Opening the door to ETFs that invest in Bitcoin futures in the U.S. will pressure the revenues at crypto exchanges such as Coinbase Global Inc., says Moody’s Investors Service.
In a new report, the rating agency said the launch earlier this week of the first U.S. ETF that provides investors with exposure to Bitcoin futures clears the way for other ETFs to enter the emerging sector too.
This development represents a negative for digital asset trading platform Coinbase, Moody’s said, because it will allow investors to trade Bitcoin exposures in their brokerage accounts more cheaply than they could through Coinbase.
While the ProShares Bitcoin ETF charges an annual expense ratio of 0.95%, Moody’s estimated that Coinbase earned about 1.27% on the value of retail trades in the 12 months ended June 30.
Ultimately, the development will likely put downward pressure on Coinbase’s fees, it said.
Moody’s said Coinbase currently derives 95% of net revenue from customer transaction activity.
“To address its reliance on transaction revenue, Coinbase is diversifying its tradable products and expanding its subscription-based revenue, but it will take time for this strategy to have a material effect,” it said.
Additionally, it noted that growth in Bitcoin trading vehicles could result in a greater demand for Coinbase’s pricing data.
“Despite increased competitive pressure, Coinbase will likely benefit from ProShares’ Bitcoin ETF launch because of increased investor interest in Bitcoin ETF as an asset class, and customers who want access to a larger set of digital assets will still trade through digital platforms like those of Coinbase,” Moody’s said.