Coinbase Acquires Regulated Futures Exchange to Expand Derivatives Offerings

Coinbase is purchasing CFTC-regulated derivatives exchange FairX for an undisclosed amount


Blockworks exclusive art by Axel Rangel


key takeaways

  • Coinbase is expected to acquire FairX this quarter
  • The move shows a growing trend for exchanges to diversify their offerings

Coinbase is buying Commodity and Futures Trading Commission-regulated derivatives exchange FairX for an undisclosed amount, the company announced Wednesday in a blog post.

Coinbase will initially offer derivatives trading through FairX’s existing infrastructure, but plans to eventually “leverage FairX’s infrastructure to offer crypto derivatives to all Coinbase customers in the US,” the post read.

The acquisition is essential to building out Coinbase’s offerings and meeting client demand, the company said.

Coinbase has historically reported trading fees as its main source of revenue, but the exchange has been trying for months to diversify its profit streams. In May 2021, the revamped version of Coinbase Prime, the exchange’s prime brokerage service, was announced. 

Expanding into derivatives trading, which is increasingly becoming more popular than spot trading, by volume, offers another opportunity for revenue diversification.

“These products are in high demand from investors who seek to effectively manage risk, execute complex trading strategies, and gain exposure to crypto outside of existing spot markets,” the blog post read. 

The acquisition comes as other cryptocurrency exchanges look to expand into the same market. In August 2021, FTX announced the purchase of futures and options platform LedgerX. 

“It’s only natural to want to engage the largest capital market in the world inside the US with that same product through all of our existing institutional and retail customers who want to trade these products,” FTX.US president Brett Harrison told Blockworks at the time. 

Coinbase’s acquisition is set to close in the first quarter of 2022. Terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.

Don’t miss the next big story – join our free daily newsletter.


Upcoming Events

Hilton Metropole | 225 Edgware Rd, London

Mon - Wed, March 18 - 20, 2024

Crypto’s premier institutional conference returns to London in March 2024. The DAS: London Experience: Attend expert-led panel discussions and fireside chats Hear the latest developments regarding the crypto and digital asset regulatory environment directly from policymakers and experts.

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research

Research report - cover graphics (1).jpg


In this report, we dive into crypto private market data to gather insights on where the future of the industry is headed. Despite a notable downturn in private raises, capital continues to infuse promising projects that aim to transform payments, banking, consumer experiences, community, and more, with 2023 being the fourth-largest year for crypto venture capital.


BUZZ holds shares of Coinbase, Robinhood and MicroStrategy


Opinion: Even though I didn’t pay for my “Diamond Hands” burger with BTC, don’t let that fool you into thinking that crypto’s development is futile


The results mark “a major positive inflection point,” one analyst says, as the exchange carries net income momentum into a crypto rally


While the slate of 10 US spot bitcoin funds have tallied $4.6 billion of net inflows thus far, half of the field is lagging the leaders


Trading volumes totalled $154 billion in Q4, including $125 billion in institutional volume


DeFi on Bitcoin is all the rage right now and Stacks is positioned to benefit