Coinbase launches international crypto custody offering

Despite being known predominantly as a retail trading platform, Coinbase is looking to attract institutional investors with its new European cryptocurrency custody offering.

By Joe Parsons

Coinbase has launched a new Irish entity with the aim to expand its cryptocurrency custody service for European institutional investors.

Through its new regional base of operations in Dublin, Coinbase Custody will offer institutional-grade crypto asset storage to clients in Europe. It will also act as the hub for all staking activities performed on behalf of their clients.

The firm stated while Coinbase Custody has served European-based clients in the UK, Switzerland, Germany, Finland and the Netherlands since 2018, the new entity will allow them to offer these services in a localised way.

“Our international launch is aimed to meet the demands of institutional investors in Europe and beyond. Europe is our fastest growing geographic segment and our international launch is a direct result of client demand,” Coinbase stated.

The new European entity comes nearly two years after Coinbase launched the service in order to make digital assets more accessible to traditional institutional investors.

According to the firm, Coinbase Custody now holds over $7 billion in assets under custody, with over $1 billion from European clients.

Custody of digital assets is much more complex than traditional assets, requiring custodians to safekeep cryptographic private keys on behalf of clients.

Traditional providers, such as State Street and BNY Mellon, have both made very gradual moves into servicing crypto assets but have avoided launching a full-fledged custody offering.

In December, State Street launched a digital asset back-office reporting pilot in collaboration with crypto exchange and custodian Gemini Trust. Meanwhile, BNY Mellon had partnered with Bakkt, the digital currency exchange operated by Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) to set up private key storage.