Coinbase to embrace self-custody, DeFi integration and international approach as next steps

CEO Brian Armstrong outlines the future of Coinbase and their approach to decentralisation and DeFi services in crypto

Coinbase has unveiled their plans for a decentralised app store, self-custody options and a strategy to bring more assets to Coinbase faster in a blog post by CEO Brian Armstrong.

The post expands on how the exchange will offer more decentralised services to customers, the opportunities for Coinbase and their next steps towards a “great crypto 2.0 company.”

“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, decentralised autonomous organizations (DAOs) and more,” Armstrong wrote.

Their first area of focus is bringing more assets to Coinbase by “simplifying inputs onto our legal review from 70 questions to 12 questions” and “optimizing our Compliance and Security reviews.” Coinbase will also develop “an experimental zone” for new assets that will disclose the risks to the customer and help them make more educated decisions. Finally, Coinbase is looking to take steps so users can access “most assets for basic wallet functionality.”

This comes after Armstrong tweeted a thread about how Coinbase lists assets and their goal to list every “asset where it is legal to do so”.

Armstrong further expanded on the company’s global approach to crypto by launching “products that work globally”, to increase the “number of people who have access to our products and further our mission of increasing economic freedom in the world”.

He also outlined an International-first mindset, where Coinbase will continue to work with regulators in established markets like the US, UK and EU whilst launching more international products.

The app store is seemingly inspired by Apple and its approach to empowerment through greater access to external apps. The post suggests that the store will be accessible to users of the Coinbase app, with the customer’s wallet and identity integrated into the apps. Part of this change will be embracing new wallet technologies. The opportunity for self-custody of customer assets in the Coinbase app is also mentioned. No launch date for the app store is disclosed.

“We’ll work to give our users easy access to all of this from the main Coinbase product.” Said Armstrong.

Their approach to a decentralised future follows the general trend of CEX’s and their gradual transition to offering DeFi services such as lending and borrowing and savings products. The surge in demand in DeFi services has prompted many exchanges to offer staking and lending services for customers, all offering higher yields than traditional financial products offered through legacy banking.

Coinbase recently outlined a novel savings product that enables US customers to earn 4% APY on the Stablecoin USDC. The Stablecoin is backed by the Centre Consortium, which was formed by Coinbase and Circle. USDC currently serves four blockchains, with plans for expansion for another 8-10 blockchains in the pipeline for the asset.

The savings product is seemingly aimed at retail investors, as it is being offered through the Coinbase platform. A “principal guarantee” is also offered for customers as the asset is held in a Coinbase account. The account offers customers a yield of “more than 50x the national average of a traditional savings account.”

Coinbase also recently partnered with United States-based retirement plan provider ForUsAll to allow clients to invest up to 5% of their portfolio assets in cryptocurrencies. The plan provides exposure to more than 50 cryptocurrencies in a product called Alt 401(k).

The recent developments in Coinbases overall market offering also coincided with a 3% increase in the price of their Nasdaq-listed asset COIN and a crypto market reversal following recent pullbacks.

COIN has suffered recently following their opening listing price of $429, hitting recent lows of around $210. Despite this, Coinbase has retained its superiority over the U.S. market and remains the leading cryptocurrency exchange available in the U.S.

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author should not be considered as financial advice. We do not give advice on financial products.

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