By CCN.com: Coinbase, one of the biggest crypto exchanges in the global market reportedly valued at $8 billion, has launched crypto-to-crypto trading in 53 countries including India, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Australia, stepping into the territory of Binance.
Excited to continue expanding crypto-to-crypto trading around the globe 🌏 https://t.co/EeUh8lbbs4
— Brian Armstrong (@brian_armstrong) April 18, 2019
The announcement comes after Coinbase’s continuous listing of new digital assets throughout the past several months amidst a 16-month bear market that resulted in an 80 percent drop in the valuation of the cryptocurrency market.
Direct Crypto Trading is the New Norm, Says Coinbase
In its official statement, Coinbase said that direct crypto-to-crypto trading has become the new norm, surpassing crypto-to-fiat trades in the past 12 months.
In the early days of crypto, the overwhelming majority of investors used fiat currencies like the U.S. dollar to acquire bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
As the adoption of cryptocurrencies increased, over time, the number of cryptocurrency holders surged, reducing the demand for fiat-to-cryptocurrency trading services.
“Direct trading between cryptos is increasingly the new norm and in the last year has overtaken traditional fiat to crypto trading across the globe. Millions of Coinbase customers can now securely and quickly trade between different cryptos and send crypto off-platform at their convenience,” the statement read.
Ever since its launch in 2017, Binance, the most widely utilized cryptocurrency exchange in the global market, has set its focus on direct trading of cryptocurrencies, expanding across many regions.
Although Binance has launched fiat trading in several countries in the likes of Uganda, Jersey, and Australia through thousands of storefronts, the core business model of Binance revolves around its cryptocurrency-to-cryptocurrency trading platform used by more than ten million users.
In July 2018, in an interview with Bloomberg, Binance co-founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao said that Binance was recording about $1.5 billion in daily turnover from 10 million users.
Since most of the revenues generated by Binance likely stem from its crypto-to-crypto trading platform, Coinbase and Binance were mostly serving different groups of investors and users.
However, the recent expansion of Coinbase to offer direct cryptocurrency trading will see Coinbase and Binance, two of the most dominant exchanges in the market, go head-to-head in the same market.
Sign of a New Phase in Crypto
According to the Coinbase team, as the cryptocurrency market moves to a new phase in which many investors already hold cryptocurrencies and a wide range of new opportunities arise, a new decentralized economy is likely to emerge.
“As crypto moves from the current ‘investment phase’ into what we call the ‘utility phase,’ a host of new use cases will present themselves. This could take the form of decentralized versions of traditional financial services like lending or micropayments or truly novel crypto applications that no one has even thought of yet. The ability to convert from one crypto to another will form the backbone of this new decentralized economy,” the Coinbase team said.
The recent listing of tokens such as Augur (REP), 0x (ZRX), Basic Attention Token (BAT), and others indicate the intent of the Coinbase team to prepare for the arrival of a new phase in the cryptocurrency market.
Its main competitor, Binance, has made progress with Binance Chain, a blockchain protocol designed to support decentralized exchanges (DEX), and Binance already enabled some of its users to experiment with its DEX in March.
Both firms seem to envision a significant increase in the rate in which cryptocurrencies are adopted throughout the medium to long-term, which may lead investors to also rethink about the direction the cryptocurrency industry is headed.