Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the U.S., has announced some changes in its custody division, which provides secure storage and trading services for institutional investors. The move comes as the crypto industry awaits the decision of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on the approval of the first spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF).
According to a blog post published on Dec. 29, 2023, Coinbase Custody has appointed Sam McIngvale as its new head, replacing Philip Martin, who will remain as the chief security officer of Coinbase. McIngvale has been with Coinbase since 2018, and has led the development and launch of several products and features, such as staking, governance, and DeFi integration.
Coinbase Custody has also expanded its team with several new hires, including Alex Batlin as the head of product, Jesse Pollak as the head of engineering, and Ankur Nandwani as the head of business development. The blog post stated that the new team members bring a wealth of experience and expertise in the crypto space, and will help Coinbase Custody to deliver more value and innovation to its clients.
Coinbase Custody plays a key role in Bitcoin ETF applications
Coinbase Custody is not only a leading provider of crypto custody services, but also a major player in the Bitcoin ETF race. The firm has been chosen by nine out of the 12 prospective issuers of Bitcoin ETFs in the U.S. as the custodian for their funds’ Bitcoin holdings. These include some of the biggest names in the asset management industry, such as BlackRock, Franklin Templeton, and WisdomTree.
Coinbase Custody has also agreed to provide surveillance-sharing services to some of the applicants, which allows them to share information about trading, clearing activity, and customer identification to reduce the risks of market manipulation. This is one of the main concerns of the SEC, which has repeatedly rejected or delayed the approval of Bitcoin ETFs in the past.
The crypto industry is hopeful that the SEC will finally approve the first spot Bitcoin ETF in the U.S. in early 2024, after the regulator extended its review period for several applications until late January or early February. A spot Bitcoin ETF would track the price of Bitcoin directly, unlike the existing Bitcoin futures ETFs, which track the price of Bitcoin futures contracts.
Coinbase Custody aims to offer more services and solutions to its clients
Coinbase Custody stated in its blog post that it is committed to providing the best-in-class crypto custody and trading services to its clients, and to supporting the growth and adoption of the crypto ecosystem. The firm said that it plans to offer more services and solutions to its clients, such as:
- Supporting more assets and features: Coinbase Custody said that it will continue to add support for more crypto assets and features, such as staking, governance, and DeFi integration, to enable its clients to access the full potential of the crypto space.
- Enhancing its platform and security: Coinbase Custody said that it will invest in enhancing its platform and security, to ensure that its clients can store and trade their crypto assets with confidence and ease.
- Expanding its global reach and regulatory compliance: Coinbase Custody said that it will expand its global reach and regulatory compliance, to serve more clients across different jurisdictions and markets.
Coinbase Custody concluded its blog post by saying that it is excited about the future of crypto, and that it looks forward to working with its clients and partners to make it a reality.