Coinbase gets approval to offer crypto futures to eligible U.S. customers

Coinbase said it’s received regulatory approval to bring federally regulated crypto futures trading to eligible customers in the U.S., sending shares sharply higher before the opening bell Wednesday.

In June, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed lawsuits against Binance and Coinbase, saying that the companies were in violation of the the law because they were operating as securities exchanges without registering with the agency.

Coinbase said Wednesday that it had secured regulatory approval from the National Futures Association to operate as a futures commission merchant. The cryptocurrency exchange said that it filed its application with the association in 2021.

Now that it has received approval, Coinbase says eligible U.S. customers will be able to access regulated derivatives products through Coinbase Financial Markets, subject to the oversight of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the NFA.

The company tweeted that it can now offers cryptocurrency futures contracts in bitcoin and ether. Futures are derivative contracts to buy or sell an asset at a later date at a price previously agreed to under a contract.

“We believe this is a watershed moment to be able to bring regulated crypto products to U.S. customers,” Coinbase said. “This is a critical milestone that reaffirms our commitment to operate a regulated and compliant business and be the most trusted and secure crypto-native platform for our customers.”

The Coinbase website currently has a message that says U.S. regulated futures trading is coming soon. It invites people to sign up for its waitlist.

The company previously announced that it planned to launch bitcoin and ether futures trading for institutional investors on its Coinbase Derivatives Exchange in June.

Shares of Coinbase Global Inc. rose more than 5% before the market opened.