Coinbase exec says the firm is thinking of supporting margin trading

Emilie Choi, VP of Business, Data & International at Coinbase, said the exchange giant’s next steps will take it to leveraged trading. In an interview with The Block’s The Scoop, Choi said the company is still figuring out the next moves, but conversations have begun.

“Margin lend borrow is definitely going to be a next big step for us, especially on the active trader side,” said Choi.

Greater risk comes with trading with borrowed money, and while margin trading regulations in the U.S. protect the market from the worst of the fallout, it can be risky to trade on margin in unregulated markets.


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The continued conversations surrounding crypto exchange regulation has kept Coinbase from fleshing out a plan and nailing down particulars like whether the exchange will trade futures and options.

“We still need to figure that out because there's not a lot of regulatory clarity there right now in the US,” she said. “And so that that is being discussed.”

Competitor exchange Binance is also looking to the derivatives market, making moves to allow traders to buy on margin, according to sources. Coinbase has also seemingly gone after some pockets of Binance’s business in Asia, but Choi said the market is big enough for both of them. Binance and Coinbase are less competitors and more friendly giants, she suggested.

“We couldn't probably be more differentiated than them in terms of the focus on the fiat to crypto bridge and being that safe trusted center of the crypto economy,” she said. “So I think they're playing one game, we're playing another.”

About Author

Aislinn Keely is a reporter on The Block's policy team holding down the legal beat. She covers court decisions, bankruptcies, regulatory actions and other key moments in the legal sphere, putting them in context for the wider crypto industry. Before The Block, she lent her voice to the NPR affiliate WFUV and helmed Fordham University's student newspaper. Send tips or thoughts on all things policy and legal to or follow her on Twitter for updates @AislinnKeely.