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Coinbase收购证券交易商Keystone Capital

知名加密货币和比特币公司Coinbase正在收购证券交易商Keystone Capital。Keystone总部设立在美国加州Cardiff ,是一家在美国金融业监管局注册的金融服务公司。Keystone既有注册投资顾问的经营牌照,也有经营另类交易系统(ATS) 的牌照。

目前交易条款还未被公布。

Coinbase作为目前最大的加密货币公司,这些牌照可以为他们带来新的商机,也可以让他们向更多机构业务推销自己的服务。长期而言,收购 Keystone还可以让 Coinbase 将现有的股票或其他证券类产品业务进一步扩大。

Coinbase 需获得监管部门批准才能用 Keystone 的执照运营。Coinbase 总裁和 COO Asiff Hirji对此表示,他们对 Coinbase 获得许可有着十足的信心,且预计 Coinbase 在得到许可后几个月内就能将 Keystone 的业务和Coinbase 现有业务整合。

“我们对Coinbase 在该市场走向合法化方面应该承担责任非常重视。” Hirji 说到。

代币发行已经取代 VC 等传统方法成为了另类创业公司融资方式。收购 Keystone 之后 Coinbase 就可以发行由当局监管的数字代币,也就是“安全令牌”。

自2017年以来,创业公司通过代币发行获得的融资总额已经高于130亿美元,但美国证券交易委员会指出这些代币交易中有不少其实都属于证券类。如果该说法属实,这些创业公司的投资人和其中的中介方都可能会面临被指控出售无牌证券的风险。不少加密货币交易所都涉及此类代币交易,但 Coinbase、Circle 和 Gemini 等受监管公司对这类交易始终没有明确表示支持。

Coinbase 收购 Keystone 的根本动机就是为了获得牌照。Coinbase 声称 Keystone 的业务将会被终止,其现有运营将会被整合进 Coinbase 的业务,但此过程中预计不会发生裁员。Keystone 代表人目前还未对此做出回应。

本次收购也是 Coinbase 从零售加密货币投资方扩展向别的业务的重要一步。Coinbase 的业务规模在过去18个月内急剧扩增,现在公司已有2000多万客户,业务覆盖33个国家,最近还刚刚在日本市场登陆。但由于今年早期比特币价值下跌60%多,如今改板块的业务发展速度已经明显减缓,且竞争也非常激烈。

这场交易也证明,虽然华尔街公司对加密货币板块没有展露太大兴趣,但加密货币类公司正在争相从华尔街抢客户。就在这周三,VanEck 和 SolidX 两家封闭式公司向美国证券交易委员会就比特币交易所交易基金提交了申请。区块连应用服务公司 Circle 则表示,Coinbase 想通过收购Keystone提供的服务,他们也正在寻找相关牌照好提供类似服务。

Coinbase 的收购计划中唯一问题就是 Keystone 曾在2016年与 Overstock.com的 tZero 部门就一起打造 ATS 平台签约过合作关系。 Coinbase 声明这段合作关系将会被终止。Tzero 曾于今年5月公布,他们正在和一家加拿大TMX 集团的某各部门合作打造安全令牌交易平台。

Coinbase, one of the leading cryptocurrency and bitcoin businesses, is acquiring a securities dealer that the company hopes will allow it to expand into the red-hot coin-offerings market.

The San Francisco-based firm said it is acquiring Keystone Capital Corp., a Cardiff, Calif.-based financial-services firm. Keystone is a Finra-registered broker-dealer, and it has licenses to operate as a registered investment adviser, as well as to run an alternative trading system, or ATS.

Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

For Coinbase, which currently trades just a handful of the largest cryptocurrencies, acquiring those licenses could open up new business opportunities and allow it to market its services to more institutional businesses. Buying Keystone also raises the prospect that Coinbase could, down the line, expand into products tied to stocks or other securities.

Coinbase will need regulatory approval to operate under the Keystone licenses. President and Chief Operating Officer Asiff Hirji said that Coinbase is confident it will get those approvals and that the company expects it would take several months to integrate Keystone’s operations into its own once it obtain those approvals.

“We take our role in legitimizing the space very seriously,” Mr. Hirji said.

Coin offerings have sprouted up as an alternative to traditional startup funding such as venture capital, and the deal would allow Coinbase to start offering digital tokens that generally submit to regulatory oversight, also known as “security tokens.”

Startups creating coin offerings, a cross between crowd-funding and initial public offerings, have raised more than $13 billion since the start of 2017, but the Securities and Exchange Commission has consistently argued many of them fit the definition of a security.

That raises risks for the firms offering them and for any business that wants to operate as an intermediary, because they could be open to charges of selling unlicensed securities. Many cryptocurrencies exchanges list these tokens, but regulated firms like Coinbase, Circle and Gemini have been hesitant about doing so.

Coinbase is essentially buying Keystone for its licenses. The company said Keystone’s existing businesses would be wound down, and its operations integrated in Coinbase’s business, though Coinbase doesn’t expect that process will involve any layoffs, the company said. A Keystone representative had no immediate comment.

The move is also part of Coinbase’s strategy of moving beyond its base of retail crypto investors. The firm’s business exploded over the past 18 months—it now has more than 20 million customers and operates in 33 countries including a recent expansion into Japan—but the sector is crowded and activity slowed down after bitcoin’s more than 60% drop earlier this year.

The deal is also the latest indication that while Wall Street firms remain cool to the cryptocurrency sector, crypto businesses are racing to take customers from Wall Street. Earlier on Wednesday, two private firms, VanEck and SolidX, filed with the SEC for a bitcoin exchange-traded fund. Also, services firm Circle said it is seeking a banking license that would allow it to offer many of the same services that Coinbase plans to offer through Keystone.

“We’re in the early stages of a tech-led transformation of how money works,” said Jeremy Allaire, founder and CEO of Circle.

One unusual wrinkle of Coinbase’s acquisition is that Keystone in 2016 signed a partnership with Overstock.com Inc.’s tZero unit to build an ATS platform. Coinbase said that partnership would also be wound down. TZero announced in May that it is working with a unit of Canada’s TMX Group to build an exchange for security tokens.


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