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Bitcoin course's graph is seen on the Coinbase cryptocurrency exchange app. Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images

Coinbase, which got its start as a digital wallet for Bitcoin, wants to send a strong message to institutional investors that it's open for their business with a slew of product announcements.

Why it matters: Almost a decade after Bitcoin first appeared, institutional investors are finally warming up to cryptocurrencies and looking to invest in the asset class.

Coinbase's digital custody service is now awaiting final approval from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission before it can open its doors in partnership with a regulated broker-dealer, VP and general manager Adam White tells Axios.

  • Custody is currently one of the main areas of concern from institutional investors, largely because many of them are required by law to use a "qualified custodian" to hold their assets. As Axios reported in February, Coinbase attempted to acquire stealthy startup Anchor Labs to bolster its digital custody tech, though the deal didn't pan out.
  • Coinbase has partnered with Electronic Transaction Clearing for third-party auditing and financial reporting validation. It also says that a number of investors, including Boost VC, MetaStable, Multicoin Capital, Polychain Capital, and Scalar Capital have signed up for its service, pending regulatory approval.

More: Coinbase is also rolling out Prime, a new online interface dedicated to institutional investors; a customer support team dedicated to institutional investors; and upgrades to its trading marketplace, including low latency performance and on-premise datacenter colocation services, slated for future release.

Still: Coinbase is pre-announcing much of this plan, which is not operational yet, so it remains to be seen how popular it will be, whether customers will be happy with the products, and whether rivals will beat it to market.

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
8 mins ago - Economy & Business

Ripple CEO calls for clearer crypto regulations following SEC lawsuit

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse tells "Axios on HBO" that if his company loses a lawsuit brought by the SEC, it would put the U.S. cryptocurrency industry at a competitive disadvantage.

Why it matters: Garlinghouse's comments may seem self-serving, but his call for clearer crypto rules is consistent with longstanding entreaties from other industry players.

Republican Sen. Roy Blunt will not seek re-election in 2022

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), widely seen as a member of the Republican establishment in Congress, will not run for re-election in 2022, he announced on Twitter Monday.

Why it matters: The 71-year-old senator is the No. 4-ranking Republican in the Senate, and the fifth GOP senator to announce he will not run for re-election in 2022 as the party faces questions about its post-Trump future.

50 mins ago - Health

Popular independent COVID tracker officially ends daily updates

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The COVID Tracking Project, a volunteer group of data analysts, researchers, and journalists brought together by The Atlantic, published its final daily update on Monday — the one-year anniversary of its founding.

Why it matters: The project quickly became a vital resource for news media, academic researchers, and everyday Americans to track COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in the absence of reliable and public data from the federal government.