Coinbase Has Recently Held Talks to Buy FTX Europe: Fortune

American cryptocurrency giant Coinbase has reportedly weighed purchasing fellow exchange FTX’s European business.

report Friday (Sept. 22) by Fortune said the move is part of Coinbase’s efforts to expand its derivatives operations. The report — citing internal messages — said the discussions never got to a “late stage.”

The report said those messages show that Coinbase was interested in acquiring FTX Europe soon after FTX declared bankruptcy last year, and as recently this month. However, a source familiar with the discussions told Fortune Coinbase is not pursuing the deal any longer.

“We’re always evaluating opportunities to strategically expand our business and meet with many teams around the world,” a Coinbase spokesperson said in a statement shared with Fortune.

PYMNTS has contacted Coinbase for comment but has not yet received a reply.

The news comes as Coinbase and other crypto firms look to overseas markets in the wake of legal action by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in June accusing Binance and Coinbase — the largest crypto companies in the world and the U.S. respectively — of a host of securities law violations.

As PYMNTS wrote a month later, the SEC has determined that “pretty much every crypto token outside of bitcoin, all 25,000-plus of them, can be defined as a security and should therefore be regulated by the agency.”

Rather than going token by token, that report added, “the SEC is going right for the jugular and targeting the major players that facilitate the exchange and trading of digital assets, as well as the sector’s on-and-off ramps to traditional financial ecosystems.”

With all this happening, PYMNTS noted, “Hong Kong, the U.K., the European Union (EU), and Singapore are all increasingly being viewed as attractive jurisdictions by crypto players, given the hostile landscape in the U.S.”

For example, Ripple’s CEO said earlier this month, during the Token2049 conference in Singapore, that his company plans to source 80% of its workers from countries he maintained do a better job than the U.S. at regulating cryptocurrency.

“It’s super frustrating that you see markets like we have here in Singapore … where the governments are partnering with the industry, and you’re seeing leadership providing clear rules, and you’re seeing growth,” Brad Garlinghouse said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “And frankly that’s why Ripple is hiring there.”