Coinbase is going after big hedge fund money with its new cryptocurrency security platform

  • Coinbase, the US cryptocurrency exchange, is wooing big hedge fund money with a new security platform.
  • Coinbase Custody was built to meet the security needs of institutional investors like hedge funds and family offices, according to a Medium post by Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong.

The impressive appreciation of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and Ethereum has finally piqued the interest of big money, but some still have their reservations about whether their crypto-investments will be secure.

Who can blame them? Just last week, an unidentified user accidentally deleted the code library required to use recently created digital wallets within Parity, a popular digital-wallet provider, and cryptocurrencies have long been associated with the chasms of the deep, dark web.

On Thursday, Coinbase, the San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange, announced a new platform that might quell the anxieties of big money investors looking to invest in crypto. The platform, called Coinbase Custody, was built specifically to meet the needs of such investors, including hedge funds and family offices, according to a Medium post by Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong.

“We are designing Coinbase Custody to meet the needs of institutional clients,” Armstrong said in a Medium post highlighting the news.

Some of the heightened security features, according to Armstrong include:

  • “Dedicated account representatives and phone support.”
  • “Multi-user accounts with separate permissions.”
  • “Insurance (in some cases).”

The service will charge users a $US100,000 startup fee. Armstrong said there will also be a monthly fee based on assets.

Coinbase, a unicorn company valued at more than $US1 billion, is among the most visible cryptocurrency companies operating in the US. They store $US9 billion worth of digital currencies and are backed by financial institutions such as the Intercontinental Exchange, which owns the New York Stock Exchange and Westpac.

According to Maxime Boonen, a former interest rate swaps trader at Goldman Sachs who founded B2C2, a bitcoin trading firm, over-the-counter bitcoin trade sizes have increased this year as interest from institutional clients has buoyed. As such, larger million-dollar trades are more common at B2C2 than they were when the company was founded, according to Boonen.

At the same time, cryptocurrency hedge funds have been opening up at an eye-popping rate, according to Autonomous NEXT, the fintech analytics firm. At last count, the firm said 126 cryptofunds have opened, managing approximately $US2.3 billion.

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