LONDON, April 20 (Reuters) – Crypto exchange Coinbase Global Inc (COIN.O) is now officially licensed by the Bermuda Monetary Authority. The move is part of Coinbase’s overall strategy to expand internationally, CEO Brian Armstrong said.
Armstrong noted that in order for crypto firms to grow in “offshore” havens, there must be clarity about regulation, which is currently lacking in the U.S. This is especially true of cryptocurrency, with law enforcement ramping up efforts against crypto companies in the U.S. In March, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) threatened to sue Coinbase for certain prohibited products.
Coinbase announced their receipt of the Bermuda licence in a blog post on Wednesday. The company is also in talks with regulators in Abu Dhabi and is looking into possible licensing there. According to a Fortune report on Wednesday, Coinbase is aiming to launch cryptocurrency derivatives trading in Bermuda as soon as next week.
When contacted by Reuters on Thursday, a Coinbase spokesperson said they had “nothing to announce today regarding our future plans to offer services through this license.” A request for comment outside of business hours to the Bermuda regulator was not responded to immediately.
Crypto derivatives trading is big business, with a recent report from London CCData showing that it accounted for over $1 trillion in trade volumes in March, versus spot trade volumes of just under $1 trillion.
U.S. SEC Chair Gary Gensler told lawmakers on Tuesday that he had “never seen a field that’s so non-complying with laws”, with crypto firms noting that they need more clarity regarding regulations. Gensler said that crypto markets are booming, but “suffer from a lack of regulatory compliance, not a lack of regulatory clarity”.
Reporting Elizabeth HowcroftAdditional Reporting by Tom Wilson
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