. You can contact her on Twitter @Claire_EBI.