At around 2PM London time ethereum jumped from just under $450 to a recent high of nearly $480 before somewhat settling at the time of writing to $470.
It looks like some 50,000 eth changed hands within one hour, with much of it being buying pressure.
Bitcoin shares the same story, jumping from $6,300 to around $6,700 starting at precisely 2PM London time.
That’s when Coinbase announced a service for institutional investors, Coinbase Custody, has now begun operating. They say:
“Last week, Coinbase Custody accepted its first deposit. Today, we’re proud to announce that we’re officially open for business.
Over the coming weeks, we’ll continue on-boarding a set of world-class clients that includes leading crypto hedge funds, exchanges and ICO teams…
Coinbase Custody is a combination of Coinbase’s battle-tested cold storage for crypto assets, an institutional-grade broker-dealer and its reporting services, and a comprehensive client coverage program.”
Coinbase says they are currently responsible for storing $20 billion in crypto assets, with a recent acquisition meaning they can now supply “a custody offering through a regulated, institutional broker-dealer.”
They further say plans are underway to “continue adding support for new assets,” with speculation sometime getting out of hand as to just what that new asset will be. Yet the rumor game has now become more difficult as no one expected their announcement they are to add ETC.
While different sorts of rumors have begun circling regarding the social media giant, Facebook, apparently eyeing Coinbase for acquisition.
That would be the biggest yet for this space and probably one of the biggest in Silicon Valley, but the IPO drums begun beating some time ago, so whether they will go public or be acquired is unclear.
What is clear, however, is that the biggest crypto broker is making many moves, with some of them not quite off to a great start. Such as their shift to Coinbase Pro from Gdax which has attracted many complaints from traders.
That might be simply because people do not like changing habits, but Coinbase’s heavy use of automatic algorithms has also led to a diverse set of complaints from unhappy customers.
Yet, the exchange faces little competition, if any. Binance could be a contender if they add fiat trading pairs, but we’re struggling to see what exactly Binance’s game plan is except that they seem to like jurisdictions that lack a stellar reputation.
Which means Coinbase is finding itself with some considerable freedom of maneuver, aided in great part by a balkanized regulatory environment that often acts like a barrier to entry for competitors.
Yet for those on the other side it can be comfortable, with Coinbase’s entrance into institutional services as well as the securities market now allowing them to potentially offer a holistic crypto service.