Coinbase launches regulated crypto futures services for US retail traders

Coinbase Advanced allows retail traders in the United States access to regulated crypto futures contracts four months after Coinbase Financial Markets (CFM) secured approval to operate a Futures Commission Merchant (FCM) entity.

On Aug. 17, CFM secured regulatory approval from the National Futures Association (NFA), a Commodity Futures Trading Commission-designated self-regulatory organization, to operate an FCM and offer crypto futures services to eligible U.S. traders.

In details shared with Cointelegraph, CFM revealed that Coinbase Advanced customers in the U.S. can trade nano-sized futures contracts sized at 1/100th of 1 Bitcoin (BTC) and 1/10th of 1 Ether (ETH). As explained by Andrew Sears, the CEO of CFM:

“These contracts offer lower upfront capital requirements and can be an affordable investment option for a broader range of retail customers.”

The nano-Ether contract allows participants to manage risk, trade on margin or speculate on the price of Ether. The nano-Bitcoin contract allows users to bet on the future price of BTC.

In addition to providing regulated, leveraged and cash-settled crypto futures, users will be provided access to a library of educational content via Coinbase Learn. U.S. residents with an active Coinbase account for spot trading are eligible to create an FCM futures account.

The services have been launched on the web version and will soon be available on mobile devices.

Related: Coinbase hoses down rumors of weekly withdrawal limits on Bitcoin

Coinbase’s decision to launch crypto futures services seemed natural as the exchange witnessed a sharp decline in spot trading volume this year compared to 2022.

An analysis from digital asset data provider CCData showed that Coinbase registered around $76 billion in spot trading volume — a 52% drop in spot trading for Q3 2023 compared to the same period in 2022.

Crypto exchange Coinbase spot trading volume in billions of dollars. Source: Bloomberg

Despite the decline in spot trading volume, Coinbase gained market share in the last quarter as crypto exchange Binance came under increased scrutiny from regulators.

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