Barclays Becomes First Big U.K. Bank To Accept Bitcoin
Over the weekend, Barclays PLC (NYSE: BCS) announced that it was planning to take steps toward embracing the use of bitcoin by allowing charitable donations using the cryptocurrency. The London-based bank said it was entering into a partnership with an unnamed "bitcoin exchange" in order to help charities accept bitcoin donations.
Barclays And Bitcoin
This is not the first time the bank has expressed interest in bitcoin.
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Barclays has been working to understand the benefits and risks of the cryptocurrency this year by working with bitcoin startups and researchers to determine if and how digital currencies can fit within the traditional finance sector. The bank has praised blockchain, the ledger-like technology that powers bitcoin, as an innovative system that may significantly benefit traditional banking.
Barclays' decision to help charities accept bitcoin donations marks another step forward for the UK, which has been working to make London a hub for bitcoin development. The region already has a prominent place in the financial world, but lawmakers and banking officials are hoping to create an environment that promotes the expansion of bitcoin.
Charities Benefit From Bitcoin
Charities have been a good starting point for bitcoin adoption, as there are several benefits to accepting digital currency donations. For one, transaction costs are lower, and often nonexistent for non-profits, meaning that more of the donated money makes its way to the intended charity. By accepting bitcoin, charities also appeal to a larger audience and could draw in funding from people who otherwise may not have donated.
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