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Coinbase Eyeing $50 Million Acquisition of Bitcoin (BTC) Custody Provider Xapo

Coinbase Xapo Acquisition Bitcoin Cryptocurrency

Just days after Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong revealed his company managing more than $1 billion in cryptocurrency assets through their custodial service, reports are surfacing that the exchange is negotiating an acquisition of Xapo.

According to sources familiar with the deal, the Block reported on May 16 that Coinbase is advanced talks to purchase the custodial service of Xapo for $50 million in an effort to further their position as the premier institution for cryptocurrency custody. The article also claims that Coinbase is in close competition with Fidelity Digital Assets to acquire the custodial service, with the latter viewing Xapo as a strong entry-point into the industry.

While the negotiation is far from concluded, Xapo would represent a substantial prize for either organization to acquire. Xapo is reported to have over 700,000 BTC under custody, worth $5.5 billion. According to the Block,

Xapo’s core product is cold storage vault custody of bitcoin, with rumors that the company holds as much as $5.5 billion of assets under custody (AUC) at the current $BTC price near $8,000, reflecting ~700K bitcoin under custody. Xapo custodies 226,000 BTC that are part of Grayscale Bitcoin Trust.

Xapo is also helmed by serial entrepreneur and staunch Bitcoin supporter Wences Cesares. Cesares, hailing from Argentina, is one of the more historic figures in the industry of cryptocurrency, earning the moniker “Patient Zero” as the original influencer for cryptocurrency in Silicon Valley.

The anonymous sources seem to believe that Coinbase is edging out Fidelity Digital Assets in the bid for Xapo. The Block claims that Fidelity Investments has been making an effort over the last year in bridging their traditional investment services with cryptocurrency and blockchain, since bringing in Tom Jessop as head of corporate business development in 2018, who holds experience in blockchain startups. Xapo represents a massive amount of leverage for the company to springboard into the industry of cryptocurrency, by targeting high-value institutional investors looking for custodial services.

However, with Coinbase currently in the front-running for purchasing Xapo, the U.S. based exchange is signaling its business model moving forward that will diversify beyond collecting trading fees. Given the cyclic nature of cryptocurrency and the extreme volatility the markets have exhibited thus far, Coinbase could find more steady ground by becoming a premier custodial provider for Bitcoin and other prominent cryptocurrencies,

“The addition of several billion of AUC would be a huge shot in the arm for Coinbase. Under Xapo’s current business model, customers are not charged for storing their bitcoin. Rather, they generate revenue by enabling over-the-counter (OTC) trades for customers using the bitcoin under custody.”

Since its founding in 2012, Xapo has raised $40 million in funding, with David Marcus and Winklevoss Capital included among its list of prominent investors. Adding Xapo would contribute to the list of recent deals Coinbase has been making, including the acquisition of Earn within the past year, which has been reformed into the educational portal Coinbase Earn.

The post Coinbase Eyeing $50 Million Acquisition of Bitcoin (BTC) Custody Provider Xapo appeared first on Ethereum World News.

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Brian Armstrong Says Coinbase Custody Managing $1 Billion in Cryptocurrency

Brian Armstrong Coinbase Custody Billion

Brian Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase, recently shared that his company’s custodian service is managing over $1 billion in cryptocurrency assets.

Speaking at Consensus, the Coinbase CEO revealed that the custodial portion of his U.S.-based exchange had received over $1 billion in cryptocurrency, marking a milestone development for the management of institutional and large capital investors. The comments were first reported by CoinDesk on May 15, as apart of the overall on-stage discussion that was recorded during the event.

Armstrong was asked by Wall Street Journal reporter and panel moderator Paul Vigna about the involvement of institutional investment in the industry of cryptocurrency, particularly keying in on Coinbase Custody. The CEO replied,

“We launched our custody 12 months ago, we’ve just crossed $1 billion AUM or institutions, 70 institutions have signed up, adding about $150 million AUM a month, so, to a large degree that has been a success.”

While some investors and analysts have viewed Coinbase’s custody program as a vault of sorts for the safe-keeping of cryptocurrency, Armstrong claims that investors are asking for much more. In a show of confidence for both industry adoption and education, institutional investors in Coinbase Custody have asked for an expansion in staking and voting services. According to Armstrong,

“They want to be staking and voting, doing governance on-chain. I think that will grow rapidly.”

