Coinbase said today that it will allow its users to buy and sell XRP, the controversial cryptocurrency created by Ripple. Ripple’s close involvement with XRP—it owns the majority of all XRP tokens—has led some people to speculate that the token could be considered a security. But the listing by Coinbase suggests that the exchange, traditionally one of the most conservative in its additions, feels confident enough in XRP’s regulatory status to allow its customers to trade it. The price of XRP rose 10% following the announcement.
The listing comes as cryptocurrency exchanges in general see lower trading volumes following a drop-off in investor interest in early 2018. In recent months, Coinbase has sped up the rate at which it lists new tokens, which could increase trading volume and allow it to collect more revenue from fees. The listing of XRP and other, lesser-known cryptocurrencies could help the U.S. exchange to compete with Binance, a Malta-based exchange that has attracted cryptocurrency investors by offering trading in hundreds of tokens.