The first regulated bitcoin exchange in the United States opened today.

Coinbase, a major bitcoin wallet provider based in San Francisco, opened access to its brand-new bitcoin exchange, based in the USA. It has already secured regulatory approval in 24 states out of 50, situated all across the country, and including New York and California. Coinbase plans to extend services into other states as well and probably into other countries. Until March 30th, there will be no trading fees, and later they will not exceed 0.25% of the transaction.

 

The new exchange was hinted at 24 hours prior, when Coinbase launched a teaser site named Lunar with the image of a rocket flying to the Moon, a countdown, and a slogan “To the Moon!” During the day, the bitcoin price skyrocketed, and that might not have been a simple a coincidence.

 

As we have already written, the launch of the Coinbase exchange comes amid other news of the arrival of regulated exchanges in the US: one of them was announced by the Winklevoss brothers and another, even beforeby Barry Silbert of SecondMarket. Late last year, Benjamin Lawsky, New York State’s Superintendent of Financial Services, alluded to unspecified institutional exchanges that were expected to launch in early 2015 in his state. The Coinbase exchange also has the recent $75 million investment from NYSE, banks, and bitcoin investors behind it.

 

Coinbase has long sought to distance itself from the Dark Web, demanding its clients’ personal details and credit history and reserving the right to suspend or terminate their accounts if it suspected them of illegal activities. Many of the activities deemed illegal may, in fact, be legal in some states of the US, like thr purchase of cannabis seeds or online gambling. According to some bitcoin users, Coinbase violates the very spirit of Bitcoin. But this ‘overzealousness’, much as it may bother bitcoin enthusiasts, is reassuring to the authorities and mainstream users.