Coinbase has been licensed to operate in the offshore paradise of Bermuda, signaling that the company is making significant progress in its plans to expand its international operations.
Coinbase Acquires Bermuda License, New Exchange May Be Launched Next Week
The company announced in a blog post Wednesday that it had obtained a license from the Bermuda Monetary Authority, the island nation's integrated financial regulator, which was one of the first in the world to introduce a comprehensive legal framework for digital assets in 2018.
According to a source close to the company, Coinbase plans to open an offshore derivatives exchange in Bermuda in the coming weeks and even within the next week.
The news comes after Bloomberg reported in March that Coinbase Global contacted institutional clients about a new offshore trading platform and is working with market makers and investment firms to launch such a service separate from the primary Coinbase marketplace.
Perpetual swaps and other crypto-related derivatives make up a large part of day-to-day trading in cryptocurrencies, but they are mostly unavailable in the US due to regulatory restrictions.
By opening an offshore exchange in Bermuda, Coinbase may be better prepared to challenge Binance, which dominates the global crypto trade, and diversify its revenue base.
The news regarding the Bermuda license comes a day after Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong warned that crypto firms may want to move offshore if there is no clear regulatory framework in the US.
Given that Coinbase has boasted for years its home country compliance track record and is generally seen as a law-abiding company by politicians and regulators, it's unlikely that the company has plans to leave the US immediately.
*Not investment advice.