Barclays to become the first major bank to accept Bitcoin

SONY DSC
SONY DSC

Barclays, one of the the UK’s largest banks, will begin to accept Bitcoin later this year. Unless another high street bank rushes to accept Bitcoin, Barclays is set to become the first major bank in the UK, US, and Europe to accept Bitcoin. At the time of publishing, one bitcoin (BTC) is worth about £150 or €204.

We are working with some charity clients in a proof of concept to understand how Bitcoin payments might help with their fund raising and fund disbursement needs,” a Barclays spokesperson wrote in an e-mail.

According to a report in The Sunday Times, Barclays currently has 75 staff at two of its research labs in London working on accepting Bitcoin. Like most companies and organisations that decide to accept Bitcoin, Barclays won’t deal directly with the cryptocurrency—rather, the bank will work with an as-yet-unknown Bitcoin exchange. One possible candidate is Safello: a Stockholm-based Bitcoin startup that Barclays invested in earlier this year.

To begin with, the roll-out will be slow: only charities will be able to pay bitcoins into Barclays bank accounts. Presumably, if everything goes as planned, a larger swath of Barclays customers may be allowed to pay bitcoins into their accounts.

Read the full article on Ars Technica here.

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