Coinbase to Add Block Trading, Open Chicago Offices

The exchange platform is rapidly expanding its offering of services.

Coinbase has developed some plans to launch an office in Chicago and to launch block trading in the near future, a move that the company hopes will attract more institutional clients. The report was made by Business Insider, citing a source familiar with the situation; Coinbase has not made any official announcements on either of these matters.

The new service will presumably be launched on GDAX, the trading platform’s more “professional” exchange.

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Block trading is a feature that will allow traders to place large trading orders outside of the exchange’s usual order book. This feature is difficult for institutional traders to find within the crypto industry for a couple of reasons: first, a lack of liquidity, and second, the fact that large traders can cause substantial swings in coin valuation.

Block trading alleviates these issues by circulating orders to market makers outside of the exchange’s main order book and publishing transactions on a delayed cycle.

Coinbase’s Rapid Expansion

This is only the latest in a series of new offerings made by Coinbase this year. The company has also recently launched Coinbase Custody (a crypto storage service for firms wishing to store $10 million or more), a Coinbase Index Fund, and an Asset Management service.

The company has also added a growing number of new C-level executives since the beginning of the year.

The decision to open offices in Chicago could also be a signal that the company is taking an institutional turn due to the city’s status as a hub for professional trading firms. CCN reported that Coinbase might be looking to recruit some of that Windy City talent.

The practice of block trading seems to be becoming more common within the cryptocurrency space as the blockchain industry takes an increasingly corporate turn. On April 9th, the Winklevoss twins announced that their exchange, Gemini, would begin offering block trading for Bitcoin and Ethereum by mid-month.

Additionally, Circle’s crypto trading platform (which is backed by Goldman Sachs) announced last month that its minimum order for Bitcoin trades would be doubling to $500,000.

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