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Crypto Diaries: Coinbase rumored to be going Public

Top U.S crypto exchange is apparently readying a landmark stock market listing

Coinbase is one of the top-tier U.S based crypto exchanges — established in 2012, it is one of the most well known and respected virtual assets business out there with a massive customer base of 35 million customers. In its latest private fundraising round, in 2018, Coinbase was valued at $8 billion. It is the third-largest exchange by spot trading volume in May (charts below), trading over $6.8 billion worth of crypto that month — just behind Binance & OKEx.

Cryptocurrencies and Virtual Assets Service Providers (VASPs) have had a hard time getting legitimacy from global regulators. Nonetheless, institutional interest in this new asset class has seen a sharp increase in recent years. At least for the VASPs, the enforcement of the “travel rule”, would mean these businesses are complying with the regulators’ recommendations for operating legally.

While the intergovernmental organization of 39 member states, Financial Action Task Force, or FATF has been forthcoming in providing guidance to VASPs on compliance procedures, the top U.S regulator Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) has been lacking vision on the subject or maybe it’s just complacency on its part. The only thing coming from the SEC has been that some cryptocurrencies may be considered securities and should be subject to regulation

And since Coinbase is going need the blessings of the SEC to go public, it might not be an easy task. As reported by Reuters, sources requesting anonymity said Coinbase is the listing later this year or early next year. While it has not registered with SEC of its intention to go public, it is reported that the company is in talks to hire investment banks & law firms.

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The sources also revealed that Coinbase would be opting for a direct listing rather than a traditional initial public offering (IPO) — in the former, the company does not sell new shares & existing investors are not bound by lock-up restrictions. For now, both SEC & Coinbase have declined to comment on the rumor. If it does turn out to be true, it would be a landmark decision and groundbreaking for crypto proponents.

With the top story out of the way, here are some of the other noteworthy additions to Cryptoverse, that I noticed recently.

Custom Blockchain in one hour using Polkadot

The open-source “para chain (parallelized chains)” framework that provides scalable & seamless interoperability between different networks, Polkadot protocol is the brainchild of Ethereum co-founder Dr. Gavin Wood. The project has raised some eyebrows. Its vision of creating a decentralized economic hub where data of blockchains, applications, and money could be shared, is beginning to see the light of day.

Developer Bruno Škvorc recently showed how a Polkadot-based blockchain can be launched within one hour. Explaining the process, Škvorc detailed how a custom blockchain can be created using Polkadot’s modular “Substrate” architecture, without the need for a hard fork — where the network’s security is ensured by other chains.

SEC-Approved Digital Securities Fund on Ethereum

Los Angeles-based investment firm Arca is launching the “Arca U.S. Treasury Fund,” — yet another addition to the growing landscape of digital assets. More importantly, it has been approved by the U.S securities watchdog — the SEC. Built on top of the Ethereum blockchain, its shares will be called the “ArCoin.”

As reported by Forbes, the fund will provide interest payments every quarter and the interest will be generated as at least 80% of the assets in its portfolio will be short-term Treasury securities. Seems SEC is finally coming around the idea of digital assets as this is the first time it has approved a fund based on blockchain technology.

Binance gets even bigger

And while Coinbase plans to go public, the leading crypto exchange, Binance is on a buying spree — expanding its ever-growing ecosystem. It was only recently that it acquired the popular crypto pricing platform of Coinmarketcap. Now, Binance has announced the acquisition of Swipe, a crypto payments platform, for an undisclosed amount.

The move is apparently aimed at bridging the gap between fiat and crypto. Both companies will facilitate payments and purchases of cryptocurrency in the legacy financial system. This is on top of Binance’s recent move to partner with Etana Custody to add support for 15 fiat currency deposits.

Originally Published on Medium

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