Coinbase Creates New Crypto Lending Service Geared Toward Large Investors

According to an SEC filing, Coinbase (NASDAQ:COIN) raised $57 million for the platform as of Sept. 1.

Coinbase (COIN) has introduced a brand-new crypto lending service tailored for institutional clients in the United States, effectively bridging the gap left by the challenges faced by firms like Genesis and BlockFi.

The platform was quietly revealed in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Sept. 1, which showed $57 million had already been raised for the program.

Based on information from a knowledgeable source, clients can lend money to Coinbase, primarily in the form of cryptocurrency assets, and in return, receive collateral that surpasses the loan’s value. This over-collateralization serves as a protective measure against potential financial setbacks.

The person familiar with the matter mentioned that Coinbase can subsequently offer secured loans to institutional trading clients, similar to the prime brokerage services provided by traditional banks in the financial industry.

Genesis and BlockFi provided similar lending services in the U.S., but suffered massive losses last year that drove them, fully or in part, into bankruptcy court.

This new service differentiates itself from the controversial Lend program that Coinbase discontinued in 2021. The prior program was aimed at retail customers and faced opposition from SEC officials. In contrast, this latest lending service targets institutions, leading to more manageable regulatory requirements, assuming that large investors have the expertise to handle them.

“With this service, institutions can choose to lend digital assets to Coinbase under standardized terms in a product that qualifies for a Regulation D exemption,” a Coinbase spokesperson said in a statement. “Coinbase is working to update the financial system built over 100 years ago, leveraging crypto to provide people with more economic freedom and opportunity. To advance this purpose, Coinbase is building the most trusted crypto products and services and supporting other builders to bring 1 billion people into crypto.”