Coinbase recently announced that is has acquired Keystone Capital Corp., Venovate Marketplace Inc., and Digital Wealth LLC. This would mean that Coinbase would become a Broker-Dealer and RIA or Registered Investment Advisor. It was incorrectly reported that Coinbase received SEC approval for the deal. That has been since corrected and noted that SEC approval is not required for such a transaction. It appears that Coinbase had informal discussions with the SEC about moving forward with the deal.
Bring the ICO Market back to the US
Part of the reasoning for the move would be for Coinbase to be able to issue ICOs in the future. The ICO market has all but been eliminated in the US since the recent regulatory crackdown. It appears that regulatory guidance has been given to the company here and this would be means of bringing back ICOs to the US. The move will most likely be beneficial to ETH Ethereum, ETC Ethereum Classic since most ICOs are created with these smart contract platforms.
Bring in Institutional Investors
As Coinbase becomes a fully licensed and regulated broker-dealer, it will also mean that it will be able to get Institutional Investors to enter the marketplace. Hedge funds might be able to trade with unregulated exchanges, but there are institutional groups that are prevented from dealing with an unregulated entity. The broker-dealer classification will allow other these groups to offer cryptocurrency products now.
Regulatory Roadmap for the US
The Coinbase acquisitions and broker-dealer status might also indicate a regulatory roadmap for cryptocurrency exchanges moving forward. If regulations move in this direction, there will be a great deal of more clarity in the US. There are existing standards and practices already in place which could be modified to adapt the crypto world. It looks as if it is highly unlikely that the US will take the same drastic measures as Chinese regulators took with an all-out crypto ban. If US regulators can establish a regulatory framework with Coinbase, the US crypto market will be open for business.