Since Coinbase’s inaugural day in business during June 2012, the San Francisco-based startup has become world-renowned for its penchant for innovation within the cryptosphere and Bitcoin ecosystem. And this theme has fortunately persisted to this day, even while 2018’s market predicament has brutally executed a plethora of crypto upstarts, save for Coinbase and other ‘too big to fail’ platforms.
Not only has the firm continued to rake in sky-high profits, while raising millions in venture capital, but it has also expanded into novel crypto sub-industries, such as the booming institutional sector.
As Bitcoin Falters, Coinbase Launches “Agency-only” OTC Desk
After Coinbase Institutional lost Adam White to Bakkt, likely catalyzing the shutdown of its in-house index fund, speculation has raged regarding the health of the shadowed institutional crypto sub-sector. More specifically, some skeptics have even claimed that in spite of the Intercontinental Exchange’s announcement of Bakkt, for example, institutional forays are few and far between.
However, a representative from Coinbase, coupled with a newfound push for the business of institutional players, has clearly accentuated that this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Although NewsBTC reported that insiders claimed that Coinbase was slated to launch an institution-focused over-the-counter trading (OTC) desk in May, at the time, this was nothing more than a well-fleshed out rumor. However, in a recent interview with fintech media outlet Cheddar, Christine Sandler, head of coverage at Coinbase, has divulged that these supposed plans have become a reality.
— Cheddar (@cheddar) November 27, 2018
Sandler, discussing the matter in an exclusive interview, noted that Coinbase recently launched an OTC desk behind closed doors to complement its traditional exchange business. Explaining that this venture was catalyzed by the presence of valid interest, the executive, admitting that Coinbase’s OTC launch was “opportunistic,” stated:
“We found that a lot of institutions are using OTC to on-ramp [their fiat] for crypto trading. And so we felt that this was a huge benefit for our clients to leverage our exchange and our OTC desk. So, we’re agency-only and we have plans to expand the service to offer delayed settlement and integration into our custody platform as well.”
Speaking what sets Coinbase’s OTC foray apart from that of Circle or Genesis Trading, the startup representative noted that her firm’s platform directly matches a crypto maker and taker.
Coinbase Institutional Clients Still Bullish On Crypto, “Nothing Has Changed”
Discussing the flavor of the month, Bitcoin’s most recent foray lower, with crypto assets establishing new year-to-date lows that would make bulls shudder and cringe, the Cheddar anchor asked Sandler about how Coinbase’s clients have been reacting to the drastic move.
Sandler, seemingly unperturbed by crypto’s draw-down herself, responded with an apparent sense of calm, noting:
“[Crypto’s decline] has definitely been front-of-mind. From our crypto-first clients, we are hearing that nothing has changed with respect to the technology, and that they’re still absolutely committed to crypto and blockchain. So, I think that there is one silver lining to this volatility… [and that is] that crypto has become front and center in mainstream financial media for the past few weeks.”
And as seen by the appearances of crypto executives on CNBC, CNN, and Bloomberg, for example, Sandler’s two aforementioned points have been proven to have struck a chord with investors worldwide. The fact of the matter is, while Bitcoin’s dismal year-to-date performance has been a thorn in the side of traders, this technology, recently bolstered by the incessant mainstream coverage, still has immense inherent value, ground-breaking capabilities, and the ability to usurp traditionalists set in their ways.
Tying this back into Coinbase’s underlying mission creating an open financial system for the world, the coverage specialist noted that for global adoption to truly commence, cryptocurrencies will need to become less homogeneous through the propagation of diverse projects, services, and ultimately, participants.
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