Coinbase has long been a way for U.S. users to buy/sell bitcoin, but they weren’t a “stand-alone” exchange, rather being tied to Bitstamp. Buys/Sells could, in some cases, take a week to 10 days to complete.. (Find a local Bitcoin ATM, much faster!) Now that more than 82,000 businesses accept bitcoin, double last year, larger companies, including Wall Street seem to see the value in bitcoin. Earlier this month, Coinbase closed a $75 Million dollar financing round, for a grand total of $105 million, the largest ever for any virtual-currency startup. The New York Stock exchange, USAA and others were participants in the funding rounds.
On Monday, 01/26/15, Coinbase opens up the first regulated Exchange in the United States, which should have an interesting impact on the market, badly in need of a US-based exchange with good backing, better security, and decent volume! (Nifty Coming Soon Animation Here!)