Coinbase announced Thursday it has updated its investment policy to include a 10% quarterly income allocation in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency and also committed to investing $500 million of its $4 billion in reserves into crypto.
A statement from Coinbase reads, “We’re in a strong position to lead by example and double down on how we can enable crypto adoption and utility, starting with how we operate our business.”
The news comes just two days after it was widely reported that the largest U.S. crypto exchange was holding a $4 billion hoard of depreciating cash in reserve, one that didn’t include any Bitcoin or the dozens of highly speculative altcoins it puts up for exchange on its platform.
The omission of Bitcoin from the balance sheet has suggested to many that the company’s leadership does not understand Bitcoin’s fundamental store-of-value properties. However, recent statements indicate the company may be changing this position.
On Wednesday Coinbase’s CFO told The Wall Street Journal, "We want to ensure that we maintain those cash reserves so that we can continue to invest and continue to grow our products and services in the event that we go into a crypto winter."
Ultimately, Coinbase’s investment announcement is a diplomatic attempt at appealing to their trendy altcoin audience, and to garner attention for being “the first publicly traded company to hold Ethereum, proof-of-stake assets, DeFi tokens, and many other crypto assets supported for trading on our platform, in addition to Bitcoin, on our balance sheet.”
The addition of Bitcoin at the end of the statement was a blatant attempt at lending legitimacy to this move. There has been no mention of Coinbase’s percentage of allocation into each of the many assets in its new investment portfolio, nor was there any indication that they would hold their Bitcoin long term.
All we know for sure is that Coinbase is putting roughly just one-eighth of its reserves into highly speculative altcoins and Bitcoin, in addition to a recurring quarterly 10% investment of unknown quantities.
Coinbase also claimed its quarterly 10% investments in Bitcoin and altcoins to be “a dollar cost averaging strategy” in order to appeal to a Bitcoin audience. If Coinbase understood Bitcoin, they would have long been running on a Bitcoin standard.