With the rise of the ICO and a host of startups making digital tokens all their own, the question arises: what to do with all of those tokens?
Theoretically, they should be tradable — but there are few places were those trades can happen.
Coinbase wants to help — and to do so, it is acquiring securities dealer Keystone Capital, a California-based FINRA-registered broker-dealer, which will allow the firm to run an alternative trading system. Currently, Coinbase lets crypto enthusiasts trade in the larger and better-known crypto forms.
Coinbase, by its own estimation, is embarking on a journey to “offer future services that include crypto securities trading, margin and over-the-counter trading.”
The exact terms of the deal remain unknown — and Coinbase will need the green light from regulators to operate under the Keystone licenses. Coinbase COO Asiff Hirji noted his firm will still need a few months after those approvals happen (or not) to integrate Keystone’s operations.
ICOs are a lucrative area in which to dip a toe — $13 billion has been raised in ICOs since the beginning of last year, $3 billion of which has been made since the start of the year. Building an appropriate locale for those coins to be traded is Coinbase’s goal — but its not the only company with this vision.
Robinhood is also an FINRA-approved broker-dealer that recently began offering cryptocurrency trading. Circle, a strongly backed crypto trading platform, also has big ambitions. In February it acquired Poloniex, one of the world’s most active cryptocurrency exchanges. It is also, according to reports, seeking a banking license.