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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

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

1 dead after pickup truck hits Pride spectators in Florida

Police investigate the scene where a pickup truck drove into a crowd of people at a Pride parade in Wilton Manors, Florida, on Saturday. Photo: Jason Koerner/Getty Images

A driver in a pickup truck hit spectators at a Pride festival in Wilton Manors, Florida, killing a man and leaving another person hospitalized Saturday, authorities said.

Details: Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis told reporters police had "apprehended the driver" and that the vehicle missed a parade car carrying Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) "by inches."

Updated 5 hours ago - Sports

Uganda Olympic team member tests positive for COVID in Tokyo

The Uganda National boxing team's Catherine Nanziri (L) and others arrive for check-in at Entebbe international airport in Wakiso, Uganda on Friday, ahead of their departure to participate in the Tokyo Olympic Games. Photo: Badru Katumba/AFP via Getty Images

A Uganda Olympic team member tested positive for COVID-19 upon arrival in Japan late Saturday, officials said.

Why it matters: Japan's government has faced criticism for vowing to host the Tokyo Games next month as coronavirus cases rise. The Ugandan team is the second to arrive in Japan after the Australian women's softball players, and this is the first COVID-19 infection detected among the Olympic athletes, Al Jazeera notes.

Updated 9 hours ago - World

In photos: Brazilians rally against Bolsonaro as COVID deaths top 500,000

A June 19 protest in São Paulo, Brazil, against the administration of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who has railed against precautionary health measures despite the soaring COVID-19 death rate and cases. Photo: Rodrigo Paiva/Getty Images

Demonstrators took to the streets in at least 22 of Brazil’s 26 states to protest President Jair Bolsonaro's handling of the pandemic — as deaths from COVID-19 in the country surged past 500,000 Saturday, per AP.

The big picture: Brazil has the world's second-highest coronavirus death toll and third-highest number of reported cases. Only 12% of the country's population has been vaccinated against the virus, AP notes.