According to sources speaking to TheBlock, Coinbase will cease its index fund service, which has failed to attract the amount of institutional investor attention expected by the company.
The index fund, launched only in June to much fanfare, was targeted at high net-worth entities, with a minimum investment at $250,000 and maximum $2 million. The product was only available to entities with a minimum net worth of $1 million, or minimum annual income of $250,000.
This lack of interest is somewhat surprising, as there was “strong demand from institutional and high-net-worth individuals” back in March when the product was first announced- - according to Coinbase project manager Reuben Bramanathan. The fund was only available to accredited U.S. investors, a disappointment to some at time of launch, perhaps explaining some of the tepid reaction.
The closing of the high-net-worth index fund comes shortly after the announcement of a new retail product, Coinbase Bundle, which may indicate a refocus in strategy back to smaller investors. The new “basket product”, announced last month, functions in effect like a mini-index fund, allowing users to buy five market-weighted crypto-assets with one click.
Notably, the minimum cost for this product is a mere $25. Coinbase speculated during the launch that:
We expect that millions of people will make their first cryptocurrency purchase in the coming years
Coinbase in the Bear Market
This possible refocus comes at a time when coinbase trading volume is down 80% since December, 2017 highs, according to Bloomberg, in the wake of the collapse in crypto-asset prices.
Despite the downturn, Coinbase is seeking $500 million worth of new investments, which would put the company’s value an eye-watering $8 billion.
Coinbase has been the go-to cryptocurrency exchange for many new users coming into the industry in the last year, because of its ease of use. Coinbase has been likened to “a 21st-century Wells Fargo for a new digital gold rush”.