“Our customers want new assets”, says Coinbase’s Adam White

During an interview with CNBC Fast Money, Adam White, the VP and General Manager of Coinbase, one of the leading cryptocurrency exchange platform speaks about why the platform is adding new coins.

Adam said that Coinbase has a long-term vision for the crypto-space and that they are focused on building the exchange, the wallet, the custodian which allows capital to move into this space. He further adds that the volumes today is lower when compared to January.

The General Institutional Manager explained that the main reason why Coinbase is adding new assets is that the customers want it. Further, he explained that the exchange platform is building a product preferred by the customers, whether they are retail customers or some of the largest institutional investors in the space. The platform currently has more than 20 million retail investors.

Adam said:

“They [customers] say we love the fact that we can trade on a compliant, safe, trusted platform like Coinbase. Give us exposure to more assets and the Friday’s announcemnt is an intention that we’re working towards that.”

Later on, Adam was asked whether adding assets is a sign that Coinbase is bullish on those coins because index fund is going to carry every single coin that is going to be traded in the platform. To which, he replied that its ‘certainly not bullish’ but is an absolute indication that the asset is passed their digital asset trademark. According to him, the digital asset trademark is one of the industries best practice.

Coinbase has built a 60 point digital asset frame as one of the objectives which are later on shared with everyone. This is in order to share information transparently and help guide the industry towards what they think are best practices for creating assets.

White stated:

“So anyone can look and say why did Coinbase decide to add Bitcoin [BTC] or Litecoin [LTC] or Ether [ETH]”

Furthermore, he was questioned about the nature of interest from institutional investors, more specifically about the kind of fund flows and ramps. Adam stated that it is unprecedented and cryptocurrency is driven by retail investors and not institutions. Institutional conversion became more profound throughout 2017 to a point where Coinbase had to set up a base in New York and they launched Sweden institutional products.

The reason behind the release of Coinbase custody a few weeks ago was because of the institutional growth. The platform is in the process of on-boarding their third tranche of their initial institutional investors.

According to them, institutions want absolute regulatory structure. For this, Adam announced that they have acquired a series of broker-dealer licenses. They have acquired a broker-dealer ETS and RIA. These licenses will allow the platform to operate effectively as a regulated compliant exchange, a regulated compliant custodian, and asset manager which are all important for institutions.

In addition, Adam said that Coinbase is working on the three most important factors users look for which is transparency, liquidity, and compliance. He announced that there are a couple of big upcoming announcements which will help them in that path.

When asked about the differentiating discrete tokens with varied use cases with respect to trading, Adam spoke about the concept of crypto-economics. He said that they have seen a lot of interesting theses, placeholders capital introduced and white papers coming out from universities like Standford.

The answer is not that people are valuing assets differently, whether they are crypto-hedge funds or the retail investor. The core metrics that most people look at is what are the daily transactions, how much volume is moving through and how many people are building on top of it. According to him, the most important is if these open protocols facilitate a kind of value creation in a movement.

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