According to Fortune magazine, US cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase was considering acquiring the European division of FTX (FTX Europe).
The move was aimed at expanding its cryptocurrency trading business, as derivatives, complex financial instruments that depend on underlying assets such as bitcoin or Ethereum, account for a significant portion of cryptocurrency trading volumes.
Crypto derivatives trading volume is significantly higher than cryptocurrency cash trading volume. In the second quarter of 2023, cryptocurrency trading volume was six times the volume of cash trading, according to analyst firm Kaiko Research. However, cryptocurrency trading is difficult in the U.S. due to regulatory restrictions, so major U.S. platforms Coinbase and Gemini have previously launched offshore exchanges targeting Asian markets.
According to information obtained by Fortune, Coinbase expressed interest in acquiring FTX Europe both immediately after FTX's bankruptcy and in early September 2023. However, the acquisition talks never came to fruition. Coinbase's interest in FTX Europe is indicative of the growing importance of derivatives in its global growth strategy in the face of declining cryptocurrency cash trading volumes, the article argues.
At the same time, journalists report, citing a source familiar with the talks, that Coinba
se is no longer considering the deal. However, offers to buy FTX Europe in an auction can be submitted until September 24.
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