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20 June 2019

Charles Russell Speechlys advises Coinbase on debit card venture

Charles Russell Speechlys are delighted to have advised new client, Coinbase, on their exciting foray into a debit card offering.

Coinbase launched in 2012 and has quickly become one of the largest FinTech businesses in the world, with a market capitalisation of more than $100billion. Coinbase offers an online platform and digital wallet service for merchants, consumers and traders to transact with digital currency, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum or Litecoin, amongst others.

In April this year, Coinbase announced their first foray into a debit card offering with the launch of their Coinbase Card, a Visa debit card that allows customers within the UK to spend their digital currency balance, in-store and online, on day to day items, as effortlessly as though they were using their own regular debit card. The debit card instantly coverts their cryptocurrency balance into fiat currency, which is then used to complete the purchase.

The Coinbase Card is the first debit card of its kind to link directly with a major cryptocurrency exchange to allow consumers to spend their cryptocurrency. It is a fantastic example of further collaboration between FinTechs and the traditional payments providers.

William Garner, co-head of the FinTech team at Charles Russell Speechlys, was heavily involved in the legal work for the launch:

Coinbase are a fantastic and innovative business and we are delighted to have started working alongside them this year. The Coinbase Card is a perfect example of their forward-thinking ethos and we look forward to our continued work with them, launching similar products in Europe.”

The Charles Russell Speechlys FinTech team were a fantastic partner to work with,” said Cyril Matthew, Head of Business Development in Europe for Coinbase. “Their in-depth knowledge of financial regulation was a valuable asset to the program. Additionally, their attention to detail, flexibility, and prompt turnarounds helped ensure a smooth and timely launch.

The Coinbase Card has now launched in seven countries within Europe too: Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Ireland, and The Netherlands.

The Charles Russell Speechlys team was led by William Garner (Partner), and included Richard Ellis (Senior Associate).