Until recently, if Coinbase listed a cryptocurrency, it was viewed as a stamp of approval and often pushed up the coin’s price.
But Americans’ favorite cryptocurrency exchange has changed its stance. Rather than being a gatekeeper, Coinbase now wants to list as many digital currencies as it can.
CEO Brian Armstrong tweeted in June that Coinbase’s goal was to list every asset it was legally able to. “Outside of our listing standards (for safety/legality), we don’t offer an opinion on the value of each asset,” he said.
“We are asset agnostic, because we believe in free markets and that consumers should have choice in the cryptoeconomy. This is how we’ll have the most innovation.”
The reason for Coinbase’s new approach is simple. Investors want access to a wider range of coins, and if Coinbase doesn’t provide it, investors will move to its competitors.
That’s why Coinbase says it wants to be the first to issue new coins. The idea is to provide the site’s users with access, but not validation.
Coinbase currently lists around 70 currencies in the U.S., though they’re not all available in every state.
Armstrong told CNBC in April that the company is considering listing 100 more coins.
Armstrong has stressed that investors should not take a Coinbase listing as an endorsement of any kind. He also promised that the leading cryptocurrency exchange would provide tools in the future to help investors evaluate individual currencies.