Listing madness! Coinbase will add nearly 100 crypto assets to trading in 2021

Coinbase currently has 139 tradable assets. The exchange added a whopping 83 assets to its trading list in 2021, nearly double the assets it had amassed in the eight years since its inception.

Is this rapid expansion a simple cash grab or are these tokens and coins lesser known securities? Is that irresponsible or too ambitious? What does this rapid wealth expansion through Coinbase mean?

A money theft?

I have a feeling that the answer to the first question is a resounding “no”. Coinbase makes a lot of money on trading fees, but expanding its token list is not about the money. Coinbase started with a small booth at a conference “just trying to do something the customers wanted,” with the introduction of t-shirts and a hosted Bitcoin (BTC) wallet. Now Coinbase is the second largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world.

Listing madness!  Coinbase will add nearly 100 crypto assets to trading in 2021
Listing madness! Coinbase will add nearly 100 crypto assets to trading in 2021

It is common for an entrepreneur to build, succeed, sell and move on, but the Coinbase founder and CEO, Bryan Armstrong, he was responsible for this small booth eight years ago and is still at Coinbase today. The exchange remains true to its core values ​​(and those of Armstrong): economic freedom, property rights, a more efficient global exchange system, and in my opinion just building the things customers want.

In June of this year, Armstrong did released a series of tweets indicating Coinbase’s changed approach to determining the assets listed. In short, Coinbase has moved from a performance-based approach based on internal criteria to a pragmatic approach based on external effects. This new approach enables the market to decide which assets have the highest value as they should be. As a reminder: Do your own research, even if it is listed by Coinbase.


Coinbase recognizes and accepts its leadership role in promoting new regulation that will be beneficial to the new economy. The exchange seems genuinely aware of its leading role in the crypto space and is working hard to ensure compliance. Hence, it would make no sense for Coinbase to list a range of assets that could provoke regulators (in the United States, “unaccredited” investors cannot make initial investments in projects).

While the Securities and Exchange Commission treats stablecoins as securities, Coinbase’s listing parade continues almost weekly. It is very likely that assets that the SEC would consider securities will be added to Coinbase trading pairs. The barriers currently in place in the name of “investor protection” could finally disappear. Coinbase’s aggressive listing activity parallels economic freedom, strong property rights, and the core values ​​it supports, and may even suggest that undisclosed policies are being discussed privately.

Melissa Strait, Coinbase’s Chief Compliance Officer, noted:

“We have always believed that compliance should not be a minor matter, but must be fundamental to our way of working so that crypto currencies achieve the legitimacy required for broad acceptance.”

He added, “We firmly believe that we need to have a constructive relationship with the regulators and agencies charged with overseeing the crypto ecosystem in order for cryptocurrency to find widespread adoption.”

Almost all of the assets listed this year are ERC-20 tokens on the Ethereum network. Why? Because they would be considered “sufficiently decentralized”. This phrase comes from a speech given by William Hinman (former director of the SEC’s Division of Corporate Finance) in June 2018. As long as an asset is as decentralized as Etherum on the day of this speech, it is informally and for the time being not considered a security. Thank you, Hinman!

Irresponsible or too ambitious?

If I noticed one thing while researching this topic, it is that Coinbase is very organized and process-based. I think it should be obvious considering its success. The Coinbase team knows the legal circumstances under which the exchange operates and has put decision-making systems in place to keep up with this fast-paced industry.. Armstrong himself said he wanted to add a billion customers. That is ambitious! Too much of? Not if you believe in a free and open financial system that is beyond the control of a central actor.

Coinbase claims to be “agnostic” on the token list. This means that Coinbase does not judge the listed projects, but rather rewards builders who tick all boxes in the listing criteria. It’s interesting to see how many projects are pouring into the Coinbase platform. In the end A Coinbase listing is like jumping into the big leagues.

What now?

Coinbase listed 16 DeFi projects in 2021. Unsurprisingly, decentralized funding comes first. First-layer projects took second place with 12, again no real surprise as everyone wants to be the next Ethereum. In third place were eight decentralized exchange tokens, in fourth place stablecoins and NFT games with seven projects each. In fifth place were Ethereum projects of the second tier.

Coinbase really stepped on the gas this year. It can mean a number of things depending on who you ask. For me this is a very optimistic sign for the industry in general. Coinbase gives its customers what they want: more options and more ways to find this undervalued gem. It is up to each individual to conduct their own due diligence. What some would call the “easiest to use” platform now offers access to a decent amount of assets. Having freedom of choice is a responsibility; Choose wisely or the SEC may have a need to vote for you.

This article does not provide investment advice or recommendation. Every step of trading and investing involves risk, and readers should do their own research when making a decision.

The viewpoints, thoughts, and opinions expressed herein belong solely to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Stephen J. Mesa is the unofficial “ambassador” for Cointelegraph Markets Pro. He is the commercial lawn and recreational sales director for John Deere Equipment, with 16 years experience as a real estate analyst and 10 years designing and installing custom car audio and alarm systems.

Similar Posts