Coinbase Issues Statement Clarifying It Doesn’t Engage in Proprietary Trading

Major U.S. crypto wallet provider and exchange service Coinbase has refuted “inaccurate” media reports that the platform engages in proprietary trading, in an official statement publishedThursday, September 20.

According to Coinbase, media coverage has “inaccurately characterized” the results of the New York Virtual Markets Integrity Report, to which Coinbase had voluntarily contributed information about its practices by participating in a Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative Questionnaire.

Coinbase yesterday cited the report, with the view to “correct the record: “The report states: ‘Coinbase disclosed that almost twenty percent of executed volume on its platform was attributable to its own trading.’

However, as per Coinbase’s clarification, “when Coinbase executes these trades, it does so on behalf of Coinbase Consumer customers, not itself: “Coinbase does not trade for the benefit of the company on a proprietary basis. In order to provide an easy-to-use customer experience, Coinbase Consumer quotes a price and then quickly fills the order from our exchange platform (Coinbase Markets). This takes advantage of the liquidity provided by the entire Coinbase ecosystem.”

The firm thus emphasized that “self-trading” – as the information had been misconstrued by third-party reporting – inaccurately distorts what is in reality “customer-driven volume via Coinbase Consumer.” The statement repeatedly reinforces the fact that the exchange is neither operating a proprietary trading desk, nor undertaking “market making actions.”

Coinbase received a BitLicense from the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) in January 2017, which has been required for all New York crypto trading firms as of August of 2015.

In a previous statement, Coinbase had outlined that its participation in the NY Virtual Markets Integrity report and questionnaire was intended to shed light on a range of steps the exchange has been undertaking to address matters of compliance with federal and state regulators, which include measures to address cybersecurity, market integrity and platform reliability.

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