Regulation is a’coming, and Coinbase knows that. Which is why America’s leading fiat-to-crypto exchange has reportedly begun discussions with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to become a fully licensed and compliant brokerage firm in the United States. If a deal comes to fruition, Coinbase will be poised to hit the mainstream in a big way.
Into the Regulatory Daylight
On Friday, The Wall Street Journal reported that powerhouse cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has approached the SEC to begin dialogue on becoming a “licensed brokerage firm and electronic-trading venue.”
It’s easy to understand why Coinbase is eager for a deal. Being based in San Francisco, the exchange is bound to U.S. financial laws, which are a labyrinthine, ambiguous thicket when it comes to cryptocurrencies at the moment. As such, Coinbase is restricted in how it can move forward in the cryptoverse until it can receive regulatory clarity. Becoming a licensed brokerage is a golden ticket to such clarity.
Indeed, during Coinbase’s recent ERC20 support announcement, it was stated that GDAX would only add further Ethereum tokens upon “regulatory clarity.” And with last year’s GDAX Digital Asset Framework, it’s clear Coinbase has future altcoin listings on its mind.
Attaining the status of licensed brokerage, then, would allow the exchange to list assets that the SEC considers to be securitis — a huge bone of contention in the space at large currently, with the financial watchdog saying viritually all Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) have been unregistered securities thus far.
The ball is seemingly in the SEC’s court for now.
Coinbase Keeps Making Moves
America’s top fiat-to-crypto exchange has had its slate full with recent developments. They include:
- Forthcoming ERC20 support
- Launch of Protocol team, index fund, and venture fund
- Barclays bank account and U.K. e-money license
- SegWit completion
- Coinbase Commerce integrated with Shopify
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH) listing
If these recent moves are any indication, they aren’t slowing down any time soon.
What’s your take? Is embracing the SEC the right approach? Sound off in the comments below
Images via The Verge, NBC News