Coinbase's acquisition of KeyStone Capital will clear the path for to operate as a regulated broker-dealer, with the potential to offer security tokens down the road. The acquisition also coincides with a push by Coinbase to expand its professional trading platform, which it recently rebranded as Coinbase Prime, and to offer financial custodial services for institutions.
Coinbase would not be the first cryptocurrency service to enjoy broker-dealer status. Genesis Global Trading, a subsidiary of crypto baron Barry Silbert’s Digital Currency Group, has had the status since 2015. The Wall Street Journal reported that Coinbase was seeking broker-dealer status in April. Both Coinbase and Boston-based Circle are also reported seeking federal banking charters.