In a blog post, cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase (NASDAQ: COIN) announced that its Coinbase Custody platform has officially gone live. The platform serves as a digital asset custodial solution designed for institutional investors and, according to Coinbase, provides a greater level of security not seen in other options.
Coinbase, which has been holding its customers’ cryptocurrency assets worth $20 billion for the past six years, first announced the creation of Coinbase Custody in 2017. The platform secures the assets through an independent broker, Electronic Transaction Clearing (ETC). ETC is a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and is approved by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), two aspects that provide investor confidence that Coinbase Custody meets federal compliance guidelines.
With the launch of Coinbase Custody, institutions located in both Europe and the U.S. are now able to store crypto assets with the platform, which support Bitcoin Cash (BCH), SegWit Bitcoin Core (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and Litecoin (LTC). More assets will be supported later this year, and Coinbase has also said that it plans on opening up its operations to cover Asian institutions soon, as well.
Coinbase Custody will provide cold storage, if approved by regulators, and could offer “secure, segregated hot wallets” with scheduled withdrawals as a means to enhance the platform’s flexibility. The blog post also noted that Coinbase plans on allowing the new institutional clients the possibility “to participate in the crypto ecosystem through proof of stake and distributed governance,” although it didn’t provide more information on how this would be implemented.
Several new products, of which Coinbase Custody is one, are planned to be rolled out by Coinbase in the near term. The exchange first mentioned the new offerings in May, saying at the time that Coinbase Custody has the potential to “unlock $10 billion of institutional investor money sitting on the sideline.”
Coinbase is vying to become a fully licensed and regulated cryptocurrency broker and could be pursuing a federal banking license. In June, it acquired Keystone Capital Corp., Digital Wealth, LLC and Venovate Marketplace, Inc., which hold licenses with the SEC. Those licenses could see the exchange be one of the first to be a completely legitimate, SEC-approved cryptocurrency financial institution.
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