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2.7M Online Stores Can Accept BTC, LTC, ETH Via Coinbase Commerce

Coinbase Commerce Overhauls Website

Coinbase is undoubtedly one of the most multi-faceted companies in the nascent cryptocurrency industry, with the San Francisco-based firm supporting a variety of features, products, and services for consumers, institutions, and retailers/merchants alike. For consumers, there’s Coinbase Consumer (Coinbase.com) and the firm’s ‘pro’ platform. For institutional investors, there’s Coinbase Prime, Index Fund, and Custody.

And last but not least, for retailers/merchants, there’s the Coinbase Commerce platform, which has begun to play a growing role in the cryptosphere in the past few months.

Image Courtesy of Coinbase

As per a tweet issued on August 20th, developers at the firm have overhauled the official Coinbase Commerce web page to hopefully draw in new retailers. The refreshed website highlights the key features, which are as follows, of the commerce-focused service:

  • “Up And Running In Minutes” — Coinbase Commerce allows prospective users to install and set-up cryptocurrency support “in minutes, not days,” through easy-to-integrate checkout pages, payment buttons and integrations into digital retail platforms.
  • “Free” — Coinbase Commerce does not charge any fees when using their crypto-commerce integration service. As the crypto startup puts it “accepting cryptocurrency payments is easy and free — just the way internet payments should be.”
  • “Stay In Control” — Coinbase Commerce is entirely peer-to-peer, with no intermediary, as the merchant accepting crypto is always in control of their assets. Additionally, businesses are not subject to chargebacks, as crypto payments are irreversible.
  • “Secure And Trusted” — Throughout Coinbase’s six-year history, it has held the coveted position of one of the most, if not the most secure cryptocurrency platform in this industry. Additionally, the platform built up a network of trust that spans millions of individuals, like you or I.

“2.7 Million Online Stores Can Now Accept Crypto With Coinbase Commerce”

According to a recent tweet from Kevin Rooke, a proponent of cryptocurrency and decentralized technologies, 2.7 million online outlets can now accept the “Coinbase Four” through five separate Coinbase Commerce plugins.

Rooke also noted that the peer-to-peer nature of these plugins should be seen as a positive, as internet payments should not be routed through an intermediary, which only can slow down and make payment processing more costly to merchants and consumers alike. While these integrations may have the potential to reach millions of stores and tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions of consumers, according to Coinbase, only “2,000+” digital-centric merchants have begun to accept cryptocurrency.

This figure mirrors what Ethereum World News has reported previously, with retail-related crypto volumes still remaining relatively low, despite 2017’s bull-run. Blockchain research firm Chainalysis recently revealed that Bitcoin retail payments amounted to only (relatively) $60 million in May 2018, down from a high of $412 million in September 2017. Other networks reportedly saw a similar decline, including Bitcoin Cash, which saw a similar drop-off in digital retail use.

But many hope that the use of cryptocurrencies will begin to pick up again, as crypto needs to be used in the real-world before achieving widespread adoption.

Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash

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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 Exploring Cardano (ADA), Basic Attention Token (BAT), Stellar Lumens (XLM), Zcash (ZEC) and 0x (ZRX)

Coinbase, Cryptocurrency Exchanges–Finally, after months of waiting for news surrounding another coin listing, Coinbase has broken the silence on updating its limited selection of cryptocurrencies. In June, Coinbase announced to consumers through a blog post that the company would be adding Ethereum Classic (ETC). However the listing functioned more as a reprisal for Coinbase, which had previously offered ETC before discontinuing the service at the end of 2016. The move back to ETC represents a testing ground for the company rather than an actual new coin launch, as the exchange looks to avoid another Bitcoin Cash fiasco which led to allegations and lawsuits surrounding insider trading.

Today, the popular U.S.-based exchange with over 13 million users announced their exploration into five new cryptocurrencies:

Cardano (ADA)

Basic Attention Token (BAT)

Stellar Lumens (XLM)

Zcash (ZEC)

0x (ZRX)

The official press release states that in addition to exploring the currencies and regulation entailed, the exchange is considering the coins for addition to their service,

We are exploring the addition of several new assets, and will be working with local banks and regulators to add them in as many jurisdictions as possible.

In addition to the current listing of Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin and Ethereum, Coinbase looks to capitalize on rival exchanges in offering a broader selection of assets to its userbase. While Coinbase revenue eclipsed 1 billion USD in 2017, the majority of their margin came in the month of December, when crypto trading volume reached a frenzy. Following the news of Binance posting 300 million USD profits through the first half of the year and eyeing a billion by the end of 2018, Coinbase has likely seen expanding its selection as a way to keep up with the competition while spurring greater trade-interest among its massive consumer base.

