Coinbase Ramps Up US Dispute with International Exchange
Posted by Colin Lambert. Last updated: May 3, 2023
Just weeks after heavily criticising the US regulatory approach to cryptocurrencies, Coinbase has unveiled Coinbase International Exchange to enable non-US institutional traders to trade perpetual futures, which the firm says accounted for over 75% of global crypto trading volume in 2022.
“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 says in a post.
BTC and ETH perpetual futures contracts have been listed on the new exchange, all trading is settled in USDC, with no fiat on-ramps required. The contracts initially offer up to 5x leverage and Coinbase says direct access trading via API is available to institutional clients in eligible, non-US jurisdictions.
In March, Coinbase revealed it had received a notice from the US Securities and Exchange Commission that it was likely to take enforcement action against the exchange for “vague” reasons according to the exchange. Coinbase has also criticised the SEC for a regime of “enforcement” rather than “guidance” and claims that the SEC is demanding registration by crypto exchanges, but there is actually no way for a business like Coinbase to actually register.
By opening an international exchange, Coinbase seems to be escalating the conflict by hedging against a potential move outside of its current home jurisdiction of the US – the exchange has received a licence from Bermuda.