Major cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase announced via a blog post that it has made amendments to its listing policy, with the intention of having several more cryptocurrencies listed.
Despite being very popular, one common complaint of Coinbase is that it offers a limited selection of tokens – only Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Ethereum Classic. This will change immediately as the policy has already come into effect. The new strategy is expected to greatly strengthen and expand its position in the market.
The changes greatly streamline the listing process.
Firstly, it now allows projects to initiate the process. Previously, Coinbase would approach new projects to have their tokens listed. Under the new policy, interested parties can visit Coinbase and file an application via an online form to have their token listed.
Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, Coinbase will now scrutinize these assets based on their own regional regulatory framework, as opposed to whether or not it complies with U.S. regulation.
Until now, Coinbase’s services have for the most part been concentrated in the United States, but this new policy will make it a global entity, as Coinbase consumer VP and General Manager Dan Romero explains in an interview on CNBC segment Fast Money:
Ultimately, crypto is a global phenomenon. You have software developers and entrepreneurs around the world building products on top of crypto, and it’s unlocking a lot of use cases, particularly in emerging markets. I think we need to shift as a company to a more global perspective.
Enforcing regional law in the operation of the exchange is no small task, however, and is extremely onerous and expensive. Nonetheless, this is a necessary action if Coinbase wishes to serve a wider market.
As Coinbase CTO Balaji Srinivasan notes in a statement made to CoinDesk:
[We] will do whatever is necessary to remain compliant with local law. This may mean using [customer identification] details in addition to or as a supplement to IP address. (I.e., enforcing restrictions based on a customer’s country of residence/bank account).
Which Coins Are on the Cards?
Initially, there will be no application fee and Coinbase may choose to list assets out of its own volition. Indeed, they have shown interest in Cardano (ADA), Basic Attention Token (BAT), Stellar Lumens (XLM), Zcash (ZEC) and 0x (ZRX).
However, they do note that, in the future, they may charge an application fee in order to deter spam applications. Coins will also have to conform to Coinbase’s Digital Assets Framework in order to be listed.
It is likely that Coinbase will receive a flood of applications in the upcoming days, the corresponding projects of which will be looking to capitalize on Coinbase’s recognition as a digital assets exchange.
The influx of coins will mean that Coinbase will only announce new listings close to or on the date of listing — another break from protocol. However, Coinbase states that the announcement will be made early enough for sufficient liquidity to form.
For all the talk and excitement of projects competing with each other, it’s the competition between cryptocurrency exchanges vying to be the best — that’s where the drama currently lies.