Bitcoin wallet provider Coinbase will launch the US' first regulated exchange for the cryptocurrency today, allowing companies as well as individuals to do business in the nearly two dozen states in which the company has received regulatory approval, according to Wall Street Journal.
The report notes that Coinbase will take a 0.25% cut of most transactions and will take no fees for the first two months. Although the exchange will initially be limited to customers in the US, the company has plans to expand overseas in the future. “Our goal is to become the world’s largest exchange,” said Chief Executive Brian Armstrong.
Coinbase currently allows people to buy Bitcoin, and also offers a payment processing service that lets merchants accept the cryptocurrency from their customers. It boasts of 2.2 million consumer wallets, 38,000 merchants, and 7,000 developer apps.
The company recently closed a $75 million venture-funding round led by the New York Stock Exchange, USAA Bank, and BBVA, a multinational Spanish banking group.
A regulated US exchange operated by a company with financial backing from such well reputed investors would not only help restore customers' trust in the virtual currency, but would also help stabilize its price, which has fallen about 75 percent in the past one year - it is currently valued at around $280.
Back in February last year, Japanese Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox, which was also one of the world's largest, filed for bankruptcy after losing a total of 850,000 bitcoins in what it claimed was a hack attack.
The news comes just a few days after there were reports that the Winklevoss twins of Facebook fame are in the process of creating their own Bitcoin exchange.