A collection of bitcoin, litecoin and ethereum tokens sit in this arranged photograph in Danbury, U.K. (Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg)

Coinbase Considers Adding Five Crypto Coins to Trading Platform

(Bloomberg) -- Coinbase Inc., the U.S. cryptocurrency exchange that lets users buy and sell four different digital coins, may let customers trade a wider variety of virtual tokens.

The firm is looking into listing Cardano, Basic Attention Token, Stellar, Zcash and Ox, but can’t guarantee those tokens will be added, it said in a blog post Friday. If it does go ahead with listing the assets, the move would signal a turning point for Coinbase, which currently only lets customers trade Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ether and Litecoin.

“We are exploring the addition of several new assets, and will be working with local banks and regulators to add them in as many jurisdictions as possible,” the San Francisco-based company said. “Unlike the ongoing process of adding Ethereum Classic, which is technically very similar to Ethereum, these assets will require additional exploratory work and we cannot guarantee they will be listed for trading.”

Users have urged the firm to add more assets, but it has held off amid concerns that U.S. regulators could deem more digital tokens to be securities. Coinbase isn’t licensed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the top securities watchdog. Friday’s announcement doesn’t mean the company has determined that the five coins aren’t securities, Coinbase said, noting that some of the assets may only be available in certain countries for legal reasons.

Such announcements have caused stirs in the past. Coinbase said in December that it was investigating insider trading after the price of Bitcoin Cash surged hours before the firm announced it would list the asset. It has yet to publicly disclose the results of the probe.

Ethereum Classic, an offshoot of the second-biggest cryptocurrency, soared last month after Coinbase announced plans to add the token. The company has shot down speculation that it plans to list the third-largest digital coin, Ripple, which some say is at risk of being deemed a security.

“We are making this announcement internally at Coinbase and to the public at the same time to remain transparent with our customers about support for future assets,” the company said Friday.

Coinbase, which said it can’t commit to a timeline, said some of the assets may only be available for buying and selling, not sending or receiving. The firm may also opt to list certain coins in other countries before the U.S.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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