There are a few takeaways from the announcement worth reviewing:

Coinbase is making it clear that there is no guarantee in listing.

Following the Bitcoin Cash fiasco, Coinbase is taking a measured approach to doling out news related to updating their coin selection. In the case of BCH, Coinbase had announced months ahead that they would be supporting the coin at some point in the near future, without giving specific dates. However, the pump in BCH pricing in the 24 hours leading up to Coinbase’s listing led many users to cry foul over allegations of insider-trading, essentially accusing Coinbase employees of buying BCH in the interim period. By announcing multiple coin listings, in addition to providing subversive language about the nature of partnering with these currencies, the exchange is effectively trying to cloud an exact date for the listing and thereby avoid the previous nuisance of the coin dumping in price upon launching on Coinbase.

Regional Specific.

In addition to being vague on its commitment to listing the coins, Coinbase specifically states that not all currencies may be available to all regional customers within the same period of time. Which means, Coinbase is free to experiment with listing a currency on their exchange–thereby figuring out the kinks in their launch and creating a smoother user experience–prior to exposing the coin to the millions of customers located in the U.S. This gives Coinbase further leeway in implementing the new crypotcurrencies as, again, the Bitcoin Cash situation proved that the exchange was not prepared for such high volume. Besides causing the price of BCH to skyrocket to 3900 USD before plummeting back to 2800 USD in the span of hours, the Coinbase listing crashed GDAX trading for nearly a day, with BCH specific trades withheld even longer. The aftermath of the coin launch has given Coinbase clear indication that they are better served trialing their coin to a smaller audience, before giving it to the masses.

While the Coinbase announcement represents momentous news for the aforementioned cryptocurrencies–effectively exposing them to millions of new customers who have yet to venture outside of the user-friendly Coinbase exchange–the company is likely planning more nuance and subversion in the listing than we previously saw with Bitcoin Cash. Look to the upcoming Ethereum Classic launch as an indicator for how things will go with these new tokens, as Coinbase seeks to rectify the mistakes of last years BCH mess.

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Coinbase Sees Decline In Large Popularity Amidst Cryptocurrency Price Drop

The cryptocurrency market hasn’t had the best of times over the past six months, with prices collectively falling by over 70%. Coinbase, one of the most publicized and well-known exchanges in the world, has experienced a correlated decline in popularity.

That’s just how the market works, people follow the ‘scent’ of money. And right now, liquidity in this frothy market has begun to evaporate, as short-term speculators drop out of the market en-masse. 

Quartz recently reported that downloads for the company’s mobile application have fallen to its lowest level on U.S. Finance charts since last April when Bitcoin was a mere $1,250.

These declining figures are a far cry from the performance of the exchange during last year’s run-up, which saw Coinbase hit the limelight in the Apple and Google Play app stores. In December, the exchange’s application was briefly one of the most downloaded items in the entire Apple ecosystem, drawing in even more users.

But as Bitcoin began to drop in January, things started to look grim for the cryptocurrency infrastructure company, which saw the app fall from #1 to #40 on U.S. Finance charts.

Website statistics given by the SimilarWeb service indicate that Coinbase’s online platform saw a similar drop in demand. Monthly visits to the exchange’s webpage have fallen from 126 million in January to 28 million in June, a nearly 80 percent decrease.

The exchange’s more sophisticated trading platform, GDAX, saw an even steeper decline in popularity, losing 5% more visits than its parent platform did. However, this is not an issue that is only pertinent to Coinbase, as exchanges like Binance and Huobi also saw a decrease in web traffic, albeit not as severe.

Unlike Coinbase, Binance has been seeing a rapidly increasing user base, with the exchange’s CEO noting that Binance’s userbase has expanded by over five times since the start of 2018.

Additionally, the one-year-old exchange is expected to bring in upwards of $1 billion U.S. dollars by the end of the year, leaving some to wonder if Coinbase is falling behind.

Coinbase Pushes Forward With New Products

Despite experiencing a substantial decline in user base growth, Coinbase remains undeterred, recently announcing a series of new products that attempt to draw in new clients. Just last week, Coinbase officially released its custody service, which is aimed at drawing in the funds of institutional investors.

Coinbase has already deemed the service a success, drawing in over $100 million in funds within its first week from a mix of hedge funds and large family offices. Many have begun to speculate that a majority of retail investors are beginning to lose interest, while institutional investors are starting to pile into the market.

To help accommodate its expanding platform, Coinbase recently opened up a new office in Portland, which is set to hire over 100 employees with a focus on customer support.

The declining growth and price figures have not worried the U.S-based firm one bit, with Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong issuing a Tweet, pointing out that market cycles are normal.

Prices may be worrisome, but Coinbase has made it clear that they will stop at nothing to create an “open financial system that is not controlled by a central power.”

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