Staking represents a dividend of sorts for Proof of Stake cryptocurrencies such as Cardano. Investors are issued payouts in proportion to the number of coins they are willing to pledge towards network resources, providing an incentive for keeping coins in a wallet as opposed to exchanges.

However, the natural question becomes how can large capital investors participate in staking, thereby gaining the benefits of interest on their coins, while still receiving the protective features of custodian programs. Coinbase is looking to support this industry development and more, by offering staking features and those related to on-chain voting and governance. Armstrong also revealed that Bitcoin remains the top asset for Coinbase Custody and institutional investors, but claims that interest in other currencies has been on the rise.

While the crypto markets are responding favorably to 2019’s market swing, the panelists as Consensus still think it will be a number of years before the massive hedge funds come into play. According to Union Square Ventures partner Fred Wilson, who joined Armstrong on stage,

“The token funds and venture funds will make up the first two big institutional funds. For them [traditional institutions] to take their chips and go all in, I don’t see that in the next year or two.”

He further added,

“When people read in the Wall Street Journal that institutions are coming to crypto they think Goldman is coming, but in reality, maybe 100 token funds in the U.S. and 100 in Asia are all in so far.”

Nonetheless, Armstrong offered a surprising figure that 60 percent of all trading volume on Coinbase Pro–a more involved version of the user-friendly application–comes from institutions, giving a broad look at the current landscape of investment into cryptocurrency.

The post Brian Armstrong Says Coinbase Custody Managing $1 Billion in Cryptocurrency appeared first on Ethereum World News.

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Coinbase Rolls Out Its USDC Stablecoin to 80+ Countries, Showing Aggressive Global Expansion

The Coinbase platform has voiced a rollout of its stablecoin to a pack
of new countries to let traders around the world use it to their benefit

On May 14, the San-Francisco-based Coinbase exchange has written in its blog that from now on their stablecoin dubbed USD Coin (USDC) will be added for support in 80+ countries globally.

Previously, USDC could be traded only in the US, including New York. The stablecoin can be traded both on and Coinbase Pro.

Aggressive global rollout of Coinbase

Top centralized digital exchanges in the current market are fighting for every customer, offering new products and expanding in every possible manner. Coinbase is eager to expand and the new 85 countries where USDC can now be traded is a confirmation of that.

Leaving the stablecoin aside, Coinbase can be now accessed by traders in slightly over 100 countries.

Just last month, Coinbase added 11 new countries to the list of its clients. Those include India, where the local central bank, RBI, initiated a crypto ban last year, prohibiting banks to work with crypto startups and exchanges. Apart from India, Coinbase is now accessible in New Zealand, South Korea, Mexico and others.

Recently, Ethereum World News also reported that Coinbase now offers its customers to take advantage of using a crypto Coinbase card, based on collaboration with such a conventional giant of the financial services business as Visa. The card can be used via a special Coinbase app.

Peers are getting ahead

Another crypto exchange, a peer of Coinbase, that has also been expanding quite aggressively is Binance, the Malta-based platform. Binance is considered to have the largest actual trading volumes in the world. Recently, it has launched a decentralized exchange (DEX) on a specially created ledger Binance Chain and is currently moving its native BNB tokens from Ethereum to Binance Chain.

Besides, Binance is famous for its Blockchain Charity Foundation (BCF) and Binance LaunchPad. The latter has been a platform for Initial Exchange Offerings (IEO) for such projects as BitTorrent, and several others, which have conducted their token sales successfully on it.

About USD Coin

USDC was launched by Coinbase and the Circle startup. It is pegged to the USD rate and is backed by actual US dollars stored in the accounts of the partner banks.

The post Coinbase Rolls Out Its USDC Stablecoin to 80+ Countries, Showing Aggressive Global Expansion appeared first on Ethereum World News.

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Coinbase Rolls Out to India, Mexico and 9 Other Regions, Offering Crypto-to-Crypto Trading

A leading US Coinbase exchange spreads the word that is has added 11 more countries to its list of customers, including India, where the RBI last year banned banks from working with any crypto company

On April 17, Coinbase wrote in its official blog that now traders in 11 more countries can enjoy using the platform’s services for crypto-to-crypto traders.

