Cryptocurrency exchange COINBASE had an internal trading group that used $100 million of its own money to speculate on crypto, the Wall Street Journal , citing people close to the matter.
The group was reportedly assembled to generate profit by using Coinbase's cash to trade and "stake" crypto, and was described as "proprietary" trading. The exchange reportedly raised funds with the help of a "structured note" that was sold to firm Invesco Ltd. at a fixed-rate of 4.01%. A spokesperson for Invesco confirmed the deal, but added that the firm had "no direct exposure to cryptocurrency."
Shortly after the report came out, Coinbase said in a blog post that "unlike many of our competitors," it does not operate a proprietary trading business. Coinbase added:
"In fact, one of the competitive strengths of our Institutional Prime platform is our agency only trading model, where we act only on behalf of our clients. As a result, our incentives and our clients’ incentives are aligned by design."
Coinbase acknowledged that it does, from time to time, purchase crypto for its corporate treasury and operational purposes. As iHodl earlier reported, fears of a long and severe crypto winter forced Coinbase to rethink its business model, which is currently dependent on trading volume.
In an effort to diversify business revenue, the San Francisco-based company now wants to increase its revenue from subscription services up to 50% from the current 18%.