Coinbase Says It’s ‘On Track’ to Become a Regulated Securities Firm
Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase announced Wednesday that it was making strides toward its goal of operating a federally regulated broker-dealer.
Chief operating officer and president Asiff Hirji wrote in a company blog post that the firm is in the process of acquiring a broker-dealer license, an alternative trading system license and a registered investment advisor license. Once it has these licenses, the company intends to seek approval from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to offer blockchain-based securities.
Part of this effort includes Coinbase’s acquisitions of Keystone Capital Corp., Venovate Marketplace and Digital Wealth LLC, he wrote.
Hirji expanded on Coinbase’s plans, writing:
“We believe this is an important moment for the crypto ecosystem, and yet another indication of the maturation of the crypto economy. If approved, these licenses will set Coinbase on a path to offer future services that include crypto securities trading, margin and over-the-counter (OTC) trading, and new market data products.”
Beyond merely offering its own securitized tokens, Hirji said Coinbase could tokenize existing securities products, “bringing to this space the benefits of cryptocurrency-based markets.”
These benefits would include real-time settlement, transparent chain-of-title and 24/7 trading, he said.
The move comes just weeks after Coinbase announced it had acquired decentralized crypto relay platform Paradex and that it was planning to rebrand its GDAX service as Coinbase Pro, as previously reported.
Coinbase also formally launched Coinbase Custody, its crypto storage service aimed primarily at large financial institutions, last month. As previously reported, Coinbase Custody includes a suite of products aimed at institutional investors.
Hirji highlighted what he saw as the potential for combining cryptocurrencies with securities firms in Wednesday’s post, writing “we believe this will democratize access to capital markets for companies and investors alike, lowering costs for all participants and bringing additional transparency and inclusion to the ecosystem.”
Written by CoinDesk.com
Latin American NGOs Embark Upon Tour to Promote Bitcoin in Argentina
Latin American NGOs Team Up to Launch Bitcoin Awareness Campaign
Non-government organizations Bitcoin Argentina and Bitcoin Americana have begun ‘Bitcoineta‘ – a minivan tour across Argentina designed to bolster bitcoin awareness and adoption.
The tour will see the van visit numerous Argentine villages and small cities, with the tour seeking to emphasize the use-cases for bitcoin at a grassroots level. After traveling across Argentina, Bitcoineta then hopes to embark on an awareness campaign across Latin America.
The project seeks to target disparate social demographics that can benefit from greater cryptocurrency adoption. Gabriel Kurman, one of the founders of the Bitcoineta project, stated, “It’s a dream to bring bitcoin and blockchain technology to Latin America to those people who do not have access to knowledge. The [goal] of Bitcoineta is to reach every small town and city in Argentina, and then the rest of America, teaching people how they can benefit from this technology.”
The two organizations purchased the minivan together, and equipped the vehicle with necessary amenities, and installed a projector that will be used to screen educational films.
Sowing the Seeds of Bitcoin Adoption
The Bitcoineta van began its journey on June 1st. The first destination for the campaign is Chascomús, a small city located 123 kilometers (approximately 76.4 miles) south of Argentina’s capital of Buenos Aires. After Chascomús, Bitcoineta is then scheduled to visit Las Toninas, Tandil, Necochea, Tres Arrollos, Villa Ventana, Bahía Blanca, Pergamino, Junín, Chacabuco and Chivilcoy in Buenos Aires, and various destinations in the provinces of La Pampa, Santa Fe, and Córdoba.
Julian Drangosch, a university professor from the National Technological University of Argentina, offered praise to the Bitcoineta project, stating, “The first times you hear about these technologies, it is difficult to understand all the implications that you have today and in the future, and to start sowing this blockchain seed in the different communities will allow us to collect the fruits in a few years.”
Written by Bitcoin.com
Susquehanna Is Opening Crypto Trading, Starting with BTC Futures
American global trading and technology firm Susquehanna International Group is opening cryptocurrency trading to its clients, initially in the form of Bitcoin (BTC) futures, the New York Times reported June 5.
The company, based in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania, is one of the largest financial firms in the world, trading traditional investments, such as stocks, options, and exchange traded funds (ETFs). The privately-held company has also built a trading desk for the purchase and sale of cryptocurrencies in private deals over the past two years. Now, the firm plans to begin offering digital currencies to a small group of its 500 clients with a view to expand the service in the future.
Bart Smith, the head of the digital asset group at Susquehanna, said the company thinks Bitcoin and other virtual currencies have a broad range of uses, including becoming a digital payment method for the Internet. He said:
“We believe that this technology and this asset class is going to change some facet of financial services, and we think it is going to exist forever.”
Susquehanna will reportedly start trading Bitcoin futures, in addition to letting clients buy and sell actual BTC and other digital currencies like Ethereum (ETH) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). In order to trade cryptocurrencies that the US regulators classify as securities, the company recently amended the broker dealer license, confirming that it is registered with regulators.
Susquehanna has also built its own systems for storing cryptocurrencies. Private keys are kept in devices in an off-site facility that is not connected to the firm’s computer system, which reportedly makes them more resistant to hacker attacks.
The company first dealt with BTC in 2014 after the Winklevoss twins asked the firm to get involved with a Bitcoin ETF that they had requested regulators to create. The application for the ETF was denied, but Susquehanna kept one Bitcoin trader on board, adding more last year when crypto markets saw record-breaking gains.
Today, financial services corporation Fidelity Investment announced it is hiring developers to build a cryptocurrency exchange on both a private and public cloud. The company will seek to offer “first-in-class custodian services for Bitcoin and other digital currencies.”