Coinbase, one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges globally, is launching its crypto-trading service in 11 new countries, the company announced Wednesday.
The full list of countries is as follows: Argentina, Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Chile, India, Hong Kong, South Korea, Indonesia, the Philippines and New Zealand.
With these latest additions, Coinbase now supports 53 countries and territories across four continents.
The size of some of the markets involved makes this news very important for the crypto space. With the launch, Coinbase is opening up to a combined market of more than 2 billion people.
Coinbase is one of the biggest, and most reliable, cryptocurrency exchanges that allows fiat deposits from users — a so-called fiat gateway. This makes it especially important in markets that haven’t so far had a very good way to buy cryptocurrencies with fiat.
Customers in these new markets will be able to store, trade, send, and receive cryptocurrencies on Coinbase Pro and Coinbase.com. It’s unclear, however, when will Coinbase be launching fiat gateways in these markets. A Coinbase representative told me that for now, the new markets have crypto-to-crypto trading. “We may add additional support depending on the different demands and requirements of each of the countries,” he told me via e-mail.
“Direct trading between cryptos is increasingly the new norm and in the last year has overtaken traditional fiat to crypto trading across the globe,” Coinbase said in a blog post announcing the launch, and supplied a graph that showed how its customers are increasingly trading cryptocurrencies for other cryptocurrencies, as well as stablecoins (special cryptocoins whose price matches the price of a real world asset, like the U.S. dollar), instead of fiat.
Coinbase has been aggressively expanding its reach and portfolio of services in 2017 and 2018, but it appears to have taken a breather in early 2019. Now it’s back to its old ways; just days ago, the company launched a Visa debit card in the UK (with rest of Europe to follow).
The company also significantly expanded its portfolio of supported cryptocurrencies in the last year or so; besides Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin, it now supports it now supports 19 more crypto-assets (though not every one is available in every market; for a full overview, go here).
Disclosure: The author of this text owns, or has recently owned, a number of cryptocurrencies, including BTC and ETH.