Coinbase to Axe High Net Worth Index Fund, Launch Small Retail ‘Bundle’

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”.


 

PayPal Reveals Cryptocurrency Development in Letter to European Commission

Michael LaVere
  • Payments giant Paypal has revealed it is working on developing cryptocurrency capabilities.
  • The company's letter to the European Commission supports crypto industry regulation and the creation of transparency. 

Payments giant PayPal has revealed its intention to develop cryptocurrency-related “capabilities” following the announcement of Facebook’s Libra in June 2019. 

In a letter to the European Commission in March, PayPal said it was “assessing” the need for a European framework for cryptoassets that would support the integration of payments and financial services.  

PayPal said the crypto-asset industry had experienced substantial growth over the past few years and generated discussion about the impact of decentralization on central bank digital currencies.

The letter reads:

As such, PayPal is continuously monitoring and evaluating global developments in the crypto and blockchain/distributed ledger space. Of particular interest for us is how these technologies and crypto-assets can be utilized to achieve greater financial inclusion and help reduce/eliminate some of the pain points that exist today in financial services.”

The letter continues, claiming that PayPal has an interest in how cryptocurrency technology can be used to promote transparency and compliance efforts and would be supportive of the European Commission’s attempts to regulate the industry. 

PayPal revealed that it had taken “unilateral and tangible steps to further develop its capabilities” in the area of cryptocurrency since signing a letter of intent to participate in the Libra Association established in June 2019. 

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