Coinbase is all set to launch a bitcoin exchange in US today itself. Coinbase got the approval for the same from regulators across 24 different jurisdictions. Before this, Coinbase majorly acted as a brokerage for bitcoin users. The company also has future plans to expand the exchange overseas. The company hopes that they would get the approvals in the remaining jurisdictions as well within the next six months. As part of the current initiative, Coinbase won’t be charging any fee for the first two months of trading.
The new bitcoin exchange will probably be entitled as “Lunar” as a dedicated website has also been created for the same. Coinbase has raised a total of $106 Mn in VC funding so far. Coinbase has already expanded its services to 18 European markets both inside and outside of the Eurozone and the European Union. In December last year, the company began maintaining balances in USD with instant bitcoin purchases for customers in select US jurisdictions. Earlier, US customers had to wait for days to acquire bitcoin or enable the 'instant buy' feature by linking a credit card to their accounts.
The new bitcoin exchange has been established with the aim of offer far better security for institutions and individuals and help monitor real-time pricing of bitcoin as well. Before this, bitcoin didn’t have any sort of government backing in US and was traded through virtual exchanges, most of them being overseas. From revenue perspective, Coinbase would be charging a transaction fee of 0.25% post the first two month fee-free period.
The new initiative comes at a time when there have been some events throwing flak at virtual currencies. The Japan based exchange Mt. Gox had collapsed burning half a billion dollar worth of investors’ money. Recently there had been a breach at Bitstamp, a Slovenia based exchange. The value of bitcoin itself is deteriorating, as observed through trading on existing exchanges. It has fallen to about $240 recently from a peak in late 2013 of above $1,200.