Coinbase has announced the launch of Coinbase Pro, the rebranded version of GDAX, which the San Francisco-based exchange describes as easier to use and more intuitive. The announcement was made in a blog post and was later confirmed by the company’s president and COO, Asiff Hirji, in an interview with CNBC. David Farmer, the new general manager of Coinbase Pro, described the move as just one component of the exchange’s larger commitment to the growth of the crypto industry. In a different blog post, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong announced that the company had acquired Paradex, a decentralized relay platform that will allow Coinbase users to trade hundreds of tokens directly from their wallets.
TARGETING THE ACTIVE CRYPTO TRADER
GDAX users will gradually be transitioned to Coinbase Pro, with all their balances and transactions available on the new platform. The platform, which Coinbase describes as intuitive, promises a simplified deposit and withdrawal process as well as improved charts which will make it easier for users to access historical data. It will also feature a new portfolio view called My Wallets that will allow users to see an overview of their accounts and balances.
Coinbase Pro will operate alongside GDAX to give users time to adjust, with user activity mirrored on both platforms. The adjustment period will last until June 29, after which point GDAX customers will be rolled over to Coinbase Pro. The new platform will incorporate all the services that were offered by GDAX, including security, APIs, and trading fees.
Coinbase Pro will also integrate the Paradex relay platform, which will greatly increase the types of digital assets that users can trade. Armstrong termed the acquisition as a reinforcement to “Coinbase’s commitment to investing in decentralized infrastructure and participating in the nascent world of wallet-to-wallet trading.” Initially, the service will only be available to international customers. For US customers, the service will be offered as a bulletin board, as is common in the equities market, according to Hirji. This is to ensure that the service remains compliant with US regulations, but as time progresses, the full service will be made available. The Paradex app will be temporarily unavailable as the company works to integrate its services with Coinbase.
The Coinbase president was categorical that Paradex will not offer its exchange services in the US, as the regulatory frameworks for exchanges and bulletin boards are quite different.
It’s not a decentralized exchange; it’s not an exchange in that sense. It is a bulletin board. I’m being pedantic about it because the US regulators view exchanges one way and bulletin boards another way. And if it’s a bulletin board, you can actually offer a much broader suite of products there to trade. And so our hope would be that most of the tokens that are already trading on Paradex, we will be able to offer in the US in a compliant manner.
Hirji also disclosed that there has been a significant decrease in trading volume on Coinbase, mirroring the declining values of cryptos. However, the rate of new accounts being opened on the exchange has not changed. Coinbase would be happy to list more assets but has to await regulatory clarity on whether some assets are classified as commodity or securities, he further stated. However, he is confident that the probability of regulators deciding to classify digital currencies as securities is extremely low, but its implications would be far-reaching.
I really do believe that the amount of dislocation that would cause, not just to us but to the entire crypto space, is going to be enormous. It would force a lot of projects and people to move offshore. And like I said, it’s a bit like 5G: it is going to happen, and the choice in front of our regulators is, do they want to shape how it happens or are they going to let others decide how it’s going to evolve?