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Coinbase Isn’t Adding 50k Users Each Day, But Blockchain’s Wallet Is

Earlier this week, Ethereum World News reported that Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong explained in an interview that his cryptocurrency platform was receiving an influx of “more than 50,000 (people) a day signing up.” Many individuals saw this as a bullish sign, with many noting that this figure indicates that the market is continuing to garner the interest of individuals, despite the overall downtrend in prices.

Although many saw this proclamation from Coinbase’s CEO as a matter of fact, including Bloomberg reporters, who originally broke the topic, it was later clarified that the 50k/Day figure only applied during 2017’s astounding bull-run, where Bitcoin’s price rose by over ten-fold.

As such, skeptics thought that adoption rates of cryptocurrencies would be down across the board, but according to a tweet from Peter Smith, the CEO of the Blockchain crypto/blockchain infrastructure firm, this may not be the case.

In fact, Smith writes that Blockchain is the one who is signing up 50,000 users per day, not Coinbase. He writes:

CORRECTION: It’s actually *Blockchain* signing up over 50,000 per day in the midst of this crypto downturn. It’s delightful to see new entrants actually interested in *using* crypto. (Hi )

While this figure had some cryptocurrency proponents over the moon, some were critical that Peter Smith might have been ‘overhyping’ this figure. One Twitter user wrote that Smith may mean 50,000 new wallets each day, which is a far cry from 50,000 ‘fresh meat’ signups each day. While another critic pointed out how Blockchain doesn’t currently support a fiat on-ramp for retail investors, making such a growth statistic note entirely relevant.

Nonetheless, this statistic, regardless of how some see it, still shows that this nascent industry is alive and kicking, even after a dismal 70% decline.

Blockchain’s CEO Remains As Bullish As Ever

Although Smith may have received some flak over the aforementioned Tweet, the Blockchain executive remains as bullish as ever. In a recent interview with Bloomberg, Blockchain’s CEO commented on the future of this market, in terms of price actions and fundamental indicators. Firstly, the long-time crypto proponent spoke about the value of Bitcoin, noting that the market could enter a consolidation phase within the third and fourth quarter of this year. He elaborated, drawing attention to previous ‘cycles,’ stating:

“I think over the past couple of years we’ve seen a lot of really rapid increases, and really rapid decreases, then a sort of a slow consolidation of the market. I think we are seeing another slow consolidation in the market now and we are likely to see a very sort of moderate or positive price consolidation over the next quarter.”

Speaking more on this prediction, Smith cited reasons of higher levels of regulatory clarity, which was brought about by the countless developments made over the past year as Bitcoin made a foray into the mainstream.

Secondly, the CEO of Blockchain brought attention to the current dynamic between institutional and retail investors in this fledgling market. Smith noted that the institutional “order flow” has begun to increase, with retail interest starting to die down. Although institutions are starting to show interest, he closed out this segment noting that the market will not experience the full effect of this influx of investment until mid-2019. As Peter Smith has continually noted, it may be a few years before cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology replace the legacy systems that are used by billions across the world.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

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“Goodbye Toshi, Hello Coinbase Wallet” — Coinbase Revamps Mobile App

Coinbase has continually shown that it is one of the foremost crypto-centric companies in this nascent industry. And today’s announcement has only cemented this theme, with Coinbase making a move to revamp the popular Toshi mobile wallet to better fit the firm’s unrelenting drive for innovation.

This change comes via a post made on Medium, with Siddharth Coelho-Prabhu, a Toshi (Coinbase by extension) developer, writing, “goodbye Toshi, (and) hello Coinbase Wallet.”

You may be thinking: “That’s great and all, but what does this mean for consumers like you or myself?” Well, with this move, Toshi will become a native member of the Coinbase ecosystem and will be revamped to become even better in a bid to fit the Menlo Park-based firm’s goals and aspirations. As Coinbase Wallet’s Product Lead puts it:

“This is not just a new name, but part of a larger effort to invest in products that will define the future of the decentralized web and make that future accessible to anyone.”

For those who are unaware, the Toshi project was launched just over one year ago and featured the world’s first mobile-focused decentralized application (DApp) browser. Just a few months later, Toshi became the first wallet to support crypto collectibles, such as CryptoKitties and the like. While these moves were appreciated by many, Toshi’s (Coinbase) overarching goal was to facilitate an easy-to-use decentralized ecosystem through a simple app on your mobile phone.

Image Courtesy of Coinbase

Unlike the competition, Toshi, which is now named Coinbase Wallet, allows its users to store their private keys within your device, instead of in a centralized (easily hackable) server. Not only are the funds controlled by the user, but the private keys are secured using a so-called “Secure Enclave” and through biometric authentication methods.

But to Coinbase, this wallet is much more than a place to store your cryptocurrencies, but more of a “home-base for exploring the decentralized web and its possibilities.” Attesting to this fact, the cryptocurrency giant listed the features supported by the application, which are as follows:

  • Manage ETH and all your ERC-20 tokens (very soon we’ll be supporting BTC, BCH, and LTC).
  • Receive airdrops and ICO tokens.
  • Buy and store crypto collectibles — non-fungible tokens that are unique — and use them in games, or trade them on marketplaces.
  • Send payments to anyone anywhere, without geographical borders or fees.
  • Access leading decentralized exchanges and relayers to buy and sell tokens.
  • Explore the full universe of third-party DApps that enable everything from taking out a loan or lending to others on the blockchain to earning crypto by answering questions, performing services, or completing tasks.

