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Bitcoin-friendly Fidor Bank Expands to the United Kingdom

Op-ed - Bitcoin-friendly Fidor Bank Expands to the United Kingdom

Fidor Bank, the innovative German bank that is bringing Bitcoin and digital fintech to mainstream banking, is now operating in Great Britain.

Fidor Bank, one of the world’s most innovative banks disrupting the traditional banking sector, has been recognized by the World Economic Forum as a “Global Growth Company.”

Founded in Germany in 2009, Fidor Bank offers a new approach to financial services.

“Traditional banks do not reflect their customers’ needs in the digital age,” notes the Fidor Bank UK website. “Customer requirements are not being met by traditional banks because of lack of innovation, increasing the distance between banks and their customers.”

A key feature of Fidor Bank is its community site, where users and representatives of the bank discuss the financial services provided by the bank in an open forum. The Fidor Bank community has become one of the most active financial communities in Germany, where more than 250,000 users, bank employees and board members engage in discussions around the clock. Of course, Fidor Bank UK has also a Facebook page.

The Fidor Bank Community Product Reviews section offers a free overview of the advantages and disadvantages of a wide range of financial products. Product reviews are completely independent and consist solely of the views of community members, with feedback from the bank.

Fidor Bank Community members develop reputation and “karma” points, and can join interest groups. The most popular interest group is dedicated to cryptocurrencies. This is not surprising, because Fidor Bank is popular among Bitcoin users and considered as the most Bitcoin-friendly mainstream bank. In October, Fidor Bank partnered with bitcoin exchange Kraken to create the world’s first cryptocurrency bank.

In February, the bank announced a “Bitcoin Express” option for German customers to buy and sell bitcoin instantly on the partner exchange. Holders of a “Fidor Smart Giro Account” can purchase bitcoin directly from their bank accounts and receive bitcoin immediately after the purchase. They can also sell bitcoin to another Smart Giro Account holder and have the money instantly credited to their accounts. The Smart Giro Account is a full bank account with all the standard features, including interest on credit balances and a low-cost credit card. The latter is, in practice, equivalent to a card that can be recharged with bitcoin.

Similar services might soon be made available to customers in the U.K. as well.

Commenting on the recent launch of Coinbase in the U.K., The Financial Timesnoted that Great Britain is on its way to becoming a global hub for bitcoin and digital currencies, with both the government and Bank of England having made recent moves designed to stimulate the development of digital fintech.

A recent U.K. Treasury document titled “Digital Currencies: Response to the Call for Information” shows that the government is interested in supporting and understanding blockchain-based digital fintech, and understands the potential benefits it could bring to society.

Only U.K. residents can open a Fidor Bank U.K. account. Some Reddit users have already done so, and reported their first experiences.