$1.6 billion cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is reportedly in talks to become a licensed brokerage firm

Business Insider | 4/6/2018 | Becky Peterson
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Coinbase, a $1.6 billion cryptocurrency exchange, has approached regulators about registering as a licensed brokerage, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Registering with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) would allow Coinbase to exchange those cryptocurrencies that the feds determine to be securities.

Cryptocurrency - Space - Anti-regulation - SEC

Though the cryptocurrency space has historically been anti-regulation, the SEC is clamping down.

Coinbase, the $1.6 billion cryptocurrency exchange, has approached the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) about registering as a licensed brokerage firm and electronic-trading venue, sources told The Wall Street Journal.

SEC - Coinbase - Cryptocurrencies - Platform - Coins

Registering with the SEC would let Coinbase expand the cryptocurrencies traded on its platform to include those coins that the SEC identifies as securities — while putting pressure on its competitors to follow suit, according to The Journal.

Coinbase declined to comment for this story.

SEC - Tokens - Securities - Guidelines - Commission

The SEC hasn't decided yet which digital tokens are considered securities. Until it comes out with more specific guidelines, the commission has recommended that would-be investors follow the Howey Test, created by the Supreme Court in 1946 to determine whether an unconventional financial vehicle requires the same regulation as familiar investments like stocks and bonds.

It's widely believed by people in the space that most cryptocurrencies will be regulated as securities, though many coin creators work hard to establish that their coins are not treated as such. That kind of regulation could mean a lot of red tape for buyers and sellers alike, potentially dampening demand.

Part - World - Cryptocurrency - Hostile - Regulators

For its part, the world of cryptocurrency has been skeptical, if not outright hostile, toward financial regulators. But Coinbase wants to be the Google of cryptocurrencies, and has its eye on expanding its exchange beyond the four coins currently listed — bitcoin, ethereum, litcoin and bitcoin cash.

Though not the largest...
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