Coinbase COO Choi Sees Trading Fees Compression at ‘Some Point’
While Coinbase Global Inc. knows that many investors are fixated on an anticipated compression in trading fees, its main revenue source, the chief operating officer of the biggest U.S. cryptocurrency exchange said it hasn’t seen any signs of pressure yet.
“We haven’t seen the actual compression. We haven’t changed our fee structure on the retail side yet,” Coinbase President and COO Emilie Choi said during a Goldman Sachs U.S. Financial Services Conference on Tuesday. “Consumers are more than willing to pay a certain fee percentage for the services we offer, particularly the security.”
Coinbase has been diversifying from trading fees, which make up the majority of its revenue but tend to be volatile because of the wild swings in the prices of many cryptocurrencies. It offers a smaller, but growing subscription services that it expects to provide more predictable revenue. The company charges one of the higher fees in the industry, and investors have been concerned that it will face pressure to lower fees amid rising competition.
While trading fee compression will come “at some point,” Coinbase is “making the right investments and subscription services to get to that place where it shouldn’t be that much of a concern of a longer-term,” Choi said.
Choi said Chief Executive Officer Brian Armstrong believes the world of DeFi, or decentralized finance, and NFT, non-fungible token for digital content, is where the “next billion users from crypto” will come from and the company plans to offer a DAPP marketplace for decentralized applications.
Coinbase Cloud, which provides blockchain infrastructure for other crypto companies, will become a “huge part” of its business in the future, Choi said. DAOs, or decentralized autonomous organizations, is also one area that Coinbase has been closely following.
Choi reiterated the crypto industry lacks regulatory clarity, and Coinbase has been advocating for establishing a single point of regulator for crypto issues in the U.S. “It could even be an existing agency, like the SEC or CFTC,” she said.
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