Coinbase to offer cryptocurrency futures in the US following SEC approval

The Securities and Exchange Commission makes a surprising move to support the crypto space

On Wednesday, Coinbase Global (COIN.O) revealed it had gained approval to offer cryptocurrency futures to retail customers in the U.S. This is a major regulatory win for the online crypto service as it fights a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) lawsuit.

The approval allows Coinbase to present Bitcoin and other futures for sale to eligible customers in the U.S. Before now, only Coinbase’s institutional clients could participate in futures trading on the platform.

Shares of Coinbase climbed 3% to $81.55 following news of the approval given by the National Futures Association (NFA), a self-regulated institution designated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

“This is a critical milestone that reaffirms our commitment to operate a regulated and compliant business,” said Coinbase. The company has been open in its criticism of the SEC, which sued Coinbase in June, accusing it of operating illegally by failing to properly register as an exchange.

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong said more U.S. crypto companies could avoid the hostile regulatory environment and move offshore and that the enforcement-first method used by SEC Chair Gary Gensler could suppress industry innovation.

Almost two years after Coinbase submitted its application, the approval by the NFA could allow the company to extend into a broadly untapped market. Nearly 80% of the entire crypto market is represented by global derivatives, with the cause of volatility in the broader market linked to leveraged bets on futures and other products.

According to research from CCData, the global trading volume for crypto derivatives In July was roughly $1.85 trillion.

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