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Barclays becomes the first bank to accept Bitcoin
Barclays broke new ground this week by becoming the first bank to accept bitcoin. But don’t get too excited, the UK bank is only taking baby steps.
Under a pilot scheme, people will only be allowed to use the crypto currency to make donations. The Wall Street Journal reports that Barclays is teaming up with bitcoin startup Safello to build a program that allows charities to accept bitcoin.
Barclays is keeping the details close to its chest for now, but this move is a big boon to bitcoin’s legitimacy. It also galvanizes Barclay's reputation as a fintech pioneer.
The bank was one of the first financial institutions to launch its own fintech accelerator, with the first iteration of the Tech Star-powered platform being rolled out in 2013. Safello, which has raised $1 million in seed-funding to date, is one its alumni.
This is also a feather in the cap for London, where Barclays is headquartered, which is very quickly becoming recognized as the fintech capital of the world, and for good reason.