Business 26 September 2018

Paul How

Coinbase to provide ‘global’ selection of tradable cryptocurrencies

California-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase announced a change to its process of listing cryptocurrencies as part of its efforts to increase trading options for users.

In a blog post, the exchange said that it would now allow users, through Coinbase Listing, to submit their applications for virtual currencies to be traded in the platform. Such listing requests will be entertained “in a jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction manner,” depending on local laws. “In practice, this means some new assets listed on our platform may only be available to customers in select jurisdictions for a period of time,” Coinbase said.

The exchange said the changes were a way to deal with “now thousands of digital assets of all types, including coins, tokens, forks, stablecoins, and collectibles” being offered worldwide. “With this shift in process, our customers can expect us to list most assets over time that meet our standards,” according to the Coinbase team.

Currently, the exchange already offers Bitcoin Cash, among other cryptocurrencies that include BTC, ETH, ETC and LTC.

Coinbase said that such an increase in assets for trading meant “we will also begin communicating with a wide variety of asset developers and ecosystem participants. As always, all employees of Coinbase will continue to be subject to trading restrictions and confidentiality obligations to ensure the integrity of our platform.”

Coinbase’s Dan Romero, in explaining the move, told CNBC, “Ultimately, crypto is a global phenomenon. You have software developers and entrepreneurs around the world building products on top of crypto, and it’s unlocking a lot of use cases, particularly in emerging markets. I think we need to shift as a company to a more global perspective.”

Matthew Beedham from online tech magazine The Next Web noted that the “jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction” approach would mean “some new digital assets won’t be available to customers based in the U.S. due to stricter regulations.”

Coinbase recently announced the opening of a new office in New York, in which about 150 employees will be hired throughout next year. The expansion is intended to cater to institutional clients located closer to Wall Street.

The exchange is one of several companies that have expressed an interest in launching an exchange-traded fund (ETF), although this still depends on regulators, who have yet to approve an ETF application, giving the go-signal.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.

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