Cryptocurrency exchange, Coinbase, headquartered in San Francisco, has recently announced to spread its services to 50 new countries. Now, by expanding operations to about 85 countries, Coinbase allows people to freely trade USD coin (USDC) while using Coinbase wallet. Aiming to support crypto trade globally, Coinbase and Coinbase Pro users are provided with a trusted trading platform and a popular stablecoin, USDC, to enjoy and avail benefits over cash trades.
Coinbase was founded by Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam in 2012. The co-founder of blockchain.info, Ben Reeves, also participated in founding Coinbase with Armstrong and Ehrsam but, later, due to unsettling arguments about Coinbase wallet operations with Armstrong, his stay was short-lived. Growing since its inception with several funding rounds and millions of dollars worth investments, Coinbase managed to acquired 1 million users in 2014. Ever since then, Coinbase has witnessed expansion and popularity. Now, Coinbase is a widely-known cryptocurrency exchange among crypto enthusiasts and traders.
Recently, Coinbase announced its expansion plans and stated advantages of stablecoins like USDC over cash. Unlike any fiat, USDC is stored in a secured and protected wallet. Moreover, opposed to traditional payment transactions, USDC can be transferred instantly around the globe. Apart from that, the digital currency is also used in DApps (decentralized applications).
Coinbase has favored particularly USDC out of all other cryptocurrencies because USDC, pegged to USD at 1:1, is audited on a monthly basis. According to Coinbase, the results show that USDC is 100% backed with USD reserves. Almost 300 million USD coins are claimed to be in circulation. While trusting USDC to innovate the financial system, Coinbase explained the potential of stablecoins:
Stablecoins are beneficial to anyone who trades crypto, but also have the potential to materially improve the lives of people in countries where inflation is eroding wealth.
By reaching territories such as Argentina and Uzbekistan, with the help of stablecoin like USDC, Coinbase wants to achieve a bigger goal rather than just offering money transfer services. While predicting inflation to surge in the aforementioned countries by 2020, Coinbase aims to tackle inflation by introducing stablecoins to the public. Consumer prices are expected to inflate 10-20% in the upcoming year, so for many countries the threat of economic breakdown is on the rise.
Coinbase also mentioned its previous efforts to fulfill its vision of substituting traditional payment rails. Financing of the project Airtm was cited to explain how Coinbase was contributing to improve economies. In the past, Coinbase Ventures participated in Airtm’s funding round. The collaboration between Coinbase and Airtm is considered to have come out of complete passion, intended to improve the economic situation in countries such as Venezuela where the economy has crashed drastically and national fiat has lost its value entirely.
Coinbase deployed a peer-to - peer system in Venezuela and later tested it over there. Furthermore, it was clarified that the system tested and validated in Venezuela is expected to work in other countries as well because they were facing less intense economic breakdowns than Venezuela. Hence, success in those countries can be readily anticipated once the system works efficiently in Venezuela.
According to Coinbase, today’s initiative marks substantial significance for the exchange as well as for the crypto adoption. A year ago, only 32 countries were served by the exchange but with the induction of 50 new countries, overall, 103 countries are now aided by the cryptocurrency exchange. Countries covered in the recent stretch include:
“Angola, Armenia, Aruba, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Benin, Bermuda, Botswana, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Brunei, Cameroon, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Curaçao, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Macau, Maldives, Mauritius, Mongolia, Montenegro, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Oman, Panama, Paraguay, Rwanda, Serbia, South Africa, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Zambia.”
At the Consensus 2019 event, CEO Coinbase, Brian Armstrong, revealed efforts of Coinbase Custody in capitalizing institutional investors. According to him, accumulating $1 billion in assets under management (AUM) within a year is quite a success and a win for blockchain and crypto space. Although Coinbase has announced to enforce various actions for promoting cryptocurrencies and supporting mass adoption, the exchange has no lawful impact on mass adoption. It will be of great interest to see if Coinbase, without interference or disturbance from regulatory bodies, can help cryptocurrencies for mainstream adoption.