Coinbase tested group to speculate on crypto

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Coinbase Global Inc. has been searching for new ways to make money. One business it flirted with was controversial: using its own money to speculate on cryptocurrencies. Last year, Coinbase—which operates a large cryptocurrency exchange that handles bitcoin and other digital coins—hired at least four senior Wall Street traders and launched a group to generate profit, in part, by using the company’s cash to trade and “stake,” or lock up, cryptocurrencies, according to people close to the matter. The activity was described as “proprietary” trading by the people at the company.

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