Coinbase to let retail users outside the U.S. trade Bitcoin and Ethereum futures on its Bermuda exchange
Comment of the Day

September 28 2023

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Coinbase to let retail users outside the U.S. trade Bitcoin and Ethereum futures on its Bermuda exchange

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"We chose to build our business and become a public company in the U.S. believing that the U.S. should be at the forefront of efforts to update our financial system," wrote the exchange.

Coinbase's move to open up its international exchange to small investors is the latest in the company's ongoing efforts to expand its footprint beyond the U.S. where it has faced growing regulatory scrutiny.

Following the collapse of competing exchange FTX and the arrest of its now-disgraced CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, the Securities and Exchange Commission soon cracked down on a slew of high-profile crypto companies and founders, including Genesis, Gemini, Justin Sun, the crypto celebrity behind TRON, and Do Kwon, creator of the so-called stablecoin TerraUSD.

In March, Coinbase, which has long styled itself as the white knight of the crypto industry, revealed that has also become the target of impending SEC litigation after it received a so-called Wells Notice, which informs companies that they are the targets of soon-to-be litigation.

Shortly after, the U.S.-based exchange, headed by CEO Brian Armstrong, announced that it had received regulatory approval in Bermuda to operate an offshore exchange, and in May, the publicly traded company unveiled Coinbase International Exchange for the use of institutional investors.

The SEC eventually filed an outright lawsuit against Coinbase in June, but that hasn't stopped billions of dollars of crypto from flowing through both its domestic and offshore entities. Its Bermuda outpost has seen $5.5 billion in trading volume—strictly from institutional investors—as of the second quarter of 2023. (By comparison, Coinbase reported $92 billion in total trading volume in the same period.)

Eoin Treacy's view

Whenever there is the prospect of additional new funds flowing into the crypto market, prices respond bullishly instantly. Today was another example of that with a jump in both bitcoin and Ethereum prices.

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