The Coinbase bitcoin exchange has arrived in the UK, offering a full suite of Coinbase Wallet services, including hosted bitcoin wallets, a buy/sell service and merchant tools.

“Our mission at Coinbase is to make payments more open and efficient around the world. Expanding to the UK is an important step towards that goal and will make it easier to access bitcoin in one of the financial capitals of the world,” said the exchange.

Image: iStock/lolloj
Image: iStock/lolloj

Coinbase is one of the more prominent exchanges for buying and selling bitcoins. To get started users sign up for a Coinbase Wallet or Coinbase Exchange account. 

The company previously opened its exchange in 13 other countries across Europe, including Italy, Spain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, Cyprus, Finland, Greece, Latvia, Malta, Portugal and Slovakia, after Coinbase held talks with regulators and financial authorities there.

The expansion is helping Coinbase compete against BitPay, another bitcoin payment processor used by more than 10,000 merchants around the world. Brands using Coinbase include, Expedia and eBay payment processor Braintree.

The UK government is investing £10 million in digital currency research, as part of new measures to support the use of bitcoin technology that includes greater regulation.

Announcements made in the 2015 Budget revealed plans to increase spending on the digital currency as part of the launch of a new initiative that brings together research councils, the Alan Turing Institute and the Digital Catapult.