As spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) fever heats up, eyes are turning to the major players and they’re not all big asset managers such as BlackRock and Fidelity.
Coinbase is positioned to play a major role as a middleman between the crypto market and traditional stock exchanges if the SEC approves spot Bitcoin ETFs.
Exchange’s Role Under Spotlight
According to a Jan. 4 Bloomberg report, Coinbase is the “gorilla in the room that few seem to be acknowledging.”
Coinbase is the only crypto exchange in the United States that is also a publicly listed company.
Moreover, the firm will be a central component of how these spot-Bitcoin ETF securities operate. It will provide several key roles including custody, trading execution, market surveillance, and even lending.
However, the dark cloud looming over these potential partnerships is the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The federal finance regulator sued Coinbase in June for allegedly operating illegally as an unregistered securities exchange, broker-dealer, and clearinghouse.
Moreover, the legal battle between Coinbase and the SEC is still ongoing, with no resolution yet.
ETF issuers including BlackRock have acknowledged they are dependent on Coinbase and have flagged the case against them in their risk disclosures.
A spokesperson for Coinbase told the outlet:
“We have extensively prepared for ETF approval – we are the service provider of choice precisely because of the resiliency of our products and our robust track record.”
In late December, crypto podcaster Preston Pysh commented on another aspect of Coinbase’s involvement.
“Anyone else stunned at the lack of discussion and concern around Coinbase… yes that PoS exchange, as the primary custodian for *ALL* of these ETFs’ coins? I’m sorry, but if you are buying these ETF products just know: YOU DON’T OWN Bitcoin!”
Bitcoin ETF Latest Developments
On Jan. 5, ETF Store president Nate Geraci highlighted a number of media reports. These all cited “sources close to the SEC” reporting that Bitcoin ETFs could begin trading next week.
Bloomberg ETF analyst James Seyffart chimed in that he was not expecting official Bitcoin ETF approval orders tomorrow, but “Still expecting them January 8th-10th.”
Also on Jan. 5, Messari founder Ryan Selkis commented:
“The thing people are missing about the Bitcoin ETF is that it’s a “cross the rubicon” moment. Crypto will have a long-awaited wedge into mainstream global finance.”
Meanwhile, crypto markets were back up 1.9% on the day with total capitalization reaching $1.73 trillion.
Top crypto platforms in the US | January 2024
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