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Coinbase: Roll Out the Lending Red Carpet (But Mind the Base-Shaped Speed Bump)

Coinbase goes institutional whilst suffering an outage, South Korea takes on North Korea, MrBeast lands in NFT trouble, Visa partners Solana, and MetaMask adds fiat functionality

September 6, 2023

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Coinbase is servicing US institutional clients by launching a new crypto lending product for them. Through the program, institutional clients will be able to lend crypto assets to Coinbase and receive collateral exceeding the value of the loan.

Secured loans will be offered to institutional trading clients, mirroring traditional bank prime brokerage services.

In a recent SEC filing, Coinbase indicated that $57 million has been raised for the program. Coinbase's previous Lend program, which targeted retail customers, was cancelled following scrutiny from the SEC.

In other Coinbase news, its Ethereum layer-2 network, Base, experienced a significant outage overnight. Marking its first outage since its public launch on 9 August, the bug lasted around 45 minutes, halting the production of blocks on the Base chain.

Coinbase cited an internal infrastructure issue that required a refresh and quickly implemented a fix. Base is monitoring the chain and the network has recovered, but sceptics suggest the outage highlights how layer-2s are not as well tested as the mainnet.

As its rival Binance is undergoing an exodus in its executive staff, Coinbase is going from strength to strength. Both exchanges are facing extensive pressure from US regulators but it seems Binance is feeling the brunt of it. Leon Foong, the head of Binance Asia-Pacific, recently parted ways with the world's leading crypto exchange, whilst Binance’s head of product Mayur Kamat exited the firm.


  • South Korea vs. North Korea: South Korea plans to introduce a bill to track and freeze North Korean cryptocurrencies and digital assets, following 10 months of consultations between South Korean government agencies. President Yoon Suk Yeol said the bill should include practical measures to enhance national security. The bill is expected to add to South Korea's existing sanctions against North Korea. It focuses on tracking and neutralizing cryptocurrency assets stolen by North Korean hackers.
  • MrBeast's NFT Backlash: Esports tech firm eFuse has suspended its Creator League project, which MrBeast had previously promoted. The Creator League offered Community Passes" for $20 each, offering access to exclusive Discord servers, polls and competition. Although eFuse said the passes were not NFTs, it clarified that the project uses Near blockchain for transparency, even though the Creator League's purchase page did not mention it. Influencers including YouTuber Connor “CDawgVA” Colquhoun expressed concern about the project's blockchain involvement. The online personality said he intended to withdraw from the Creator League, citing a lack of understanding of its tech.
  • Visa x Solana: Visa is venturing deeper into Web3 by expanding its stablecoin settlement capabilities to Solana. Pilots with issuers have already been conducted, sending millions of USDC between partners on Solana and Ethereum for fiat payments settled through VisaNet. Its aim is to accelerate cross-border settlements by leveraging stablecoins and blockchain networks. The initiative follows Visa's pilot with The payment firm is also collaborating with Worldpay and Nuvei to improve settlement times for merchants.
  • MetaMask's Payout Function: MetaMask has introduced a feature that allows users in the US, UK, and parts of Europe to convert their digital assets into fiat and send funds to their bank account. Users will be able to convert their crypto into USD, GPB and EUR. More currencies are planned to be added, and whilst the function only supports ETH on the Ethereum Mainnet, MetaMask plans to expand to native gas tokens on layer 2 networks soon.