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Coinbase's global expansion: Leading the compliant international charge into 2024

Tl;dr: 2023 was a transformative year for Coinbase, globally, with significant progress made in new and existing markets across the product, regulatory and institutional functions. 2024 is gearing up to be just as exciting, as we double down on our efforts to make it even easier, simpler, and safer for more people around the world to experience the future of money.

By David Farmer

International

, January 17, 2024

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The last year was an important step in our International journey as a company. We made significant progress on our ‘Go Broad, Go Deep’ expansion strategy, strengthening our foundations in existing markets and expanding Coinbase to new markets, and supported a number of regulators’ investments in establishing sensible rules for this industry. Operating a compliant global business in a rapidly evolving industry is hard and complex – few companies aspire to be truly global. Let’s step back and reassess why it’s important.

Firstly, around 80% of the global crypto trading market happens outside the US and we expect this to continue to grow faster than the US market over the next five years. There is a significant growth opportunity to continue to enter and win new markets. 

Secondly, it’s critical to our mission of increasing economic freedom. Store of value and trading were the first use cases of crypto and these uses have been well established – crypto is here to stay. It’s now driving updates to the financial system itself, and the more people use crypto, the faster we’ll update the system. 

The opportunity is disproportionately high where the existing system doesn’t work well, such as in countries where not everyone has access to traditional banking and in markets where there is hyper-inflation and people are seeing the value of their income and savings eroded. Remittances and FX are slow and expensive. This is where crypto has the highest potential and opportunity. Crypto is by design a global technology – borderless, permissionless money. This industry can reach its full potential when it achieves truly global reach. 

Here are some highlights on what  we accomplished in 2023:

  • Obtained licenses and / or registrations in Spain, France, Singapore and Bermuda. Launched operations in Canada and Brazil with local fiat on and off ramps

  • Significantly expanded our existing product portfolio to new markets

    • Coinbase One expanded from only the US to 38 countries 

    • Staking is now available in 110+ countries 

    • USDC is now available in 110+  countries 

    • Launched on and off ramps for Coinbase Wallet in 130+ countries

  • Launched our International Exchange for both Institutional and eligible retail customers. We have already onboarded 100+ institutions and surpassed $30B in trading volumes in 2023

  • Improved product quality in a number of markets where the experience wasn’t up to scratch

    • Onboarding success rates doubled in our top 10 markets 

    • Built new localization infrastructure including local new feeds, home pages, and improved translation services

  • Made it possible to send money anywhere in the world you can send a link Easily. Instantly. For free. Made possible with the launch of Base

  • Announced Ireland as our EU MiCA entity location, which will allow Coinbase to serve one of the largest economies in the world - 450 million inhabitants, across 27 countries, under one regulatory framework and with one national supervisor

  • Expanded Stand with Crypto internationally, firstly in the UK, with a launch in Manchester in December attended by some 100 local web3 entrepreneurs and key policymakers.

As Brian wrote last month, the future of money is here. People around the world are using crypto to send and receive payments for personal and business use, preserving and growing their wealth by gaining access to USDC. In 2024 we will continue doubling down on our efforts to make it even easier, simpler, and safer for more people around the world to experience the future of money.

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David Farmer

About David Farmer

David Farmer is Senior Director of International, leading both product and operations. He’s been at Coinbase since early 2015 and has led a number of teams including GDAX, Coinbase Pro and Prime, Business Operations & Strategy. Prior to Coinbase he was at Bain & Company.