It was announced yesterday by Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange Gatecoin in an email to users that they are now able to process Euro SEPA transfers to and from their Gatecoin accounts. CryptoNinjas confirmed this with Gatecoin management and got more insight. Even though the exchange is based in Hong Kong most of the traders are European based. Naturally, users were pretty happy with the news that Gatecoin is recovering a banking partner for European users.
What does recovering a bank partner in Europe mean?
Gatecoin: Following the acquisition of our Money Service Operator (MSO) license in Hong Kong in 2014, we established close and friendly banking relationships in Europe, as our MSO was a signal to prospective banking partners that we have stringent KYC procedures and AML/CFT policies.
Our European banking partners were very interested in learning more about the nature of our business and we were very fortunate to have developed a very positive working relationship with them over the years.
This relationship continued until late 2016 when the bank decided to temporarily discontinue relationships with cryptocurrency exchanges after the major news of the Bitfinex hack and the ongoing regulatory uncertainty concerning cryptocurrency exchanges in Europe.
We, therefore, halted BTC/EUR trading as subsequent EUR transfers had to be processed through our bank in Hong Kong, which was expensive and time consuming for our traders.
In the meantime, we established close relationships with other banking partners in Europe and after weeks of testing transfers we are now happy to announce the resumption of EUR/BTC trading and low-cost SEPA transfers.
We are also hoping that our previous bank will change their position following the developments of some progressive regulation in Europe and we will continue to onboard other European banking partners to facilitate more local options for our clients in the months ahead.
Since you are based in Hong Kong do you have many traders in Europe aside from AIPAC region?
Gatecoin: Here is a breakdown of our user base…
- 40% in Europe (including the UK :P)
- 20% in Greater China (Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan)
- 25% in the Asia Pacific region (excluding Greater China, including Japan and Australia)
- 15% Rest of the world
So users will be able to liquidate cryptocurrency positions into Euros and withdrawal Euros to their SEPA enabled bank accounts within 24 hours?
Gatecoin: Ideally yes, in some cases it may take up to 48 hours depending on the users’ bank and if any errors in the transfer details. We are working to ensure a faster process with our current banking partners and by eventually working with a range of banks in Europe.