Frenzy of announcements! Coinbase Adds Nearly 100 Crypto Assets To Trade In 2021
As of today, Coinbase has 139 tradable assets. The exchange added 83 assets to its trading list in 2021, nearly double the number of assets it had accumulated in the eight years since its inception.
Is this rapid expansion a simple seizure of money? Are some of these lesser-known tokens and coins securities? Is it irresponsible or too ambitious? What does this rapid expansion of Coinbase’s assets mean?
A seizure of money?
I have the impression that the answer to the first question is a “No!” Categorical. Coinbase makes a lot of money on trading fees, but expanding its token list isn’t all about the money. Coinbase started off with a small booth at a conference “just trying to do something customers wanted,” offering t-shirts and a hosted Bitcoin (BTC) wallet. Now, Coinbase is the second largest crypto exchange in the world.
It’s a common story that an entrepreneur builds something, finds success, sells and moves on, but Coinbase Founder and CEO Bryan Armstrong ran this little booth eight years ago and is still at Coinbase. today. The exchange stays true to its core values ââ- and those of Armstrong -: economic freedom, property rights, a more efficient global trading system, and, in my opinion, just building what customers want.
In June of this year, Armstrong job a series of tweets indicating the change in approach of Coinbase to determine which assets are listed. To sum up, Coinbase has moved from a merit-based approach based on internal criteria to a pragmatic one based on externalities. This new approach allows the market to decide which assets have the most value, as it should. Reminder: Do your own research, even if it is a Coinbase listing.
Related: The Responsibility Behind A Crypto Lender’s Asset List
Coinbase recognizes and accepts its leadership role in putting in place new regulations that benefit the new economy. The exchange seems to be genuinely aware of its leadership role in the crypto space and is working hard on compliance. It would therefore make no sense for Coinbase to list a gang of assets that could provoke regulators (in the United States, ânon-accreditedâ investors are prohibited from investing in early projects).
While the Securities and Exchange Commission treats stablecoins like securities, Coinbase’s listing parade has continued almost every week. It is very likely that there will be assets added to Coinbase’s trading pairs that the SEC would consider securities. However, the barriers that currently exist in the name of âinvestor protectionâ may finally fall. Coinbase’s aggressive listing activity aligns with economic freedom, strong property rights, and the core values ââit supports, and may even hint at undisclosed policy being privately discussed.
As Melissa Strait, Head of Compliance at Coinbase, pointed out:
âWe have always believed that for crypto to gain the legitimacy necessary for its adoption by the general public, compliance cannot be an afterthought – it must be at the heart of how we operate. “
She also added, “We firmly believe that for cryptocurrency to be widely accepted, we must have a constructive relationship with the regulators and agencies that have been tasked with overseeing the crypto ecosystem.”
Almost all of the assets listed this year are ERC-20 tokens on the Ethereum network. Why? Because they would be considered “sufficiently decentralized”. This line is taken from a speech William Hinman (former director of the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance) gave in June 2018. As long as an asset is as decentralized as Etherum was on the day of this speech, it is not informally and provisionally. considered a security. Thanks, Hinman!
Related: Discourage adoption? Balancing Security and Innovation in Cryptography
Irresponsible or too ambitious?
If there’s one thing I’ve observed in my research on this topic, it’s that Coinbase is very organized and process-oriented. Guess it should be obvious, given its success. The Coinbase team is aware of the legal circumstances under which the exchange operates and has built decision-making systems designed to keep pace with this fast-paced industry. Armstrong himself has said he wants to take on a billion customers. It’s ambitious! Too much, however? Not if you believe in a free and open financial system beyond the control of any central actor.
Coinbase claims to be “agnostic” on the token list. In other words, Coinbase does not pass judgment on the projects it lists, but rewards builders who tick all the boxes of its listing criteria. It’s interesting to see the mix of projects coming to the Coinbase platform. After all, a Coinbase listing is like stepping into the big leagues.
Coinbase listed 16 DeFi projects in 2021. It’s no surprise that decentralized finance is taking the top spot. First layer projects came in second with 12 – again not much of a surprise, as everyone wants to be the next Ethereum. In third place were eight decentralized exchange tokens, while tied for fourth were stablecoins and NFT games, each with seven projects. Layer two Ethereum projects took fifth place.
Coinbase has really stepped on the gas this year. It can mean a number of things depending on who you ask. For me, this is a very bullish sign for the entire industry. Coinbase gives its customers what they want: more choices and more opportunities to find this undervalued gem. It is up to everyone to exercise due diligence. What some would call the most âuser-friendlyâ platform around provides access to a decent number of assets now. Having freedom of choice is a responsibility – choose wisely, or you may find that the SEC feels the need to choose for you.
This article does not contain any investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move comes with risk, and readers should do their own research before making a decision.
The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.
Stephen J. Mesa is the unofficial âambassadorâ of Cointelegraph Markets Pro. He is the Commercial Lawn and Recreation Sales Manager at John Deere Equipment, with 16 years of experience as a real estate market analyst and 10 years in the design and installation of custom car audio and alarm systems. .