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Coinbase Launches International Exchange for Bitcoin and Ethereum Futures

The new platform offers up to five times leverage, and trades are settled in USD Coin (USDC) without requiring fiat on-ramps.

Image by: Ivan Radic / Flickr

Wed, 03 May 2023, 03:33 am UTC

Coinbase, a leading cryptocurrency exchange, has launched an international exchange that allows institutional traders outside the United States to trade Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) perpetual futures.

The trades on the new platform will be settled in USD Coin (USDC), and no fiat on-ramps would be required. The perpetual futures contracts will offer up to five times leverage.

In a statement on May 2, Coinbase revealed that the new exchange was launched following its recent regulatory approval from the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA). The exchange also stated that it holds a Class F digital assets business license under the Digital Assets Business Act 2018 (as amended) and is licensed by the BMA. However, the Coinbase International Exchange (CIE) website showed that the exchange is only available "to non-US institutions in select jurisdictions."

According to Coinbase, the exchange plans to expand its platform later this year to serve "non-US professional investors and advanced retail users in eligible countries." Nevertheless, the exchange stated that these products are not available to retail customers at this time.

Coinbase has faced increased regulatory scrutiny in the United States in recent months. The exchange received a Well Notice from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over some of its products in March. Since then, the exchange has been involved in a war of words with the financial regulator, arguing that it does not list securities and also filing a legal action against the Commission.

Meanwhile, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong hinted that the firm might consider leaving the United States if the regulatory landscape does not improve. Over the past month, the exchange has seen its shares shed more than 20%, dropping from as high as $72 in April to $50.1 as of May 1, according to Tradingview data.

In addition, leading financial institution Citi downgraded shares of the exchange earlier this week to neutral, citing the current regulatory headwinds the exchange is facing. Coinbase CEO Armstrong offloaded over $2 million of the exchange's stock during this period.

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