Coinbase, best-known for being one of the largest crypto exchanges for retail customers, continued its expansion into the professional space with the introduction Tuesday of a Web3 wallet designed to help institutions get into NFTs and other corners of decentralized finance, or DeFi.
Its Coinbase Prime division’s new wallet lets pros access crypto, NFTs, decentralized apps (dapps) and DeFi more broadly, all part of a push to help institutions interact with on-chain applications.
“More and more, we're seeing corporations who want to participate on-chain in some way, whether that's by doing an NFT drop, or, in some cases, even voting in DAOs,” Kevin Johnson, vice president of institutional sales and trading at Coinbase, said Tuesday on CoinDesk TV. “But they need a safe way to do that.”
The wallet enables clients to securely store tokens from supported networks, gain instant access to funds that they self-custody and interact directly with dapps and smart contracts, according to the announcement.
“But it goes beyond what normal wallets do because it actually integrates with the safety and security of their existing Prime account,” Johnson said.
“They're very concerned about not only the safety and security of their assets, but ensuring that they have the proper controls over who can access and who can make decisions with those assets,” he added. “So, we've seen that demand from clients and we knew that this was critical in order to bring them on-chain, and now they have that product.”
If accounts have a multi-user setup with different types of permissions and configurations, all of those can be applied to the wallet to ensure that that safety applies to their direct on-chain transactions as well, Johnson said.
The new product mirrors many of the features that Coinbase’s retail wallet has, but adds functions that are specifically required by institutions that require multiple team members to access the wallet.
“We're just giving the institutions the features that they require to participate in on-chain applications,” Johnson said.
CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.