Coinbase Custody: $1 Billion in Assets Under Management Just 12 Months After Launch

Brian Armstrong, CEO at Coinbase, one of the largest cryptoasset trading platforms, has revealed that Coinbase Custody now has approximately $1 billion in assets under management (AUM).

All Assets Are Regulated, Insured, Subjected To Internal Evaluations

On May 6th, 2019, Coinbase’s management revealed that Coinbase Custody has added more than 20 different cryptocurrencies to its platform (so far this year). In addition to providing support for a wide range of cryptos, Coinbase’s team aims to “offer a safe, regulated and insured storage platform for all the assets [its] clients request and that pass [its] internal evaluations.”

Launched on May 15th, 2018, Coinbase Custody has been adding an average of around “$150 million AUM a month” and 70 institutional clients have registered (so far) to use the exchange operator’s digital asset custodial solution. This, according to Armstrong, whose comments came during an on-stage discussion at Coindesk’s Consensus 2019 event, held on May 15th, 2019.

Armstrong mentioned that institutional investors are also looking for cryptocurrency services such as “staking and voting, [and] doing governance on-chain.” Expressing views that are similar to many other blockchain industry participants, Armstrong believes proof-of-stake (PoS)-based cryptocurrencies will be widely used as their adoption rate is “growing rapidly.”

While most institutional clients are primarily interested in Bitcoin-related investments, Armstrong said that investors are now also more open to investing in other digital assets.

First Custodian To Provide OTC Trading “Directly From Cold Storage”

During the first of this year, Coinbase Custody has been integrating new features and support and it also became “the first institutional-grade, qualified custodian” to provide staking services for cryptoassets held in cold storage (offline). Coinbase Custody is also one of the first platforms to offer over-the-counter (OTC) trading “directly from cold storage.”

Only Around 200 Institutions Are “All In” On Crypto “So Far”

According to Fred Wilson, a partner at Union Square Ventures: “The token funds and venture funds will make up the first two big institutional funds. For them [traditional institutions] to take their chips and go all in, I don’t see that in the next year or two.”

He also mentioned:

When people read in the Wall Street Journal that institutions are coming to crypto, they think Goldman is coming, but in reality, maybe 100 token funds in the US and 100 in Asia are all in so far.

Notably, Armstrong revealed that 60% of Coinbase’s “trading volume” now comes from institutions.

He added:

I would love to be in a world where people could self-custody … and still participate in exchanges, we’re talking to people at StarkWare about that.

Interestingly, Armstrong has also acknowledged that Coinbase is becoming increasingly centralized and that the exchange is “a victim of [its own] success.”

Blockchain Is Well-Positioned to Help the Unbanked, OKEx Executive Says

Lennix Lai, OKEx’s Financial Markets Director, has recently made two presentations in Davos, where the 50th World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting is taking place, to spread the word about blockchain technology.

In his two presentations – made at the Russia House 2020 and EmTech Investment Meeting 2020 events – Lai argued that even though there are highly developed countries throughout the world, over 2 billion people are still being excluded from the traditional financial services over the operational costs associated with setting up branches in underdeveloped areas.

Lai noted that “unbankedness” is one of the “biggest hurdles in human wellbeing” and a great opportunity for the blockchain and fintech sector to make a difference in the world by helping those left behind by the traditional financial sector get access to financial services that could boost their living standards. At Russia House 2020, Lai said:

Blockchain and cryptocurrencies appear to be a solution to the problem by providing a digital, decentralized financial system that can work mutually-beneficially with traditional markets to substantially lower the operational costs and serve the areas traditional banking cannot cover.

Lai added that OKEx is committed to “bringing a robust and trustable environment to cater to crypto users.” The cryptocurrency exchange, he added at the EmTech Investment Meeting 2020 talk, sees global regulators a start endorsing the space in the future, and the volatility of BTC dropping.

This would make the flagship cryptocurrency a favorable alternative asset for mainstream finance. He also mentioned the growing decentralized finance space, which “reflects that people are starting to brace a free, open, permission-less financial system.”

The options, futures and spot markets OKEx offers, Lai said, let cryptocurrency users manage the price fluctuations in the space, and 2020 will see the exchange continue its efforts on stablecoins, its OKEx wallet, and derivatives products.

He concluded his presentation at the EmTech Investment Meeting 2020 saying OKEx believes “blockchain can achieve an inclusive sustainable development as well as financial inclusion for all, banked and unbanked.”

Featured image via Unsplash.