Last week, the public listing of Coinbase on the Nasdaq NDAQ marked a key milestone in cryptocurrency’s rise to mainstream acceptance, but how strong is its future in cross-border payments? 

Entering the market with a $76bn valuation, Coinbase is the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the US, and a key proxy for the growing success of crypto more widely. When it was founded in 2012, such digital currencies were predominantly being used for illicit online payments, but now currencies such as bitcoin and etherium have become increasingly popular trading assets for institutional investors. 

However, crypto’s use is increasingly extending to the payments world, where some are extolling its benefits for cross-border transactions, arguing that it does not require conventional currency conversions, bringing speed and cost benefits.

“Trading and speculation were the first major use cases to take off in cryptocurrency, just like people rushed to buy domain names in the early days of the internet. But we’re now seeing cryptocurrency