Opposed to trading through a crypto exchange itself, over-the-counter crypto trading will allow institutional investors to conduct direct trades between each other.
Christine Sandler, head of sales at Coinbase, commented that the move is taking place in conjunction with an increased demand for OTC crypto trading from institutional players, considering leveraging both exchange and OTC business as a “huge benefit” to their customers. Sandler noted:
“We launched our OTC business as a complement to our exchange business because we found a lot of institutions were using OTC as an on-ramp for crypto trading.”
Sandler also revealed that the OTC service is likely to be combined with Coinbase Custody, a service crypto custodian tool for institutional investors launched on July 2, 2018.
According to Cheddar, Coinbase has also started allowing its clients to trade any asset that is available on institutional investing platform Coinbase Prime, as well as launched more order books options, including web interface, Skype, Bloomberg IB, email, or phone.
On June 6, Coinbase began the process to become a fully regulated broker dealer by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in order to offer a number of crypto-related services such as OTC, margin and crypto securities trading, and new market data products. To this end, Coinbase acquired securities dealer Keystone Capital Corp. in addition to Venovate Marketplace, Inc., and Digital Wealth LLC in June.
According to Business Insider, Coinbase first revealed they planned to introduce block trades in May this year.
Circle, a crypto-focused financial services firm funded by major U.S. investmentbankGoldman Sachs, has a similar OTC service dubbed Circle Trade. According to Cheddar, the product was introduced in February, 2018 via acquisition of the Poloniex exchange.