U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase opened its over-the-counter (OTC) crypto trading desk earlier this month.
In an interview with news source Cheddar on Tuesday, Coinbase head of sales Christine Sandler said that the firm launched the OTC desk as a complement to its exchange business because institutions are using OTC as an "on-ramp for crypto trading”
In an OTC transaction, a trade takes place between two parties directly, unlike on an exchange where orders are matched between third-party buyers and sellers.
“We felt this was a huge benefit to our clients to actually leverage both our exchange and our OTC business,” Sandler said.
Currently, the OTC service is available for Coinbase Prime customers – that is, financial institutions looking to trade with business funds.
Going forward, Sandler said, the service is likely to be integrated with Coinbase Custody, its institutional product available for hedge funds and other high-net-worth clients, that was launched in July.
Coinbase first revealed its plan to offer an OTC trading desk in June, when Asiff Hirji, its chief operating officer and president said that acquiring regulatory licenses would help the firm take a “path to offer future services that include crypto securities trading, margin and over-the-counter (OTC) trading, and new market data products.”
The exchange received approval from the New York State Department of Financial Services to form a qualified custodial firm for cryptocurrencies in late October.
With the launch, Coinbase joins other notable crypto firms in offering OTC services. Goldman Sachs-backed crypto finance firm Circle also has an OTC desk called Circle Trade, available for both individual and institutional investors with a minimum ticket size of $250,00.
And, back in April, U.S. cryptocurrency exchange Gemini, founded by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, unveiled block trading in bitcoin and ether, which allows customers to make high-volume trades that won’t appear in the exchange’s order book until they’ve been filled.
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