Coinbase reveals plans for crypto app store amid global refocus

Top U.S.-based centralized crypto exchange, Coinbase, has announced plans to launch a crypto app store offering third-party developed products.

A June 30 blog post penned by Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong revealed its plans for an app store, stating that while “the crypto economy is still in its early stages, […] it is clear that every year more and more economic activity will take place on crypto rails.”

“Apple didn’t attempt to build every app for the iPhone, it empowered developers and gave mobile users an easy way to access new innovative apps. We need to do the same in crypto.”

Armstrong estimated there is now “[tens] of billions of dollars of economic activity running on DApps.”

The post also emphasized Coinbase’s commitment to expanding the number of crypto assets it supports and increasing the speed of new listings, announcing plans to reduce its legal review for prospective listings and launch an “‘experimental zone’ for new assets.”

The legal review process will be reduced from 70 questions to 12.

While noting that many assets may not meet Coinbase’s criteria to be listed for trading due to regulatory reasons, the exchange believes it can provide basic wallet functionality such as custody and transfer services for “most assets.”

The exchange also states the Coinbase app will soon support “any app built on decentralized crypto rails,” suggesting the exchange’s users may soon be able to interact with the burgeoning DeFi ecosystem through Coinbase’s application.

Armstrong also highlighted Coinbase’s desire to become a “global” company. While the post characterizes Coinbase as currently focusing on delivering its products within “a narrow set of regions,” the exchange hopes to launch new products “in most countries by default” moving forward.

Related: Germany’s financial watchdog approves crypto custody license for Coinbase

Coinbase’s new plans come as regulators are increasingly taking aim at globally operating crypto exchanges, with the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority ordering Binance to cease all “regulated activities” in the jurisdiction.

Responding to a broader crypto crackdown in China, Huobi banned Chinese users from accessing its derivatives products, in addition to retail traders from the U.K.

In April, the financial regulator of the Canadian province of Ontario accused Bybit and Kucoin of violating local securities laws, with Bybit also coming under fire from Japan’s Financial Services Agency the following month.