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Coinbase to Potentially Launch an Offshore Derivatives Platform

The leading crypto exchange may end up offering perpetual swaps from a Bermuda-based platform.

Coinbase to Potentially Launch an Offshore Derivatives Platform
Photo: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

Key Takeaways

  • Coinbase has acquired a regulatory license to operate in Bermuda.
  • The company reportedly plans on using the license to launch a derivatives platform.
  • CEO Brian Armstrong has indicated that Coinbase may end up relocating due to the hostile regulatory climate in the United States.

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Coinbase may be planning to use its newly acquired regulatory license to operate in Bermuda to launch a derivatives exchange.

Coinbase Bermuda

Coinbase is planning on expanding its operations worldwide.

The leading U.S.-based crypto exchange announced in a blog post on Wednesday that it had acquired a regulatory license to operate in Bermuda.  

According to a report from Fortune, the company is planning on using its freshly-acquired license to launch a crypto derivatives platform—possibly as soon as next week. While Coinbase’s blog post did not mention any such project, Bloomberg and The Block both reported in March that Coinbase was looking to offer crypto perpetual swaps on an offshore platform. 

“Bermuda was one of the first financial centers to pass comprehensive digital assets regulation in 2018, and its regulatory environment is long known for a high level of rigor, transparency, compliance, and cooperation,” stated Coinbase in the post. “Bermuda was chosen as one of our international hubs as the BMA is a highly respected and experienced financial regulator that is led by a world-class executive team and board of directors.”

The company indicated that it was expanding its presence worldwide, including in Singapore, Brazil, Canada, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the European Union. 

Coinbase’s international expansion is taking place with a backdrop of regulatory uncertainty in the United States. Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong has repeatedly decried the Securities and Exchange Commission’s lack of cooperation with regards to establishing a clear regulatory framework for the industry to comply with. The SEC, for its part, has already communicated to Coinbase that it intends to bring legal action against the company.

Armstrong admitted this week that Coinbase would consider relocating to a friendlier jurisdiction if the regulatory climate in the U.S. failed to improve.

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned BTC, ETH, and several other crypto assets.

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