Canadian Crypto Exchange Coinsquare Rolls Out XRP Markets Ahead of U.S. Expansion

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Canadian cryptocurrency exchange and brokerage platform Coinsquare has listed XRP for trading, placing another arrow in its quiver as it prepares to challenge Coinbase — its dominant competitor to the south — to become the trading venue of choice for retail investors.

The Toronto-based Coinsquare on Monday announced that it had added XRP — the third-largest cryptocurrency and the native asset of the Ripple Consensus Ledger (RCL) — for trading. The rollout is initially in beta, during which time users will be able to fund their accounts with XRP and trade it against fiat and other cryptocurrencies, but they will not be able to withdraw XRP to an external wallet.

Coinsquare CEO Cole Diamond had said in early January that adding ripple to the platform was near the top of the exchange operator’s agenda, though months passed without word on when this event would occur.

“While we’re excited about this launch, we also recognize it’s been a long wait, and we want to apologize for the delays and lack of communication. We appreciate everyone’s patience with us and commit to doing better going forward,” the exchange said in a statement.

Though XRP is the third-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, some exchanges have been hesitant to list it, largely due to regulatory concerns revolving around whether the asset is a security. Coinbase, for instance, has thus far declined to support it, despite listing four of the seven largest cryptocurrencies and revealing that is “exploring” adding support for a fifth, stellar (XLM).

That fact is notable, since Diamond has said that Coinsquare has an ambitious expansion plan that includes gaining a foothold in Coinbase-dominated markets like the U.S. and U.K. The firm has said that this expansion will be financed by an initial public offering (IPO) on the main Toronto Stock Exchange, through which Coinsquare hopes to raise CAD$150 million (USD$120 million).

“We believe that we will be a strong competitor to Coinbase and other exchanges in the U.S. by the end of the year,” Diamond told Bloomberg in January.

Editor’s Note: As the native token of the Ripple Consensus Ledger (RCL), XRP is often colloquially referred to as “Ripple,” though the Ripple company has increasingly sought to distance itself from the asset — and the fact that Ripple owns more than half of the total XRP supply.

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Josiah is an assistant editor at CCN. A former ancient and medieval literature teacher, he has been reporting on cryptocurrency since 2014. He lives in rural North Carolina with his wife and children. He holds investment positions in bitcoin and other large-cap cryptocurrencies. Follow him on Twitter @Y3llowb1ackbird or email him directly at josiah.wilmoth(at)ccn.com.