After moving to the new countries, the
exchange is now working with customers in 53 regions around the world.

Coinbase enters India, South Korea and Hong Kong

As per the message in the blog, Coinbase has
now enabled crypto fans to join in on trading in the following countries, New
Zealand, India, South Korea, Mexico, Hong Kong, and a few others.

Traders now can buy and sell crypto for crypto on Coinbase Pro, as well as Besides, users will be able to conduct crypto transactions on the Coinbase mobile app.

Coinbase expands its market

In 2018, Coinbase worked with users in 32
countries around the world. Over the last year, the exchange set itself a goal
to expand to as many parts of the globe as possible to let people access Coinbase
trading opportunities.

Now, more countries in Asia and Latin America
have joined the trading area covered by Coinbase. Apart from trading, customers
can also store, transfer and receive crypto coins.

As per the blog, Coinbase is willing to help
the world create a new system of finance:

“Realizing our mission of creating an open financial system for the world starts with making it as easy as possible to access crypto. With today’s announcement, we’re happy to take an important step in that direction.”

What Coinbase arrival means for India

The fact of Coinbase expanding is crucial for the crypto community of India. Last year, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the country’s Central Bank, banned regulated banks from working with companies or physical entities that deal with cryptocurrencies. This includes crypto exchanges and individual traders.

The ban caused some Indian exchanges, e.g. Zebpay, to cease work and shut down. Some exchanges there started using P2P trading, though. Still, the arrival of Coinbase is extremely significant for the local community.

The post Coinbase Rolls Out to India, Mexico and 9 Other Regions, Offering Crypto-to-Crypto Trading appeared first on Ethereum World News.

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Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong: Cryptocurrency Needs 3 Things for Mass Adoption

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong Cryptocurrency 2019

Brian Armstrong, CEO of popular cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase and long-time Bitcoin proponent, has issued a list of what he believes cryptocurrency needs to accomplish in order to reach mass adoption.

Speaking in 45-minute Ask Me Anything (AMA) session published to YouTube on April 2nd, the CEO outlined three things that are paramount to both crypto and Bitcoin growth: volatility, scalability and usability. While Armstrong answered a number of community-submitted questions, the first and most pressing appeared to be what the industry needed to achieve mass adoption–a breakthrough that many believe to be the most sustainable route for digital asset growth.

According to Armstrong, adoption for the industry is largely being titrated through the interplay of volatility, scalability and usability–with all three currently lagging behind what would be needed to accomplish widespread adoption.

Price volatility has been a primary concern over the past year, since Bitcoin prices skyrocketed to $20,000 before plummeting to $3000. It is arguable that the extreme volatility for crypto has been the catalyst for interest into stablecoins since 2018. Compared to traditional cryptos, stablecoins provide the benefits of digital assets and alternative currencies while minimizing the risk of investment.

However, the rise in stablecoins has led to an erosion in development interest for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Investors may flock to crypto during times of bullish market behavior, but the subsequent downturn, or intermittent volatility is driving a trend towards price-stable cryptos. Armstrong highlights the rising class of stablecoins as a solution for the volatility, even at the expense of other digital assets, for providing a risk-averse alternative to interested parties.

Unsuprisingly, scalability continues to be a major issue for cryptocurrency into 2019. While coin prices may have over-extended investor expectation in early 2018, top cryptocurrency networks such as Bitcoin and Ethereum ground to a half during the massive bull run. Armstrong points to Lightning Network and the necessity of getting it operational as a priority for cryptocurrencies handling the scale of transaction required to rival a Visa or Paypal.

Finally, Armstrong criticizes the current usability of cryptocurrency, finding fault in how difficult it is to participate in the process of transferring currencies and investing. He finds the current setup to involve unnecessary steps, and instead looks to retail models such as the Chinese application WeChat as a model to be followed. The barrier for investing into cryptocurrency or buying digital currencies should be no more difficult than sending a text message, which would allow users the flexibility of paying in cryptocurrency instead of making it a burden.

Interestingly, Armstrong also took time to comment upon his relationship with Bitcoin, which has been well-documented. Coinbase’s CEO made no effort to backtrack his admiration for the original cryptocurrency, but admitted his actions became too involved in the growth of BTC around the middle of the decade. Instead, he turned his attention to the promotion of all cryptocurrencies, which led Coinbase to become a portal for the purchase of more than just Bitcoin.

