Coinbase Shifting Focus Due to Growing Institutional Investor Interest in Crypto

America’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Coinbase, is shifting its focus to serve the needs of a growing interest in crypto by institutional investors. This is the narrative coming from the company after some changes in the last 10 days.

Firstly, news broke last week that Coinbase had filed to close its Political Action Committee (PAC) with the American Federal Election Commission (FEC).

A quick look at the filing and balance sheet shows that Coinbase’s PAC did not receive any funding and made no payments in 2019.

According to FEC regulations, a termination report needs to be filed by a PAC in order for it to close down. Part of those conditions need to show that the PAC has neither received nor intends to receive any contributions/make any payments.

Following that, Coinbase confirmed that it had closed its Chicago office in a move to scale down its high-frequency trade matching engine.

Cointelegraph reached out to Coinbase for official comment on both matters and the company has confirmed that it is carrying out some changes to its business focus.

What is a PAC?

In America, Political Action Committees are set up as independent organizations that collect funds that are then donated to political campaigns.

Coinbase set up its PAC in July 2018 and subsequently became a founding member of the Blockchain Association in September. The group was the first to lobby for the interests of the blockchain industry in Washington, D.C.

Coinbase was not the only benefactor, however, with other members including technology startup Protocol Labs, the Digital Currency Group and Polychain Capital.

In a reply to Cointelegraph, Coinbase Director of Communications Elliott Suthers would not divulge why the company had initially setup the PAC nor the main reason why it has now decided to shut down the group less than a year after it was initially created.

Coinbase scaling down on trading focus?

Recently, Coinbase also closed its Chicago office as part of scaledown of its high-frequency trade matching engine.

Initial reports suggested that 30 employees would be laid off in the move, while others would be allowed to work remotely or b