Less than three months after receiving regulatory approval, cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase (COIN) has officially launched crypto futures trading for eligible customers in the United States.
In August, Coinbase affiliate Coinbase Financial Markets, Inc. (CFM) received approval from the National Futures Association to offer regulated crypto futures trading to U.S. customers.
Coinbase said at the time that the approval would make it the first crypto platform in the U.S., to offer regulated, leveraged futures alongside traditional crypto trading.
With a futures contract, an investor agrees to buy or sell an asset at a future date and price. Traders can take long or short positions on an asset and trade with leverage, which provides access to digital assets with lower upfront investments.
CFM offers traders access to bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) through nano-sized futures contracts that represent 1/100th of a bitcoin and 1/10th of an ether, respectively, which could make the assets more affordable to a wider range of retail investors.
To access the crypto futures contracts, U.S. traders need to have a Coinbase account and then apply for access to Coinbase Advanced, the affiliated platform that offers services for advanced retail traders. Coinbase customers need to have or apply for a Coinbase Advanced account before receiving access to the new offering.