The post Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong: Cryptocurrency Needs 3 Things for Mass Adoption appeared first on Ethereum World News.

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2.7M Online Stores Can Accept BTC, LTC, ETH Via Coinbase Commerce

Coinbase Commerce Overhauls Website

Coinbase is undoubtedly one of the most multi-faceted companies in the nascent cryptocurrency industry, with the San Francisco-based firm supporting a variety of features, products, and services for consumers, institutions, and retailers/merchants alike. For consumers, there’s Coinbase Consumer ( and the firm’s ‘pro’ platform. For institutional investors, there’s Coinbase Prime, Index Fund, and Custody.

And last but not least, for retailers/merchants, there’s the Coinbase Commerce platform, which has begun to play a growing role in the cryptosphere in the past few months.

Image Courtesy of Coinbase

As per a tweet issued on August 20th, developers at the firm have overhauled the official Coinbase Commerce web page to hopefully draw in new retailers. The refreshed website highlights the key features, which are as follows, of the commerce-focused service:

  • “Up And Running In Minutes” — Coinbase Commerce allows prospective users to install and set-up cryptocurrency support “in minutes, not days,” through easy-to-integrate checkout pages, payment buttons and integrations into digital retail platforms.
  • “Free” — Coinbase Commerce does not charge any fees when using their crypto-commerce integration service. As the crypto startup puts it “accepting cryptocurrency payments is easy and free — just the way internet payments should be.”
  • “Stay In Control” — Coinbase Commerce is entirely peer-to-peer, with no intermediary, as the merchant accepting crypto is always in control of their assets. Additionally, businesses are not subject to chargebacks, as crypto payments are irreversible.
  • “Secure And Trusted” — Throughout Coinbase’s six-year history, it has held the coveted position of one of the most, if not the most secure cryptocurrency platform in this industry. Additionally, the platform built up a network of trust that spans millions of individuals, like you or I.

“2.7 Million Online Stores Can Now Accept Crypto With Coinbase Commerce”

According to a recent tweet from Kevin Rooke, a proponent of cryptocurrency and decentralized technologies, 2.7 million online outlets can now accept the “Coinbase Four” through five separate Coinbase Commerce plugins.

Rooke also noted that the peer-to-peer nature of these plugins should be seen as a positive, as internet payments should not be routed through an intermediary, which only can slow down and make payment processing more costly to merchants and consumers alike. While these integrations may have the potential to reach millions of stores and tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions of consumers, according to Coinbase, only “2,000+” digital-centric merchants have begun to accept cryptocurrency.

This figure mirrors what Ethereum World News has reported previously, with retail-related crypto volumes still remaining relatively low, despite 2017’s bull-run. Blockchain research firm Chainalysis recently revealed that Bitcoin retail payments amounted to only (relatively) $60 million in May 2018, down from a high of $412 million in September 2017. Other networks reportedly saw a similar decline, including Bitcoin Cash, which saw a similar drop-off in digital retail use.

But many hope that the use of cryptocurrencies will begin to pick up again, as crypto needs to be used in the real-world before achieving widespread adoption.

Photo by on Unsplash


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Coinbase Hires Former Wall Street Executive As Chief Compliance Offer

The so-called “Wall Street migration” has continued, with executives and employees from legacy markets piling onto crypto-centric startups in a search for the ‘next big thing’.

As per a blog post from Asiff Hirji, Coinbase’s President and Chief Operating Officer, Jeff Horowitz will be joining Coinbase as the firm’s new Chief Compliance Officer, with this role helping the platform see eye-to-eye with regulators.

Horowitz joins Coinbase with years of experience under his belt, with nearly 12 years as a Managing Director at Pershing, one of the world’s largest custody and financial settlement firms, with over $25 trillion under management.

Jeff also comes with experience with regulatory compliance, as he was also a Head of Compliance, Chief Compliance Officer and the Global Head of Anti-Money Laundering at the financial giant. Before his decade of experience at Pershing, the new Coinbase hire led a variety of AML and compliance programs at well-known names, like Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and Salomon Brothers.

