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Coinbase has revamped its listing policy, and it may mean new coins are coming to certain regions

Quick Take

  • Coinbase, the cryptocurrency-exchange operator, is revamping its policy for listing new coins
  • Moving forward, the firm will list coins in certain regions irrespective of US regulations
  • The change means the exchange could list more coins, more quickly

Coinbase, the US cryptocurrency exchange operator, announced Tuesday a major revamp of its policy for listing new coins, and it could mean more cryptos will list on its markets. 

The San Francisco-based firm traditionally has listed coins that fit the firm’s own internal standards and don’t conflict with US securities law, according to a blog-post. Now, the firm will list coins in certain regions irrespective of US regulation. In an interview with The Block, Coinbase’s chief technology officer Balaji Srinivasan described the move as key to more quickly listing additional coins and becoming a more globally-oriented company. 

“We think crypto is global, and we look at it from a global perspective,” Srinivasan said in a phone interview. “We have operations in literally dozens of countries and our goal now is to be compliant with the law at a local level.”

As part of the new policy, crypto developer teams can apply to have their coin listed in a certain region, according to Srinivasan. Those applications will have to provide a legal defense for why the coin in question is not a security in a given jurisdiction. 

Still, market observers should not expect the policy shift to have a major impact on the number of coins listed by Coinbase in the near-term, according to Srinivasan. 

The move could better position Coinbase against exchange rivals that host more coins on their venues. Binance, the world’s largest exchange, supports over 300 cryptocurrency trading pairs, whereas Coinbase currently supports just nine, per data provider Coinlib. Kraken, Coinbase’s cross-town rival, supports over 40 trading pairs. 

Coinbase currently supports trading of bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ethereum, ethereum classic, and litecoin. 

In theory, more listings could also translate into more trading revenues. As for listing fees, however, Srinivasan told The Block that the exchange operator has not ironed out the details on how much it’ll charge crypto projects to help them come to market. 

“We are thinking about that, but we don’t want to deter high-quality assets from coming to market,” Srinivasan said. 

To be sure, charging to list assets is not uncommon in non-crypto markets. NYSE, for instance, charges $500,000 for a company to list shares on its venue.