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Coinbase granted license to operate in Bermuda, may launch derivatives exchange next week

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(Kitco News) - Following recent comments from Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong that the largest U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange may consider relocating if the regulatory environment in the country doesn’t improve, the exchange announced on Wednesday that it has obtained a license to offer its services in Bermuda.

The new operational jurisdiction comes as part of an 8-week international expansion drive – dubbed “Go Broad, Go Deep” – launched on March 8. The goal of the strategy is to roll out a number of new initiatives in countries across six continents: South America, Europe, Africa/Middle East, Asia, Australia, and North America.

According to the latest announcement, “Coinbase Bermuda Ltd. has obtained a Class F License under the Digital Asset Business Act from the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA).”

The Class F license will enable Coinbase to conduct a range of activities, including the issuance, sale, and redemption of digital assets. It also allows the platform to operate as both a digital asset exchange and a digital asset derivatives exchange provider.

A Wednesday report from Fortune Crypto indicates that the company is planning to launch a derivatives exchange in Bermuda as soon as next week, according to “a person close to the company.”

Coinbase selected Bermuda as one of its international hubs due to the region's openness to the crypto industry.

“Bermuda was one of the first financial centers to pass comprehensive digital assets regulation in 2018, and its regulatory environment is long known for a high level of rigor, transparency, compliance, and cooperation,” Coinbase wrote. “Bermuda was chosen as one of our international hubs as the BMA is a highly respected and experienced financial regulator that is led by a world-class executive team and board of directors. The BMA is also a member of several international organizations and maintains close relationships with other regulatory agencies around the world.”

Other recent developments for Coinbase on the international front include the launch of Signpass in Singapore and free bank transfers for retail customers in the region; a streamlined onboarding process for customers in Brazil and integration with Pix to allow easy withdrawal and deposits of Brazilian reals; significant resource investments in their Canadian operations and the signing of an enhanced Pre-Registration Undertaking (PRU) with Canadian policymakers; and the entry into discussions with authorities in Abu Dhabi with the goal of launching a regulated exchange in the region.

Coinbase and Tron become the latest targets of the SEC

Coinbase said it plans to continue to work with governments and regulators in different markets to develop additional solutions and products with a focus on customer protection and security.

“Working with global regulators is key to the Coinbase mission, as we continue to increase economic freedom in the world,” the exchange wrote. “As the most transparent and trustworthy centralized exchange, Coinbase will help bring the next billion users into the cryptoeconomy.”

While it remains dedicated to helping advance the crypto economy in the U.S., it also plans to increase its efforts on international markets which have voiced aspirations of becoming ‘crypto hubs.’ “We would like to see the US take a similar approach, but a regulation by enforcement approach in the US is instead leading to a disappointing trend for crypto development in the US,” Coinbase concluded.

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