Much talk in the crypto space this year has been about the notable gains made by most cryptocurrencies. This year, the crypto market hit an over $2 trillion valuation for the first time. These gains have also seen increased activity on cryptocurrency exchange platforms.
Coinbase is the largest exchange in the US. The platform has had an eventful year, including its direct listing in April. Moreover, it has expanded significantly by listing nearly 100 more coins in 2021.
Coinbase adds 83 crypto assets in 2021
Coinbase currently supports 139 tradable cryptocurrencies. This is quite low compared to other leading exchanges such as Binance, with over 300 listed coins. The largest number of tradable assets on Coinbase was added in 2021.
Coinbase listed 83 crypto assets in 2021 alone, almost double the number of assets listed since it was founded in 2012. The exchange mainly generates its revenues from trading fees, and while these new listings could be seen as a way of boosting revenues, they could also be triggered by the company’s change in how it handles new listings.
Coinbase remained selective about adding new coins to the platform during its early years. However, in June 2021, Coinbase founder and CEO Brian Armstrong changed how the platform decided on which tokens to be listed. Instead of making an internal decision, the platform started listing coins based on market needs.
This is almost similar to what Binance does. Earlier on, the CEO of Binance, Changpeng Zhao, had noted that a decision to list coins was based on market demand and the number of addresses linked to an asset.
Coinbase and crypto regulations
While the crypto market has grown significantly this year, it has also witnessed a changing regulatory landscape. Coinbase is ranked as one of the most compliant exchanges, begging the question of whether the 83 new listing in 2021 could trigger regulatory scrutiny.
Most of the tokens listed on Coinbase are ERC-20 tokens. The exchange could be listing these tokens specifically because of previous remarks by William Hinman, the former Corporation Finance director at the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). According to Hinman, only ERC-20 assets can be termed “sufficiently decentralized.”
However, in recent days, Coinbase has been causing frictions with the SEC as it seeks to expand beyond crypto trading. The exchange had earlier unveiled plans to launch a lending program. The SEC issued a Wells Notice to the exchange, warning it against launching such an offering or face a lawsuit.
Coinbase is also expanding into non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The exchange announced that it will be launching an NFT marketplace, and it has already unveiled a waitlist for the same. The waitlist has already seen millions of users signed up. The marketplace will be competing against leading NFT platforms such as OpenSea.
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