Along with the unprecedented run-up of the crypto markets last year, Coinbase’s rise to fame has been at a similar lightning fast speed as the crypto exchange witnessed over 13 million registrations during the same time period. As the result, the crypto exchange recently has been seen some aggressive expansions plans in Europe. Apart from this, the crypto exchange recently ventured into the asset management space by announcing a new Crypto Index Fund.
Yesterday on April 6, the company announced the launch of a new incubator fund for early startups called the Coinbase Ventures. In its official blogpost, the company said: “We’ll be providing financing to promising early-stage companies that have the teams and ideas that can move the space forward in a positive, meaningful way.”
While talking to CNBC about the plans of Coinbase Ventures, Coinbase President and Chief Operating Officer Asiff Hirji said: “We’re going to invest off our balance sheet into crypto companies. We will invest in companies that are in the space and are aligned with our values.”
The CEO further disclosed that the fund has already got a head-start of $15 million and is on its way to grow. The seed-stage investments in the Coinbase Venture fund will begin this week and more importantly, it will help companies in the blockchain and crypto space to get the initial thrust to begin. Coinbase said in order to this it is possible that it might even invest in its competitors.
The official blog post mentions the company saying: “You may also see us invest in companies that ostensibly look competitive with Coinbase. We’re taking a long-term view of the space, and we believe that multiple approaches are healthy and good.”
Harji clearly mentioned that the company has an emphasis on finding founders and not just any other money-making cryptocurrency. Harji said: “By giving them access to capital we hope that they will grow great businesses. It’s not about investing in the token, it’s not about trying to line up tokens that we would put on our exchange.”
While talking about adding new digital currencies to the company’s GDAX exchange, Harji said that the company is not considering this at the moment till the time more clarity on crypto regulations arrive. However, he said that when it comes to select any new digital currency, Coinbase ventures will not give special priority to the companies they invest in. “We are not investing in currencies because we do not want even the appearance of a conflict of interest.”
Making another important announcement yesterday, the crypto exchange will not support the withdrawal of Bitcoin forks( for example Bitcoin Atom). This means that holders of certain coins will get free access to some of the newly created coins.
In a separate blog post, the company said: “This change will allow customers to more easily withdraw assets associated with Bitcoin Forks across all Coinbase products. We are not announcing support for any specific assets at this time. As always, we look at technical, operational, and legal considerations when deciding which Bitcoin Fork assets to support and will always state on our website which particular assets are supported.”