- Coinbase said Wednesday it's buying regulated US-based derivatives platform FairX.
- The crypto exchange plans to offer options and futures to US customers after the deal's close in April.
- Other platforms already offer crypto derivatives to global customers, but none in the US.
Coinbase has agreed to buy derivatives exchange FairX, opening the door to bitcoin futures products from the largest publicly listed crypto exchange.
The deal means Coinbase will gain ground in introducing crypto-related derivative products such as bitcoin futures to US retail and institutional investors.
"Through this acquisition, we plan to bring regulated crypto derivatives to market, initially through FairX's existing partner ecosystem," it said in a blog post late Wednesday.
"Over time, we plan to leverage FairX's infrastructure to offer crypto derivatives to all Coinbase customers in the US."
While crypto platforms Binance and FTX already provide derivatives products to global customers, strict regulatory requirements have proved stumbling blocks to US exchanges offering them.
Chicago-based FairX is a Commodities Futures Trading Commission-regulated exchange, meaning it is permitted to handle futures, swaps and options by the US government.
Its new owner will be able to provide these products to its customers once the deal closes, which is expected to happen before April.
"Coinbase intends to play a leading role in the derivatives side of the crypto market even though it is still in the nascent stages," Brett Tejpaul, head of Coinbase Institutional, told CNBC.
In September, Coinbase said it had filed an application with the National Futures Association, which works closely with the CFTC, to offer futures and derivatives on its exchange. The FairX deal is just the latest step toward expanding its product offering.
In the race to bring crypto derivatives to the US market, Coinbase has a rival in FTX.US. The affiliate of Sam-Bankman Fried's FTX exchange bought LedgerX in August as a step toward that goal.