Coinbase VP Hopes to Lure Institutional Investors With New Crypto Products

May 15, 2018

By Madison Alworth

The most popular Bitcoin trading platform announced changes Tuesday that were designed to attract institutional investors to its exchange.

Coinbase, the six-year-old digital currency platform, said it was launching four new initiatives, including a secure way to store crypto assets, something institutional clients had long requested.

"We really pride ourselves on being the most trusted, the most secure venue, within the cryptocurrency space," said Eric Scro, Coinbase's vice president of finance.

The storage feature, called Coinbase Custody, is accepting applications as of Tuesday. Institutions who want to participate must have at least $10 million in deposits.

The company also introduced a Prime service that gives institutional investors more traditional investing tools and controls; a Markets product that creates a centralized pool of liquidity; and an Institutional Coverage Group that provides client services like sales, research, and market operations.

With more than 20 million accounts, Coinbase is the most popular exchange for Bitcoin and other digital currencies, but it faces stiff competition from ambitious rivals such as Robinhood.

That free stock market trading platform recently announced $363 million in new funding, some of which will go toward building a cryptocurrency trading product by the end of the year.

The New York Stock Exchange is reportedly interested in developing a crypto exchange too.

"We at Coinbase, we view ourselves as the cryptocurrency place, the cryptocurrency company," Scro said in an interview Tuesday with Cheddar. "And yes, there is going to be competition, but we welcome that competition."

Scro said that the interest in cryptocurrency that he has seen from institutional investors and would-be rivals like the NYSE is a sign of "the evolution and the maturation of the asset class."

For full interview, click here.