|Founded||July 2, 2011|
|Headquarters||San Francisco, California, U.S.|
|Area served||32 countries |
|Products||Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, exchange of digital assets|
|Alexa rank||516 |
|Users||13,300,000 (November 2017)|
Coinbase is a digital currency exchange headquartered in San Francisco, California. They broker exchanges of Bitcoin (?), Ethereum (?), Litecoin (?) and other digital assets with fiat currencies in 32 countries, and bitcoin transactions and storage in 190 countries worldwide.
Coinbase was founded in July 2011 by Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam. It enrolled in the Summer 2012 Y Combinator startup incubator program. In October 2012, the company launched the services to buy and sell bitcoin through bank transfers.
In May 2013, the company received a US$5 million Series A investment led by Fred Wilson from the venture capital firm Union Square Ventures. In December 2013, the company received a US$25 million investment, from the venture capital firms Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures (USV) and Ribbit Capital.
In 2014, the company grew to one million users, acquired the blockchain explorer service Blockr and the web bookmarking company Kippt, secured insurance covering the value of bitcoin stored on their servers, and launched the vault system for secure bitcoin storage. Throughout 2014, the company also formed partnerships with Overstock, Dell, Expedia, Dish Network, Time Inc. to power accepting bitcoin payments. The company also added bitcoin payment processing capabilities to the traditional payment companies Stripe, Braintree, and PayPal.
In January 2015, the company received a US$75 million investment, led by Draper Fisher Jurvetson, the New York Stock Exchange, USAA, and several banks, "apparently the first time any traditional financial institutions have taken direct stakes in a bitcoin enterprise". Later in January, the company launched a U.S.-based bitcoin exchange for professional traders called Coinbase Exchange.
In May 2015 there was controversy around reports on Reddit that Coinbase had asked a user to describe how they were spending their bitcoin; the Daily Dot reported on the matter, and received a statement from CoinDesk stating: "We don't comment on specific cases, however, Coinbase is required to monitor activity on its platform in accordance with the Bank Secrecy Act and other regulation governing all money services business (MSB)."; the Daily Dot noted that CoinDesk is obligated to comply with the Bank Secrecy Act, which prevents money laundering, in order to operate as an exchange.
Coinbase began to offer services in Canada in 2015, but in July 2016, Coinbase announced it would halt services in August after the closure of their Canadian online payments service provider Vogogo.
In May 2016, the company rebranded the Coinbase Exchange, changing the name to the Global Digital Asset Exchange (GDAX) and offering Ether, the value token of Ethereum, for trade on its professional trading exchange service. In July 2016, they extended the support to their "Coinbase" retail exchange by adding Ether as only the second digital currency offered to retail customers.
On January 17, 2017, Coinbase obtained the BitLicense from the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS), which authorizes the company continuing virtual currency business operations in New York.
On October 12, 2017, Coinbase announced instant bitcoin, ethereum and litecoin purchases for users using a U.S. bank account. Previously, users purchasing through a bank account had to wait several days before receiving digital funds.
One November 29, 2017, Coinbase was "ordered to report 14,355 users to the IRS... all users who have bought, sold, sent, or received more than $20,000 through their accounts in a single year".
Coinbase has two core products: a Global Digital Asset Exchange (GDAX) for trading a variety of digital assets on its professional asset trading platform, and a user-facing retail broker of Bitcoin, Ether, and Litecoin for fiat currency. It also offers an API for developers and merchants to build applications and accept payments in both digital currencies. As of 2014 , the company offered buy/sell trading functionality in 25 countries, while the cryptocurrency wallet was available in 190 countries worldwide.
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