Coinbase Custody Buys Xapo Institutions, Continuing Rapid Expansion

Major crypto exchange Coinbase announced the news in a post on the company’s blog Aug. 15. The news follows rapid growth on the part of Coinbase’s year-old custodial wing, which only two months ago reported assets under custody (AUC) valued at $1.3 billion. 

Coinbase Custody has reportedly acquired Xapo’s institutional business to become the world’s largest crypto custodian by assets under custody.

According to the announcement, the new acquisition puts Coinbase Custody’s AUC at $7 billion.

Xapo is itself a major crypto wallet provider who has apparently been in negotiations with Coinbase Custody over the sale of its institutions business since the middle of May this year.

The announcement claims that Coinbase Custody now stores on behalf of more than 120 clients in 14 different countries. In affirming the company’s commitment to its institutional services, Coinbase wrote: “Our institutional range of products provides a seamless, powerful and compliant ecosystem for our clients to trade, store and interact with their crypto.”

Earlier this month, Cointelegraph reported that Coinbase Custody had added experts in New York banking regulation to its Board of Directors, suggesting plans to expand in the notoriously tough regulatory environment of New York State.

In July, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong said in an AMA session that he hoped to see Coinbase shift its focus from trading to broader adoption within the economy in the next five years.

Coinbase CEO: Senate’s Pressure on Libra Association Is ‘Un-American’

Coinbase CEO has criticized United States’ senators for asking Stripe, Mastercard and Visa to leave Facebook’s crypto project Libra.

“Something feels very un-American about this”

After U.S. Senators Brian Schatz and Sherrod Brown apparently pressured the payment giants to leave Libra, Brian Armstrong, co-founder and CEO of major U.S. crypto exchange Coinbase, called the action “un-American” in a tweet on Oct. 13.

Armstrong wrote:

“Something feels very un-american about this. Two senators writing to Visa, Mastercard, and Stripe to ask them to withdraw from Libra.”

Senators’ letter pushes payment giants to leave Libra

On Oct. 8, senators Schatz and Brown sent public letters to Stripe CEO Patrick Collinson, Mastercard CEO Ajaypal Banga and Visa CEO Alfred Kelly regarding their participation in Facebook-led stablecoin project Libra.

In three separate letters, the senators have threatened the payment giants to enforce more regulatory scrutiny not only on Libra-related payment activities, but all their payment activities. The senators wrote:

“Facebook is attempting to accomplish that objective by shifting the risks and need to design new compliance regimes on to regulated members of the Libra Association like your companies. If you take this on, you can expect a high level of scrutiny from regulators not only on Libra-related payment activities, but on all payment activities.”

Senators cite child sexual abuse content reports on Facebook

In the letters, the senators have cited reports on Facebook’s alleged involvement in facilitating the distribution of child sexual abuse content as a reason to not trust the social media giant to lead an initiative like Libra.

The senators claimed that 12 million out of the 18.4 million reports of child sexual abuse photos and videos over the world in 2018 were attributed to Facebook Messenger.

The letter reads:

“It is chilling to think what could happen if Facebook combines encrypted messaging with embedded anonymous global payments via Libra. Your companies should be extremely cautious about moving ahead with a project that will foreseeably fuel the growth in global criminal activity.”

Following the letters from the senators, Visa, eBay, Stripe and Mastercard announced that they are leaving Facebook’s Libra Association and its stablecoin project on Oct. 11. Another important payment processor, PayPal, officially withdrew from the association on Oct. 3.

As reported, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will testify before the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee on Oct. 23 regarding the proposed Libra stablecoin project.

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