Coinbase exchange to provide crypto-to-crypto service in 11 new countries

Coinbase expands existing custody footprint with Xapo acquisition

After raising $300 million last October, Coinbase has been eager to put that capital to work. There have been acquisitions, but primarily the stellar crypto exchange has been expanding its global footprint across the world. The crypto exchange currently provides service to 42 countries, situated in North America and Europe, along with Australia and Singapore, but it has now announced that it will be expanding this list to include eleven new countries. In a manner resembling its major competitor, Binance, it will only be offering, at least for now, conversions from one cryptocurrency to another.

When Coinbase announced its successful $300 million fundraising campaign last October, it said:

The funds will be used to “accelerate” the adoption of cryptocurrencies, with plans to build infrastructure to support regulated fiat-crypto trading globally, and to lay the foundations for the support of “thousands” of new cryptos in future.

This new move seems to be in line with the firm’s intentions by immediately opening new markets for service, but only for crypto-to-crypto transactions at this time. Binance has followed this model and been very successful, since the process of receiving and disbursing fiat currency in a local market can take an inordinate amount of time to obtain the necessary licenses and forge local banking relationships. This is not to say that local conversions will not be available down the road.

Per a spokesperson for Coinbase:

We may add fiat to crypto support depending on the different demands and requirements of each of the countries.

The new countries are primarily in Latin America, but the complete list is Argentina, Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Chile, India, Hong Kong, South Korea, Indonesia, the Philippines and New Zealand. Clients in these countries will now be able to “store, trade, send, and receive cryptocurrencies.” In its release, Coinbase went on to note that this expansion comes at a crucial time when cryptocurrencies are graduating form being in just an “investment phase” into a broader “utility phase”, as new use cases develop.

The crypto exchange giant went on to explain:

This could take the form of decentralized versions of traditional financial services like lending or micropayments or truly novel crypto applications that no one has even thought of yet. The ability to convert from one crypto to another will form the backbone of this new decentralized economy.

These new services are also coming at a time when the transaction mix of crypto trades are decidedly moving toward the crypto-to-crypto model. In just six months, statistics reveal that this type of transaction now accounts for 51% of the entire volume, a clear majority of transactions, having morphed from 41% just a few months back. Interesting enough, crypto-to-stablecoin trades have also moved share convincingly from 16% to 26%. Crypto cross-border payment transactions can be handled instantly, when a stablecoin is involved. Coinbase has also expanded into cross-border payments, too.

As an obvious move to support this type of payment service, Coinbase created its own proprietary stablecoin, “USDC”. Per one report:

This crypto asset is directly tied to the USD. So if you think the cryptocurrency market is going down, you can convert your assets into USDC to make sure the value of your assets won’t fluctuate too much.

At the moment, Coinbase provides access to USDC in a limited set of countries through its Coinbase Pro platform. Both Coinbase Pro and Coinbase’s standard platform will be available in these eleven new countries, but not USDC at this time, much like fiat. This, too, will change over time: “As we continue to receive feedback from our customers, we’ll support USDC in more markets and platforms based on what will offer them the best trading experience.”

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