Coinbase Prepares For Biggest Crypto Asset Expansion So Far

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Coinbase has announced a new policy for listing cryptocurrencies, in a move that could make it easier for more digital assets to feature on the platform.

Billed as the biggest crypto asset expansion on the wallet and exchange service to date, the new policy replaces the current ad hoc approach of choosing digital assets with an open application system.

The policy is designed to streamline the process of listing a cryptocurrency on Coinbase, allowing virtually anyone to submit a digital asset for listing consideration.

Submissions that meet pre-set criteria may then be added to the Coinbase exchange and made available to Coinbase customers on a phased basis. The new system was announced earlier this week and has already been met with support from some in the sector.

Coinbase chief technology officer Balaji Srinivasan said the firm was already working with asset developers to ensure more diversity of assets on the Coinbase platform in future.

We’re now actively reaching out to asset developers with this ... Satoshi and Vitalik (Buterin) were not Coinbase customers. But all future and current asset creators and developers are. So it’s like we’re becoming a two-sided marketplace.”

However, he affirmed that the new policy was still influenced primarily by market demand.

“We want to make sure that our customers are there ... (A) Is it legally compliant? (B) Is it technically secure and innovative? (C) Do our customers want it?”

The move is also expected to open up Coinbase to technical as well as compliance challenges in on-boarding new digital assets.

In response, the company is set to roll out the newly supported assets on a jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction basis, an approach that has been praised by some in the legal community.

Stephen Palley, partner at Anderson Kill, said this is an approach he has recommended for crypto exchanges for some time.

“It’s actually an approach I’ve been advocating for a long time ... If you’re Ford or you’re Apple or you’re Google and you want to sell your stuff worldwide, you actually do worldwide compliance.”

The decision could introduce tens of millions of consumers to a much wider range of digital assets, at a time of rapid expansion at Coinbase and in the cryptocurrency sector more broadly.