Bitcoin-wallet provider Coinbase today announced the launch of what it describes as the first regulated bitcoin exchange based in the U.S. Coinbase Exchange provides a “reliable and secure” platform for bitcoin trading that’s backed by investors, including the New York Stock Exchange. Coinbase, which has raised more than $106 million in capital, has licenses to operate the exchange in 23 states, including New York and California, and Puerto Rico.
“With this launch our goal is to bring increased stability to the bitcoin ecosystem,” the company wrote in a blog. The price of bitcoin has been volatile over the past several months and is nowhere near its peak of more than $1,000 in 2013. Trading on Coinbase at press time was up to $268.19. The currency opened trading this morning at $254.51, according to CoinDesk. To promote the exchange, Coinbase won’t be charging trading fees until March 31.
Coinbase may be the first, but competition isn’t far behind. Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss—known for their suit against Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg—also have announced a New York-based exchange called Gemini. Winklevoss Capital, which is based in New York, is awaiting final regulatory approval for the business. The twins also announced a banking relationship with a New York State-chartered bank, which they wrote, “means that your money will never leave the country. It also means that U.S. dollars on Gemini will be eligible for FDIC insurance . . . Your U.S. dollars on Gemini will be as safe and secure as they are in your bank account today.”
See related stories:
- Big Fish Partners With Coinbase to Offer Bitcoin Payments for Games and In-App Purchases
- Money20/20 Keynote: Lawsky Floats ‘Transitional’ BitLicense for Startups
- The Biggest Payments Stories of 2014: Bitcoin