Coinbase, With 9K Institutions Already Enlisted, Launches ‘Prime’ Out of Beta

The prime brokerage offering could further cement the exchange as a leading force in institutional crypto adoption.

Sep 20, 2021 at 1:16 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 23, 2021 at 2:27 a.m. UTC

Coinbase said Monday it’s opening its prime brokerage to all institutional investors.

The line of trading tools for professional investment firms already boasts a roster of 9,000 institutions, including hedge funds and family offices, according to data shared during Coinbase’s most recent earnings call.

Coinbase has long been assumed to be a bastion of retail crypto action but the launch of Prime should further cement the publicly traded exchange as a leading force in institutional crypto adoption. The company’s most recent shareholder letter said institutional trading accounted for 69% of Coinbase’s $462 billion in second-quarter trading volume.

In a blog post Monday, Greg Tusar, Coinbase’s vice president of institutional products, pointed to clients Meitu, MicroStrategy and One River as using the exchange’s “comprehensive platform to execute some of the largest trades in the industry.”

Tesla CEO Elon Musk, PNC Bank, SpaceX, Tesla, Third Point LLC and WisdomTree Investments were also singled out as clients in a shareholder letter last month.

Coinbase’s prime brokerage offering stems from the exchange’s acquisition of Tagomi in May 2020.

Here’s a hype video explaining how Prime works:

DISCLOSURE

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Zack Seward is CoinDesk's deputy global news editor. He holds BTC, ETH, UNI, ATOM and a couple NFTs above CoinDesk's disclosure threshold of $1,000.