‘Coinbase Custody’ Targeting Institutional Investors Now ‘Officially Open for Business’

Major U.S. crypto exchange and wallet provider Coinbase has announced that its digital assets custodian solution for institutional investors is now launched, in an official blog post July 2.

Coinbase first revealed its plans for its ‘Coinbase Custody’ venture in late 2017, saying at the time that it was seeking to address what it considers to be the “number one” concern of institutional investors, namely, security.

As per today’s post, Coinbase has already been storing over $20 billion worth of clients’ crypto over the past six years, but its new custody offering will notably be secured through an SEC-compliant and FINRA-member independent broker-dealer, Electronic Transaction Clearing (ETC).

The move thus explicitly targets institutions’ concerns to abide by terms set by U.S. regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), as well as Wall Street’s Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Today’s launch means that institutions from both the US and Europe can now store their crypto assets with Coinbase Custody, which currently supports Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). Coinbase says it plans to continue adding support for more assets, as well as to open its service to Asian institutions, “by the end of the year.”

The company says that Coinbase Custody will employ a range of security measures, including “on-chain segregation of crypto assets,” “offline, multi-sig and geographically distributed transaction protection” as well as “robust cold storage auditing and reporting.”

Alongside cold storage, reportedly pending regulatory notifications, the company plans to add “secure, segregated hot wallets” and scheduled withdrawals to increase flexibility.

Notably, today’s post suggests that Coinbase is planning to enable its new institutional clients to “to participate in the crypto ecosystem through proof of stake and distributed governance,” although further details of these plans are not outlined.

Coinbase Custody is the first to launch out of a suite of new products revealed by Coinbase in May, which it has said could “unlock $10 billion of institutional investor money sitting on the sideline.”  

The exchange is in fact attempting to become a fully SEC-regulated broker dealer itself via its recent acquisition of a financial services firm, as well as pursuing its own federal banking license.

In mid-June, Coinbase’s Index Fund opened to large-scale, U.S. resident “accredited” investors, for investments of between $250,000 and $20 million.

Coinbase has also recently revealed plans to widen its user base to the Japanese crypto market. Amid this flurry of activity, a recent inquiry by Mashable uncovered 134 pages of complaints filed by Coinbase users and leveled harsh criticisms at the company for allegedly being underprepared and overwhelmed by the pace of its growth.

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