Yesterday’s announcement that our portfolio company Coinbase is launching a suite of institutional products for the crypto market made me step back and think about the evolution of their institutional business.
Coinbase started out as a place for individuals to buy, sell, and hold Bitcoin. They launched that in 2012.
In 2015, Coinbase added the GDAX exchange where institutions, other exchanges, and large traders could trade Bitcoin.
By the middle of last year, it became clear that many big institutions were entering the market and needed a lot more. And so Coinbase went back to the drawing board and developed a plan for a comprehensive suite of institutional products. And that is what they announced yesterday:
- Coinbase Custody
- Coinbase Markets
- Coinbase Prime
- Coinbase Institutional Coverage Group
What started out as a simple web and mobile app for buying, selling, and holding Bitcoin has evolved into a full-fledged financial services company, serving both the consumer and institutional market.
Say what you will about crypto, it has become an important asset class and the market is maturing before our eyes.
I have had the opportunity to watch a bunch of markets go through this cycle over the course of my career and it always gives me chills to watch it happen.