Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit, October 2019.Vanity Fair
U.S.-based crypto exchange Coinbase has started its international expansion plan with the launch of its own derivatives exchange in Bermuda, the company said in a blog post on 2 May.
According to the announcement, Coinbase International Exchange (CIE) will allow institutional users outside the U.S. to bet on the price of crypto through perpetual futures — which accounted for nearly 75% of global crypto trade volume in 2022 — with up to five times leverage. The platform — which is not available to retail customers “at this time” — will initially provide trading for Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) perpetual futures that will be settled in the USDC stablecoin.
Coinbase’s international platform is established in Bermuda, where the company was able to acquire a license from the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA) in April 2023. Bermuda was chosen as the home of CIE due to its regulatory environment, which Coinbase says is “long known for a high level of rigor, transparency, compliance, and cooperation”.
Coinbase is not the only U.S.-based exchange to launch an international platform in recent days. Winklevoss-owned Gemini announced the launch of its own international crypto derivatives platform, called Gemini Foundation, earlier this week. The platform will initially provide trading for BTC perpetual contracts in 30 jurisdictions around the world.
Rumors of Coinbase’s international plans appeared just a few days before the company announced it had received a Wells notice — a letter warning a company of potential enforcement action — from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Last month, Coinbase filed a lawsuit against the SEC in order to receive a yes or no response to a rulemaking petition it filed with the regulator back in July 2022.