Global Digital Asset Exchange (GDAX) has said that it won’t be trading the majority of new cryptocurrencies. GDAX is backed by the New York Stock Exchange and they aren’t stocking the new initial coin offerings (ICOs) because of risks in the market.
GDAX is currently the world’s fourth-largest cryptocurrency marketplace by volume; at the start of November, approximately US$255m were traded in 24 hours. Compare this with the largest cryptocurrency trader, Bithumb, located in South Korea, trading US$290m in 24 hours. The digital exchange is regulated by New York Department of Financial Services and is owned by Coinbase, who are a San-Francisco based digital wallet company valued at US$1.6bn this year.
At the moment GDAX only trades Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum which have been around for nine, six and two years respectively. Over 200 new cryptocurrencies were created in 2017 alone, attracting over US$3bn. The relatively young and lively ICO market is deemed risky and GDAX are only looking to trade cryptocurrencies with a proven track record. Many doubts remain about the security and fraudulent behaviours surrounding the launching of cryptocurrencies, making many (including GDAX) wary of their worth.
Caution under pressure
GDAX is under pressure to introduce new digital assets, but they are proceeding with caution. The head of GDAX, Adam White, told the Financial Times, “we see those customers going to other venues, and we don’t want that to happen”. To keep customers, White said that they would be adding more than three ICOs a year, rather than hundreds. Digital assets are still very young and some consider it the “wild west” of financial investments. Like most technologies in their infancy, there have been teething problems; however, GDAX hopes to sidestep these problems by setting up a formal, regulated environment for cryptocurrency trading.