With yesterday’s addition of Zcash (ZEC), standard alternate service Coinbase has more than doubled its cryptocurrency lineup in 2018 – and by the looks of it, the trend is here to stay.
Up until August, Coinbase supported a narrow inventory of cryptocurrencies on its flagship desktop and mobile apps, including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH), the last one of which was added final December.
But this 12 months alone, Coinbase has already bumped its providing with 5 new currencies: Ethereum Classic (ETC), 0x (ZRX), Circle’s dollar-pegged USD Coin (USDC), Brave browser’s Basic Attention Token (BAT), and Zcash.
The trend is here to stay
The exchange desk, which previously employed a rather selective listing fee, opened up its application procedure to pretty much any token in the space back in September.
In response, cryptocurrency enthusiasts flocked to mercilessly troll Coinbase on Twitter. But despite the vicious ridicule, it seems cryptocurrency firms are taking advantage of the new listing policy.
Meanwhile, skeptics voiced concerns the move essentially signals the exchange’s plans to expand into offering security tokens – once regulators have actually worked out what defines a “security” in the context of cryptocurrencies.
Of course, Coinbase’s aggressive itemizing enlargement comes as no shock to cryptocurrency insiders, particularly in mild of its intention to discover a variety of belongings – greater than 40 in rely – for its Custody service.
In July, the alternate desk additionally shared a shortlist of cryptocurrencies it was contemplating including to its flagship desktop and cell apps.
Three out of the 5 belongings mentioned – specifically, Basic Attention Token, Zcash, and 0x – have made its method to the service. The different two, still-unlisted belongings have been Cardano (ADA) and Stellar’s Lumens (XLM).
Coinbase and the regulators
The San Francisco-based alternate has lengthy been eyeing the addition of cryptocurrencies, which might be thought of securities. Indeed, regardless of quite a few rumors of insider trading at Coinbase, the firm has remained centered on this imaginative and prescient.
Just a few months again in July, Coinbase informed Bloomberg it got the blessing of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to close a trio of acquisitions that could allow the company to facilitate the trade of security tokens.
Buying out Keystone Capital, Venovate Marketplace, and Digital Wealth purportedly provided the exchange with the necessary licenses to operate as a broker dealer, an alternative trading system, and a legitimate investment advisor.
“Being approved to take ownership of these licensed entities is one more step toward our ultimate goal of allowing our customers to trade securities tokens on our platform,” Coinbase communications director Elliott Suthers told Bloomberg, as regards to the acquisitions. “There are many more steps and conversations needed with regulators before this journey’s complete.”
Days later, the firm had flipped the script, claiming the SEC had nothing to do with the buyout. Not solely that, Coinbase mentioned it by no means wanted SEC’s blessing for the acquisition – or for itemizing tokens that might be thought of securities.
“It shouldn’t be right to say that the SEC and FINRA accredited Coinbase’s buy of Keystone as a result of SEC was not concerned in the approval course of,” Coinbase VP of communications Rachael Horowitz defined to Bloomberg. “SEC’s approval is not required for the change of control application.” Industry insiders have been fast to second Horowitz’s declare.
The writing’s on the wall
In the meantime, Coinbase has been placing in critical efforts to push cryptocurrency mainstream adoption – and ease potential prospects into feeling extra snug with the idea of buying and selling and HODLing.
In July, the alternate desk launched cryptocurrency gift cards so customers can spend their crypto-riches in choose malls and buying areas in Italy, Spain, France, the Netherlands, the UK, and Australia. Weeks later in August, Coinbase rolled out a plugin designed to make it simpler for on-line retailers to simply accept cryptocurrency.
In September, the firm unveiled new crypto-bundles and discovery tools constructed to assist newbies discover cryptocurrencies, get extra conversant in the know-how underpinning them, and maybe make their first funding. But actually, these instruments made it dangerously simple to purchase cryptocurrencies, that are related to excessive threat and volatility.
Coinbase absolutely didn’t make these strikes in useless – reasonably, it appears this was a fastidiously executed development technique on their behalf.
With this in thoughts, we shouldn’t be stunned with the alternate’s fast enlargement into altcoins. Instead, we ought to be asking ourselves one factor: what cryptocurrency’s up subsequent?
Published December 6, 2018 — 17:26 UTC