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With an emphasis on institutions, Coinbase moves to Australia

With the introduction of a local business and an enhanced range of services for retail cryptocurrency traders, the US-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase will expand its services in Australia and give a hint that institutional solutions would soon follow.

Building during bear markets has “paid off big time during the bull run,” according to Nana Murugesan, vice president of international and business development at Coinbase, who was speaking to Cointelegraph. He is confident in what he sees in the local market.

In comparison to the U.S. and other markets, Australia’s “baseline signals”—such as local awareness of cryptocurrencies and those who think it will shape the future of finance—are “kind of on par or even better.”

“Australia definitely punches way, way over its weight in the APAC region, certainly at a global level too and from a revenue contribution standpoint, I feel pretty good about what it’s going to do.”

Incorporating a local company, Coinbase Australia Pty Ltd, and registering to offer digital currency exchange services with the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC), the nation’s financial intelligence agency, are the first steps, according to Murugesan.

According to Murugesan, the exchange has been met with tough questions about its platform and token listings. “We’ve been very impressed with the open door that we’ve received in Canberra and with different policymakers,” he adds.

“Given the token mapping exercise that’s going on, there are a lot of technical questions that we are getting from the Treasury and other departments […] deep technical questions is another thing that we are seeing in Australia at a level deeper than some other countries.”

To start, Coinbase is giving Australian cryptocurrency users access to its advanced trading platform, fast payments for local bank accounts, and 24/7 chat support. According to Murugesan, this opens the door for the company to introduce its entire line of institutional and development products.

While he did not provide a precise release date for the goods, Murugesan stated that he is aware that Australian institutions will like to do everything locally and that Coinbase will be very much focused on institutions in the upcoming months.

Murugesan adds that the exchange is collaborating with the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and others to develop relevant courses and support research programs. The exchange will also work with RMIT University’s Blockchain Innovation Hub to evaluate Web3 opportunities in the nation.

According to Murugesan, regulation is a business enabler as Coinbase aims to further expand into Asia because resources are limited, especially during a bad market.

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