The largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States announced today the launch of the Coinbase International Exchange, expanding access to digital assets for institutional clients. The new venture follows regulatory approval from the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA), and the new exchange will initially offer Bitcoin and Ethereum perpetual futures.
“The Coinbase International Exchange is another step on our plans to scale globally—going broad and deep, lighting up the map—first announced in May of 2022,” Emmanuel Goh, Head of Coinbase International Exchange, told Decrypt in an email.
Unlike traditional futures, where buyers and sellers are obligated to execute the deal on a set date regardless of market conditions, perpetual futures don’t have an expiration period, meaning that traders can hold their positions indefinitely.
“Our international expansion drive will focus on high-bar regulatory jurisdictions,” a Coinbase spokesperson told Decrypt in March. “We remain focused on offering our products in a safe, compliant way, with sound risk management at the core.”
Coinbase said it is committed to the U.S., but observed that countries worldwide are increasingly moving forward with responsible, crypto-forward regulatory frameworks as they attempt to position themselves as crypto hubs.
“We would like to see the U.S. take a similar approach instead of regulation by enforcement, which has led to a disappointing trend for crypto development in the U.S.,” Coinbase said. “The Coinbase International Exchange is an expansion, bringing the safest, most trusted name in crypto to the global market.”
Coinbase said trades on the Coinbase International Exchange will be settled in USD Coin (USDC), and that the new exchange will have several security features, including real-time 24/7 risk management, dynamic margin requirements, and rigorous compliance standards.
Institutional clients in eligible non-US jurisdictions can also access the platform directly through an API, Coinbase said, although retail customers will not initially have access.
“As more and more markets are moving forward with regulatory frameworks to become crypto hubs, we believe the moment is right to launch this international exchange,” Coinbase said.
Coinbase has been in a war of words with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and its chair Gary Gensler since the agency charged ex-Coinbase product manager Ishan Wahi and his brother Nikhil with insider trading in July 2022—and hinted in a court filing that nine digital assets on the exchange were unregistered securities.
In April, Coinbase asked a federal court to compel the SEC to respond to its request for clearer regulations. Last week, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong took to Twitter to rally crypto community support for a campaign demanding clearer industry regulations—sharing that he minted a “Stand with Crypto” NFT from the Zora marketplace.