Taking these features into account, Coinbase Wallet has quickly become a preferred platform for many cryptocurrency users, including entrepreneurs and companies looking for DApp adoption.

Users expressed their excitement for this move, with one Reddit user going by Brady421 commending Coinbase for making moves in a bear market, writing:

“As much s*** as Coinbase gets they’re really doing the most in the market to make crypto mainstream. Nothing but respect to them over the past few months.”

The closing comments of the aforementioned Medium post echo this sentiment, claiming that this was just one small move in moving towards an “open financial system” through the adoption and real-world use of crypto and DApps.

Photo by Rodion Kutsaev on Unsplash

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Coinbase Pro Now Supports Ethereum Classic (ETC)

The hype surrounding Coinbase’s upcoming Ethereum Classic (ETC) listing has continued, with Coinbase’s so-called “Pro” platform recently announcing that it now officially supports ETC deposits.

Ethereum Classic Is Now Live On Coinbase Pro 

On Tuesday morning, Coinbase took to Twitter to announce that its plans for the launch of Ethereum Classic were successful, with the exchange finally offering support for the transfer of this crypto asset.

In an announcement blog post, David Farmer, Coinbase Pro’s General Manager, wrote:

“We announced final testing for Ethereum Classic last Friday, with a goal of accepting transfers for exchange users by Tuesday August 7th. Our testing has gone according to plan and we will be launching support first on our exchanges (Coinbase Pro).”

While Pro’s support for ETC officially commences today, Farmer implied that the addition of this asset isn’t a simple process, as he outlined an extensive four-stage plan that will ease the stress on Coinbase’s employees, system and consumers alike.

Stage 1 — Transfer-only: As noted earlier, Coinbase Pro users can now transfer their Ethereum Classic coins to the exchange starting today. While deposits are supported, traders will be unable to place orders. Coinbase expects this stage to last for at least 24 to 48 hours.

Stage 2 — Post-only: In this stage, Coinbase customers will be able to post limit orders, but no order matches will be made during this time. The platform will allocate a minimum of 10 minutes to this stage.

Stage 3 — Limit-only: Following the post-only stage, trader’s limit orders will begin to be matched with other orders. However, market orders will not be supported just yet, with the firm allocating yet another 10 minutes to this phase.

Stage 4 — Full Trading: Following the success of the aforementioned stages, Coinbase Pro expects to launch full-fledged support for trading, including limit, market and stop orders.

It was added that this process would be completed on a case-by-case basis for each of the platform’s new order books, which are ETC-USD, ETC-BTC, and ETC-EUR. The Coinbase executive noted:

“If at any point one of the new order books does not meet our assessment for a healthy and orderly market, we may keep the book in one state for a longer period of time, or suspend trading as per our Trading Rules.”

It is important to note that ETC will not be available for Coinbase Consumer (Coinbase.com) just yet, with the platform citing liquidity concerns as the primary reason why ETC will not initially be added to the platform used by a majority of retail investors.

ETC Surpasses Tron, Monero, And More To Become The 11th Largest Crypto 

As a result of a series of positive developments regarding this cryptocurrency, Ethereum Classic has skyrocketed as of late, recently surpassing cryptocurrencies like Tron and Monero to become the 11th largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. Just a few weeks ago, ETC was the 16th largest cryptocurrency, holding no resemblance to the position it is in now.

This positive bout of price action goes to show how influential Coinbase is on the price of crypto assets, with the so-called “Coinbase effect” pushing Ethereum Classic “to the moon.”

Title Image Courtesy of Coinbase

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Coinbase Hires Former Wall Street Executive As Chief Compliance Offer

The so-called “Wall Street migration” has continued, with executives and employees from legacy markets piling onto crypto-centric startups in a search for the ‘next big thing’.

As per a blog post from Asiff Hirji, Coinbase’s President and Chief Operating Officer, Jeff Horowitz will be joining Coinbase as the firm’s new Chief Compliance Officer, with this role helping the platform see eye-to-eye with regulators.

Horowitz joins Coinbase with years of experience under his belt, with nearly 12 years as a Managing Director at Pershing, one of the world’s largest custody and financial settlement firms, with over $25 trillion under management.

Jeff also comes with experience with regulatory compliance, as he was also a Head of Compliance, Chief Compliance Officer and the Global Head of Anti-Money Laundering at the financial giant. Before his decade of experience at Pershing, the new Coinbase hire led a variety of AML and compliance programs at well-known names, like Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and Salomon Brothers.

Taking this substantial level of experience into account, it is logical that Coinbase took the opportunity to hire such an established person. Hirji wrote:

His experience managing matters related to broker-dealer regulation, asset custodianship, and AML programs makes him a uniquely qualified leader for our compliance team…

Horowitz’s Role At Coinbase

As noted earlier, Horowitz joins Coinbase as a Chief Compliance Officer or CCO as the role is better known.

