What is Coinbase: Everything you need to know about the crypto exchange


Coinbase Global Inc (NASDAQ:COIN) operates a digital currency and asset exchange headquartered in San Francisco.

As well as being an exchange operator, it also provides what would effectively equate to brokerage services for customers to enable transactions in Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, Tezos, and many other cryptocurrencies, with fiat currencies.

It is the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States by trading volume and its total market capitalisation is around US$47bn. It has grown in stature and profile since its April 2020 IPO onto the Nasdaq.

The company was founded in 2012 by Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam, and currently, over 110 financial institutes have shareholdings in the firm. Armstrong has an estimated net worth of US$8.2bn while Ehrsam’s value is estimated at around US$2.8bn.

Who uses Coinbase

The Coinbase exchange is used by more than 56mln verified users across 100 countries, according to the company’s metrics.

Its clientele includes hedge funds, money managers, and corporations.

As a platform, it also provides technology and services to fintech developers, merchants, and asset issuers to support applications that leverage crypto protocols.

Investors, deals, ventures

ARK Investment Management, run by star stock picker Cathie Wood, has been buying up Coinbase shares.

The group’s flagship Innovation fund holds over US$800mln worth of shares in the crypto trading platform, making it one of the fund’s ten largest holdings.

Coinbase recently also made a quiet entry into the Japanese cryptocurrency market.

The exchange has been touting an entry into Japan, notable for strict crypto regulation, for years and finally began making moves by engaging in a hiring spree across the country’s capital Tokyo.

Who are the rivals

Coinbase has several rivals most prominent of them are Binance, Bequant OKEx Huobi Global, and Kraken.

Another upcoming exchange, Bullish, backed by some prominent financial institutes including PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL) Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:PYPL) co-founder Peter Thiel, is planning a listing later this year.


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