Taking this substantial level of experience into account, it is logical that Coinbase took the opportunity to hire such an established person. Hirji wrote:

His experience managing matters related to broker-dealer regulation, asset custodianship, and AML programs makes him a uniquely qualified leader for our compliance team…

Horowitz’s Role At Coinbase

As noted earlier, Horowitz joins Coinbase as a Chief Compliance Officer or CCO as the role is better known.

To be frank, the cryptocurrency industry isn’t seen in the best light by many regulators. Many see investing into this nascent asset class as risky, baseless, and a waste of time. This negative sentiment has led to multiple crypto-related firms coming under fire by regulators. While Coinbase has yet to run into any concerning legal issues, in such a regulatory-contested industry as crypto, compliance should be an absolute priority.

As pointed out in the blog, Coinbase has always strived to be the “world’s most trusted and easy-to-use cryptocurrency service,” so the addition of Horowitz to the firm’s expansive employee line-up should only allow the firm to continue to offer A-grade-level services for investors.

It was also noted that the hiring of this new CCO will take some weight off the shoulders of Mike Lempres, the firm’s Chief Legal and Risk Officer, who will now be able to focus on leading Coinbase’s “government relation efforts.”

Hirji closed off the blog post with a powerful statement, highlighting what this hire means to Coinbase at heart. The Coinbase President wrote:

Hiring Jeff is recognition on our part that navigating compliance complexities on a global scale requires a concerted, cross-functional effort, guided by leaders with experience that spans policy, financial services, and corporate governance.

Coinbase’s Rapidly Growing Aspirations 

As reported by Ethereum World News, Coinbase has previously announced plans to become the first firm to offer the trading of crypto assets deemed securities by the SEC. There is a high possibility that the firm will run into regulatory concerns as a result of this move, as the industry is still in its early stages.

While Coinbase may still be a few months, if not years away from the competition of this plan, Horowitz’s experience and advice as a compliance-centric individual should help expedite the resolution of regulatory issues.

Title Image Courtesy of RawPixel/PxHere


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Coinbase Exploring Cardano (ADA), Basic Attention Token (BAT), Stellar Lumens (XLM), Zcash (ZEC) and 0x (ZRX)

Coinbase, Cryptocurrency Exchanges–Finally, after months of waiting for news surrounding another coin listing, Coinbase has broken the silence on updating its limited selection of cryptocurrencies. In June, Coinbase announced to consumers through a blog post that the company would be adding Ethereum Classic (ETC). However the listing functioned more as a reprisal for Coinbase, which had previously offered ETC before discontinuing the service at the end of 2016. The move back to ETC represents a testing ground for the company rather than an actual new coin launch, as the exchange looks to avoid another Bitcoin Cash fiasco which led to allegations and lawsuits surrounding insider trading.

Today, the popular U.S.-based exchange with over 13 million users announced their exploration into five new cryptocurrencies:

Cardano (ADA)

Basic Attention Token (BAT)

Stellar Lumens (XLM)

Zcash (ZEC)

0x (ZRX)

The official press release states that in addition to exploring the currencies and regulation entailed, the exchange is considering the coins for addition to their service,

We are exploring the addition of several new assets, and will be working with local banks and regulators to add them in as many jurisdictions as possible.

In addition to the current listing of Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin and Ethereum, Coinbase looks to capitalize on rival exchanges in offering a broader selection of assets to its userbase. While Coinbase revenue eclipsed 1 billion USD in 2017, the majority of their margin came in the month of December, when crypto trading volume reached a frenzy. Following the news of Binance posting 300 million USD profits through the first half of the year and eyeing a billion by the end of 2018, Coinbase has likely seen expanding its selection as a way to keep up with the competition while spurring greater trade-interest among its massive consumer base.

There are a few takeaways from the announcement worth reviewing:

Coinbase is making it clear that there is no guarantee in listing.

Following the Bitcoin Cash fiasco, Coinbase is taking a measured approach to doling out news related to updating their coin selection. In the case of BCH, Coinbase had announced months ahead that they would be supporting the coin at some point in the near future, without giving specific dates. However, the pump in BCH pricing in the 24 hours leading up to Coinbase’s listing led many users to cry foul over allegations of insider-trading, essentially accusing Coinbase employees of buying BCH in the interim period. By announcing multiple coin listings, in addition to providing subversive language about the nature of partnering with these currencies, the exchange is effectively trying to cloud an exact date for the listing and thereby avoid the previous nuisance of the coin dumping in price upon launching on Coinbase.

