Coinbase Buys FairX to Launch Crypto Derivatives

Coinbase Buys FairX to Launch Crypto Derivatives

Crypto exchange Coinbase is purchasing FairX, a U.S.-based derivatives platform, the company announced Wednesday.

The move could open the door for Coinbase to offer crypto derivatives products in the U.S. At present, only a handful of exchanges allow U.S. investors to trade bitcoin and ether futures, with cash-settled products being both the most popular and the longest-available products. FTX.US acquired LedgerX last August with a similar aim.

“The development of a transparent derivatives market is a critical inflection point for any asset class and we believe it will unlock further participation in the cryptoeconomy for retail and institutional investors alike,” Coinbase said in a blog post.

FairX is a designated contract market (DCM) registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), meaning it is allowed to offer futures products in the U.S.

Coinbase is also an applicant to the National Futures Association, a self-regulatory organization overseeing derivatives platforms in the U.S.

FairX is a relatively young futures platform, which launched its exchange in May 2021 after receiving regulatory approvals in late 2020. However, FairX has relationships with major brokerages including TD Ameritrade, E*Trade, ABN AMRO, Wedbush, Virtu Financial and a handful of others, which offered FairX’s futures products or provided clearing services, according to the company’s announcement at the time.

To be clear, Fairx.com is different from Fairx.io, which closed up shop in 2019.

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