To be frank, the cryptocurrency industry isn’t seen in the best light by many regulators. Many see investing into this nascent asset class as risky, baseless, and a waste of time. This negative sentiment has led to multiple crypto-related firms coming under fire by regulators. While Coinbase has yet to run into any concerning legal issues, in such a regulatory-contested industry as crypto, compliance should be an absolute priority.

As pointed out in the blog, Coinbase has always strived to be the “world’s most trusted and easy-to-use cryptocurrency service,” so the addition of Horowitz to the firm’s expansive employee line-up should only allow the firm to continue to offer A-grade-level services for investors.

It was also noted that the hiring of this new CCO will take some weight off the shoulders of Mike Lempres, the firm’s Chief Legal and Risk Officer, who will now be able to focus on leading Coinbase’s “government relation efforts.”

Hirji closed off the blog post with a powerful statement, highlighting what this hire means to Coinbase at heart. The Coinbase President wrote:

Hiring Jeff is recognition on our part that navigating compliance complexities on a global scale requires a concerted, cross-functional effort, guided by leaders with experience that spans policy, financial services, and corporate governance.

Coinbase’s Rapidly Growing Aspirations 

As reported by Ethereum World News, Coinbase has previously announced plans to become the first firm to offer the trading of crypto assets deemed securities by the SEC. There is a high possibility that the firm will run into regulatory concerns as a result of this move, as the industry is still in its early stages.

While Coinbase may still be a few months, if not years away from the competition of this plan, Horowitz’s experience and advice as a compliance-centric individual should help expedite the resolution of regulatory issues.

Title Image Courtesy of RawPixel/PxHere

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Coinbase Just Bought One of Bitcoin's Best-Funded Startups

Cryptocurrency startup Coinbase has announced the acquisition of Earn.com, one of the industry’s best-funded startups.

A statement released on Monday confirms a previous CoinDesk report in which sources said that Coinbase and other potential buyers were in talks to acquire Earn.com, formerly known as 21 Inc.

21 Inc previously ran a bitcoin mining operation, powered by technology from Intel, and later launched its eponymous, developer-focused 21 Bitcoin Computer in 2015. The company was backed by major Silicon Valley investors to the tune of $116 million raised over multiple funding rounds.

The firm rebranded to Earn.com last October in a pivot that saw it launch a social network aimed at incentivizing users to complete tasks in exchange for cryptocurrency rewards.

While Coinbase did not publicly disclose the terms of the deal, a source directly involved in the discussions told CoinDesk previously that the total amount in cash, crypto-assets, stocks and earn-out being pursued at the time could exceed $120 million.

As part of the acquisition, Balaji Srinivasan, co-founder and CEO of Earn.com, will become Coinbase’s first chief technology officer. The Earn.com team will be integrated with Coinbase’s operations and its existing business will continue, Coinbase said.

The startup said:

“Earn has built a paid email product that is arguably one of the earliest practical blockchain applications to achieve meaningful traction. We will keep Earn’s business running because it’s showing a lot of promise and potential.”

In his new capacity, Srinivasan will help lead the development of the Coinbase platform, and also recruit new cryptocurrency talent.

The news comes just days after another acquisition deal, announced last Friday, which saw Coinbase snap up mobile ethereum wallet Cipher Browser.

Dollars image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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Coinbase Releases Cryptocurrency Tax Calculator

Cryptocurrency startup Coinbase has launched a new gain/loss calculating tool as part of an effort to help its user base keep up with U.S. tax requirements.

In a blog post published on Tuesday, the firm explained that the calculator can be used to generate a report which outlines their capital gains (or losses) on its platform, using a first-in-first-out (FIFO) accounting method.

The tool comes with a few caveats, however, namely that it’s primarily aimed at users who have bought and sold on Coinbase exclusively – and isn’t recommended those who have purchased digital assets elsewhere or participated in an initial coin offering, per the blog.

“This tool provides a preliminary gain/loss calculation to assist our customers, but should not be used as official tax documentation without validating the results with your tax professional,” the startup also cautioned.

Its release follows an earlier step by Coinbase on the tax front, when, in January, the startup reminded its users that they are liable for U.S. capital gains, even going as far as posting a consistent banner about the issue.

The issue of taxation and cryptocurrencies has always been someone of a contentious topic, ever since the U.S. Internal Revenue Service announced in 2014 that it would treat such assets as a taxable form of property rather than, say, a currency.

Concerns over the ambiguity of the IRS guidance – in its new blog, Coinbase itself writes that “we understand taxes for digital currency can be complicated” – have fueled complaints from professional circles.

The topic also carries an added degree of weight for Coinbase specifically, which was the target of a lawsuit by the IRS as it sought information on U.S.-based users in an effort to sniff out potential tax avoiders.

Ultimately, the startup would send information on about 13,000 users who had transacted on the platform between 2013 and 2015 after being ordered to by a U.S. district judge in November 2017.

Bitcoins and keyboard image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Disclaimer: This article should not be taken as, and is not intended to provide, investment advice. Please conduct your own thorough research before investing in any cryptocurrency.