Regional Specific.

In addition to being vague on its commitment to listing the coins, Coinbase specifically states that not all currencies may be available to all regional customers within the same period of time. Which means, Coinbase is free to experiment with listing a currency on their exchange–thereby figuring out the kinks in their launch and creating a smoother user experience–prior to exposing the coin to the millions of customers located in the U.S. This gives Coinbase further leeway in implementing the new crypotcurrencies as, again, the Bitcoin Cash situation proved that the exchange was not prepared for such high volume. Besides causing the price of BCH to skyrocket to 3900 USD before plummeting back to 2800 USD in the span of hours, the Coinbase listing crashed GDAX trading for nearly a day, with BCH specific trades withheld even longer. The aftermath of the coin launch has given Coinbase clear indication that they are better served trialing their coin to a smaller audience, before giving it to the masses.

While the Coinbase announcement represents momentous news for the aforementioned cryptocurrencies–effectively exposing them to millions of new customers who have yet to venture outside of the user-friendly Coinbase exchange–the company is likely planning more nuance and subversion in the listing than we previously saw with Bitcoin Cash. Look to the upcoming Ethereum Classic launch as an indicator for how things will go with these new tokens, as Coinbase seeks to rectify the mistakes of last years BCH mess.


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Coinbase Sees Decline In Large Popularity Amidst Cryptocurrency Price Drop

The cryptocurrency market hasn’t had the best of times over the past six months, with prices collectively falling by over 70%. Coinbase, one of the most publicized and well-known exchanges in the world, has experienced a correlated decline in popularity.

That’s just how the market works, people follow the ‘scent’ of money. And right now, liquidity in this frothy market has begun to evaporate, as short-term speculators drop out of the market en-masse. 

Quartz recently reported that downloads for the company’s mobile application have fallen to its lowest level on U.S. Finance charts since last April when Bitcoin was a mere $1,250.

These declining figures are a far cry from the performance of the exchange during last year’s run-up, which saw Coinbase hit the limelight in the Apple and Google Play app stores. In December, the exchange’s application was briefly one of the most downloaded items in the entire Apple ecosystem, drawing in even more users.

But as Bitcoin began to drop in January, things started to look grim for the cryptocurrency infrastructure company, which saw the app fall from #1 to #40 on U.S. Finance charts.

Website statistics given by the SimilarWeb service indicate that Coinbase’s online platform saw a similar drop in demand. Monthly visits to the exchange’s webpage have fallen from 126 million in January to 28 million in June, a nearly 80 percent decrease.

The exchange’s more sophisticated trading platform, GDAX, saw an even steeper decline in popularity, losing 5% more visits than its parent platform did. However, this is not an issue that is only pertinent to Coinbase, as exchanges like Binance and Huobi also saw a decrease in web traffic, albeit not as severe.

Unlike Coinbase, Binance has been seeing a rapidly increasing user base, with the exchange’s CEO noting that Binance’s userbase has expanded by over five times since the start of 2018.

Additionally, the one-year-old exchange is expected to bring in upwards of $1 billion U.S. dollars by the end of the year, leaving some to wonder if Coinbase is falling behind.

Coinbase Pushes Forward With New Products

Despite experiencing a substantial decline in user base growth, Coinbase remains undeterred, recently announcing a series of new products that attempt to draw in new clients. Just last week, Coinbase officially released its custody service, which is aimed at drawing in the funds of institutional investors.

Coinbase has already deemed the service a success, drawing in over $100 million in funds within its first week from a mix of hedge funds and large family offices. Many have begun to speculate that a majority of retail investors are beginning to lose interest, while institutional investors are starting to pile into the market.

To help accommodate its expanding platform, Coinbase recently opened up a new office in Portland, which is set to hire over 100 employees with a focus on customer support.

The declining growth and price figures have not worried the U.S-based firm one bit, with Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong issuing a Tweet, pointing out that market cycles are normal.

Prices may be worrisome, but Coinbase has made it clear that they will stop at nothing to create an “open financial system that is not controlled by a central power.”