As the first quarter of 2018 nears its close, cryptocurrency news hits the national stage. Most notably, the Coinbase exchange struck a partnership with United Kingdom banking giant Barclays (BCS).

Choosing to bank with Barclays marks the first cryptocurrency partnership with a financial institution in the U.K.

The ramifications of this partnership are ideal both for Coinbase and investors. Banking with Barclays allows Coinbase to lower its processing times, which will allow for better customer service.

The company’s U.K. office spoke on this arrangement Tuesday, saying that domestic GBP payments will pass on savings to investors and allow for a faster and more pleasing experience as a whole. With cryptocurrency going through some ups and downs at the beginning of 2018, this agreement shows a serious commitment to Bitcoin and making it accessible.

Other International Developments

Also on Tuesday, President Trump banned all cryptocurrency transactions involving Venezuela. Most notably, the ban involves Petro, a cryptocurrency that is tied to the oil industry. This cryptocurrency was launched last month in response to Venezuela’s financial crisis.

The White House issued a release on the ban, citing Venezuela’s crypto launch as a means to circumvent United States sanctions.

As an investor, half your job is keeping up to date with the various sanctions and rules that govern cryptocurrency around the world.

Economic officials around the world held a G-20 cryptocurrency meeting in Buenas Aires this week to discuss ways to get on the same page with cryptocurrency regulations.

Currently, China is the most stringent country in the world on cryptocurrency, as they block their internet users from trading and banned ICOs. Canada is treating ICOs like securities for the most part, and are taking a watch and see approach, while aware of the risk.

The European Commission is looking into blockchain regulations in order to adopt a framework that countries can stick to. Meanwhile, cryptocurrency is largely unregulated and growing in Nigeria, though banks may soon begin taking a more serious look at regulations.

Where Bitcoin Stands At The Moment

The G-20 meeting was fruitful for Bitcoin, as it rose above the $9,000 mark on Tuesday.

This rise accounts for a 20% increase, with investors, impressed that officials at the meeting chose to take a hands-off approach to crypto. It’s clear that this will bode well for the future of cryptocurrency since coins and ICOs are backing everything from medical technology to the gambling industry.

These international developments act as an indicator into the state of cryptocurrency, which investors should pay attention to on a regular basis.