Coinbase, the California-based cryptocurrency platform is the largest in the United States. Founded in 2011 by Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam, it has gone on to become one of the largest digital currency marketplaces in the world. Just a rumor that the platform is considering adding a new crypto to its trading catalog is enough to catapult the price of the coin in the market. As part of its efforts to continue to be at the forefront of the crypto and blockchain market, the company is taking yet another significant step.
$15 Million Early-Stage Venture Fund
Coinbase is set to launch an early-stage venture fund for crypto and blockchain startups. The fund was made known to CNBC on Thursday, April 5, 2018, by Asiff Hirji, the President and COO of the firm. According to Hirji, the investment fund is already worth $15 million at the start of the initiative, and it is expected to grow. Hirji declared that the investment fund is coming right out of the company’s balance sheets.
The fund will be used to provide seed-stage investments in a number of blockchain and crypto startups starting in the next few days, according to Hirji. Coinbase wishes to provide the necessary funding catalyst that will spark the emergence of viable ideas into potentially profitable blockchain and crypto enterprises that will benefit the industry.
Hirji also made it a point to emphasize during the interview that the focus of the company with regard to this funding initiative is on founders with ideas, not people peddling crypto money-making schemes. This suggests that there will be a great deal of due diligence carried out by the company before selecting any startup for investment.
According to Hirji, the funding initiative is all about forging and building lasting relationships in the cryptocurrency and blockchain ecosystem. He declared that Coinbase would only fund startups whose values are aligned with theirs.
As a result, he admitted that there is every likelihood that some of the recipients will be direct competitors of Coinbase. As far the company is concerned, they are looking at the long-term implication of supporting multiple approaches to the issues plaguing the industry.
Hirji maintained that the investments have nothing to do with crypto tokens. He declared that Coinbase would avoid all possible conflicts of interest, stating that their decision to add any new coins to their trading catalog will not in any way be influenced by the startups that they invest in.
Support for Bitcoin Forks
In other Coinbase news, the company recently announced that it would begin to offer withdrawal support for certain bitcoin forks in the coming months. The update was made known via a post on the company’s Medium account on Thursday, April 5, 2018.
The U.S.-based exchange is, however, declining to announce support for any specific bitcoin fork at the moment since the company is still carrying out its due diligence on which assets to support. Whichever, fork or forks are chosen, Coinbase plans to offer support across all of its product categories.