CEO Brian Armstrong Flags Self-Custody, DeFi Access as Coinbase Priorities

He said the exchange will be adding assets more quickly and creating a crypto app store, among other steps.

Jun 29, 2021 at 9:42 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 1:18 p.m. UTC

Decentralized finance (DeFi) is “the future of where the industry is going,” according to Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong. In a Tuesday blog post he delineated how his cryptocurrency exchange will serve the growing demand for DeFi products and services.

“We’re seeing crypto quickly mature … to the trading of thousands of new assets, and the adoption of new use cases" including DeFi, non-fungible tokens (NFT), smart contracts, decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and more, Armstrong wrote.

Just as Coinbase has “helped people access bitcoin for the first time … we need to do the same for the decentralized cryptoeconomy," he said.

Armstrong wrote that Coinbase expects to add assets to the platform more quickly, broaden its geographic focus to ship products “that work globally” and construct a crypto app store, akin to Apple's.

In the more immediate future, Armstrong wrote, Coinbase would cut the length of its legal review to evaluate asset issuers from 70 to 12 questions and create a more efficient compliance and security review process. Coinbase will also construct what he termed “an experimental zone for new assets” ensuring the company can provide a fuller picture of their risks for customers, and take steps so that users can access “most assets for basic wallet functionality.”

Armstrong promised to send more products to new international markets, while still working with regulators “in more established markets,” and that “any app built on decentralized crypto rails will be accessible to users of the Coinbase app.”

He added that customers would have “the option to do self-custody of their crypto in the main Coinbase app.”

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