Coinbase would list central bank digital currencies if listing standards met, says CEO

Crypto exchange Coinbase could someday support central bank digital currencies, according to CEO Brian Armstrong.

The remarks came via video response to a Reddit ask-me-anything session hosted by Coinbase in light of its forthcoming direct listing on Nasdaq. Coinbase's S-1 filing became public on February 25, as previously reported. 

Armstrong's comments were in response to a question about the "full integration of crypto payments into internet services" and, in part, whether CBDCs might serve that purpose. Armstrong called CBDCs "an important trend."

"I think central bank digital currencies are going to be really big as well and pretty much every major government out there is starting to think about how they’re going to build them," Armstrong said during the video. "We are cryptocurrency agnostic, so we will support and cryptocurrency, including CBDC and stablecoins and decentralized ones like DAI as long as they meet our listing standards."

That Coinbase would consider adding a digital currency system operated by a central bank (or, as some design concepts call for, multiple central banks) is notable, though perhaps unsurprising. CBDCs can be thought of as the central banking world's response to developments in the stablecoin ecosystem, including Diem, formerly known as Libra. 

Central banks throughout the world are conducting R&D into the area of CBDC, with some countries -- most notably China -- conducting advanced tests ahead of an expected public launch. Thus far, the Bahamas has gone live with its so-called sand dollar. Meanwhile, the U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to start making its research findings in this area public.