Coinbase has revamped its policy for listing new cryptocurrencies, replacing an ad hoc process with one the startup hopes will rapidly expand the range of assets traded on its exchange.
Announced Tuesday, the new system allows almost anyone to submit a cryptocurrency through an online form for evaluation under the company’s digital asset framework. Those that meet the criteria may be listed, although not necessarily available right away to all Coinbase customers.
That’s because listings will be added on a jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction basis, rather than supporting all assets globally as Coinbase has done up until now. As a result, some coins won’t be available for Coinbase customers to trade in places where local regulations either expressly forbid them or are unclear about their legality. It’s not unlike Netflix streaming certain movies in one country but not another for copyright reasons.
Previously, there was no formal mechanism to request a listing, and some organizations would reportedly lobby Coinbase to support their assets. As such, the change represents a welcome mat of sorts to crypto development teams from a company whose mainstream popularity potentially offers unparalleled exposure.
“We’re now actively reaching out to asset developers with this,” Coinbase CTO Balaji Srinivasan told CoinDesk. Referring to the creators of the first two digital currencies the company listed, bitcoin and ethereum, he added:
“Satoshi and Vitalik [Buterin] were not Coinbase customers. But all future and current asset creators and developers are. So it’s like we’re becoming a two-sided marketplace.”
In this marketplace, Coinbase will charge an application fee and an additional fee to list approved assets. Srinivasan would not say how much they will be but said they wouldn’t be prohibitive.
Further, the application fee is only meant to deter spam, he said, and the listing fee will cover the cost of due diligence. “We do not want that to be a burden that deters people from listing new assets with us,” Srinivasan said.
In the meantime, Srinivasan confirmed Coinbase is still evaluating cryptocurrencies such as ada, lumens, and zcash, which may be rolled out globally or selectively depending on specific regulatory requirements.