US-based blockchain payment app Circle has been granted the first E-money license in the UK by the country’s Financial Conduct Authority.
This makes Circle the first regulated digital currency company in the UK to allow mobile users to freely send and receive worldwide GBP/EUR payments, with the same speed and simplicity as sending an instant message.
An article by Reuters states that Barclays bank will be handling all fiat transactions on behalf of Circle, which makes Barclays the first British financial institutions to work directly with a digital currency company.
In an extensive blog post announcing the big news, Co-founders of Circle Sean Neville and Jeremy Allaire, explained that for the past year the company has been working with the banking sector, blockchain innovators and the UK authorities, in order to make this experience possible for UK consumers.
Neville and Allaire also shared their vision for “Money without Borders”, where the “arcane, siloed systems” of the legacy financial establishment are replaced with nimble and efficient digital money networks:
“With Circle’s UK launch, we’re bringing this global vision another step forward. For the first time ever, any consumer in the US or UK can instantly send value, without fees, and with the convenience of sending an email or text. US dollars and pound sterling are becoming more digital and global, and we’re gearing up to bring the same capability to Euro-zone consumers.”
Harriet Baldwin, Economic Secretary to the UK Treasury, called Circle’s debut in Britain and the company’s partnership with Barclays a “major milestone”. Baldwin also said that country’s “forward-looking” regulatory framework will set the stage for Britain to become the world’s top fintech jurisdiction.
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