Catching up with CoinCorner (interview)

Monday 16 May 2016

UK exchange CoinCorner talks bitcoin, business and the belligerence of the British banks.

CoinCorner are a rare animal: a UK-based bitcoin exchange and wallet provider. If that triumph against adversity wasn't already enough for you, they've recently been awarded designated business status. They support GBP and EUR and enable you to sign up and buy bitcoins in under 5 minutes with a credit or debit card.

I have a chat with CTO and co-founder, Danny Scott.


The famous British sense of fair play has not been extended to bitcoin

How do you find it, operating the UK - where banks have traditionally been very hostile to bitcoin exchanges?

Unfortunately, banks in the UK are still hostile to bitcoin businesses. They are obviously very interested in it from their own perspective, but not so friendly when opening accounts for bitcoin businesses and we have certainly found it challenging over the years. We have seen competition close down and people fail before they have even launched as a result of banking. This is a real shame as we feel competition drives innovation and in this new and exciting industry, we would truly welcome more startups.

How do you think gaining Designated Business status will impact your outlook and activities?

Operationally, the designated business status will not really affect CoinCorner as we already operate in a compliant manner, however we are hopeful that becoming a designated business will now open up more opportunities - not only the banking front, but also other potential business partners who had previously been keen to get involved but were reluctant from a risk perspective.

What are your medium/long-term plans for CoinCorner?

In a nutshell, our medium and long term plans are to simply expand our offering further in to Europe and the rest of the World. We are looking to open payments up on a global scale - we don't want it to take 5 days to send a payment from London to Sydney, it shouldn't take that long.

What are some of the most exciting technologies emerging in the blockchain space, from your perspective?

To be honest, you can read a new story every day about some new exciting blockchain concept however, we do see most as theoretical concepts with currently no real world use cases. We appreciate that over time we will see the vast amount of concepts disappear and the real world use case concepts emerge as the only ones coming out at the other end. Right now, the most interesting blockchain concept we see is Bitcoin - global payments is a real world use case that bitcoin has the power to disrupt on a huge scale. We are also firm believers that some of the best uses for this technology are still to be dreamt up... as with the early days of the internet, who could have imagined that we would be able to tweet a picture for your friends all over the world to see?

What do you feel the outlook for bitcoin itself to be, whether from a financial, technical or broader adoption/political viewpoint? 

From a financial point of view, as previously mentioned, we believe bitcoin has the potential to disrupt the market on a global scale.

From a technical view point, we agree with bitcoin scaling and block size increases. We look towards the core team for their guidance on this, as we feel they are looking longer term and looking to implement the correct solution rather than the quickest solution. We're in a marathon not a sprint.

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