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Coinbase Announces Spot Crypto Trading for Non-US Investors

Julia Smith
Last updated: | 2 min read

Coinbase announced the launch of spot trading for non-US investors on its international exchange on Wednesday, marking the latest phase of the company’s global expansion.

The start of something new

Beginning on Thursday, December 14th, non-US institutional clients will be able to trade Bitcoin and Ether against USDC stablecoin.

Retail investors will have the opportunity to participate in spot trading at a later date, with Coinbase’s primary goal “to build liquidity and create a robust foundation.”

Moreover, the company said they will add additional assets and features to the exchange “that will enable new trading strategies and enhance capital efficiency.”

Regulatory setbacks and challenges

Coinbase’s announcement comes amidst a string of regulatory discussions and enforcement actions surrounding the crypto industry, including a June lawsuit from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against the crypto exchange for offering unregistered securities.

The lawsuit alleges in part that Coinbase never registered as a broker, clearing agency, or national clearing exchange and offered a number of unregistered beginning as early as 2019.

“You simply can’t ignore the rules because you don’t like them or because you’d prefer different ones: the consequences for the investing public are far too great,” Gurbir S. Grewal, Director of SEC’s Division of Enforcement, said at the time. “While Coinbase’s calculated decisions may have allowed it to earn billions, it’s done so at the expense of investors by depriving them, of the protections to which they are entitled.”

Coinbase, however, was able to use the United States’ stringent regulatory atmosphere as a push for their non-US spot market in a blog post announcing the news Wednesday.

“We recognize the hesitancy among some asset issuers and members of the crypto community to engage with US exchanges due to the evolving and uncertain regulatory landscape in the United States,” the blog post reads. “Coinbase International Exchange offers a trusted and compliant non-US spot market for those participants.”

Catalyst for expansion

Coinbase launched their international exchange in May 2023 originally for crypto derivatives trading with support from Bermudan regulators.

In a blog post from this past spring, the company expressed its frustrations with the regulatory environment in the United States, stating the country’s “regulation by enforcement approach” is “leading to a disappointing trend for crypto development in the US.”

However, it looks as though the United States’ regulatory approach may be the very catalyst for the company’s expansion.

“By locating our servers in more accessible locations globally,” Coinbase states, “We aim to significantly lower latency barriers and deliver a best-in-class trading experience for crypto users worldwide.”