San Francisco-based Coinbase, one of the United States largest cryptocurrency exchanges, is following up their most profitable fiscal year with aggressive expansion, making a number of big name acquisitions such as Earn and Cipher Browser, and rolling out an extensive suite of new products aimed at satisfying the needs of institutional investors.
As part of their expansion strategy, Coinbase yesterday announced the rebranding of their flagship GDAX trading platform to Coinbase Pro, along with the acquisition of the 0x protocol-based decentralized exchange Paradex. Through Paradex, Coinbase will first offer peer-to-peer trading of ERC20 tokens outside of the US, with plans to bring the service to the US after making some compliance-related changes.
The news sent waves throughout the cryptocurrency community, but one important part of Coinbase’s announcement was mostly overlooked: Coinbase plans to offer crypto staking in the future. According to Coinbase Pro GM David Farmer via an official Coinbase blog post, the firm’s vision “is to give customers the ability to participate in services like staking and protocol voting that are distinct to crypto,” adding:
“As the decentralized ecosystem advances, we expect there will be many more opportunities for customers to interact with digital assets in new and unique ways.”
Cryptocurrency staking is a process in which investors can generate and earn passive income simply by holding coins in their wallet, and leaving it open. Coinbase adding staking would make their platform even more attractive for long-term ‘HODLers,’ as long term investors can keep their coins safely in a secure, insured wallet, all while generating interest on their holdings.
Coinbase Pro is available as of this writing, while GDAX will cease to exist as of June 29th in what Coinbase calls a seamless rollover. No timeframe was given on when staking may be expected, but it’s clear that providing investors with features that are unique to crypto are among Coinbase’s top priorities.