As many businesses continue to come to terms with the viability of Bitcoin as a reliable solution for commerce, the crypto currency is being adopted by more companies and countries around the world. Bitcoin is no longer reserved for obscure transactions on digital platforms. Consumers can now pay for items at brick and mortar retailers and get cash at ATMs. One of the largest bitcoin wallets, Coinbase, has announced it is expanding its services beyond the U.S. market by launching buying and selling in 13 countries across Europe.
This is the first expansion Coinbase has made, and it will allow consumers and merchants in Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia and Spain to buy and sell up to $647 in bitcoin per day.
According to a report on CoinDesk, the company’s CEO and co-founder Brian Armstrong, this step was the next evolution for Coinbase after establishing itself in the US with more than 1.6 million wallet users including globally recognized merchants such as Dell (News - Alert), Expedia, Overstock and many more.
Armstrong said, “We looked at what markets to move into next, and Europe seemed like the next biggest economy. It’s developed, there are people there who want to get bitcoin, there’s a lot of demand for it, but they really don’t have an easy way to do it.”
The company is backed by one of the largest VCs in Silicon Valley, Andreessen Horowitz, which has lent credibility to the services it provides by many established organizations in the U.S. This includes the recent announcement of a new partnership with Braintree, a subsidiary of PayPal (News - Alert), to start accepting bitcoin by more merchants including LivingSocial, TaskRabbit, Uber and Airbnb.
The report on CoinBase also revealed Armstrong is keenly aware of bitcoin’s capabilities, and he believes remittances will be the next service the crypto currency will disrupt. He said “It has been impossible before this for any individual company to tackle the big incumbents because of the amount of capital required to compete with them at a global scale. Even Facebook (News - Alert) tried to do it with Facebook Credits, but I think bitcoin will win because it is that open network.”
Edited by Maurice Nagle
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