Coinbase Announces Listing Of Ethereum Classic

Coinbase has finally added a fifth cryptocurrency to what was formally the “elite four” of the platform, Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, and Bitcoin Cash. Although many were convinced they would list Ripple, instead they decided to go with Ethereum Classic.

It’s an odd choice. For background, Ethereum Classic was created during a hard fork of the Ethereum blockchain back in 2016. Although it was widely thought to become a zombie coin after that, it has taken on new life with an active developer community seeking to differentiate it from the more mainstream ethereum.

According to Coinbase’s official statement, “Per this process, we will now begin the engineering work (Step 4) for supporting Ethereum Classic. As part of this process, customers can expect to see public-facing APIs and other signs that the asset is being added.

When we reach the final testing phase of the technical integration, which we expect to occur over the next few months, we will publicly announce a launch date for trading via our blog and Twitter.”

As to the forked elephant in the room, Coinbase also confirmed in their statement customers who previously had an Ethereum Classic balance prior to the hard-fork which created Ethereum would receive a corresponding Ethereum Classic credit.

Interestingly, however, Coinbase made clear that Ethereum Classic would be gradually added to every Coinbase product EXCEPT the standard Coinbase consumer service. According to Coinbase, “per our previous guidance, Coinbase will list assets only after they are listed on Coinbase Pro and Prime.

After evaluating factors such as liquidity, price stability, and other market health metrics, we may choose to add Ethereum Classic to the Coinbase platform. It’s also worth repeating that Coinbase Markets, Coinbase Pro and Coinbase Prime will likely have more assets listed on the platform than the Coinbase platform, i.e. listing on Coinbase Markets does not guarantee listing on Coinbase.”

This should serve as an important reminder to our readers that despite volatile prices and big flashy headlines such as COINBASE ADDS ETHEREUM CLASSIC, the truth is often far more nuanced. Based on their statement, it could be argued that there is no guarantee that Ethereum classic will be purchasable on Coinbase at all.

It also bears examining why Coinbase adding a single coin SHOULD create such a frenzy in the cryptocurrency space, to begin with. Coinbase after all, is mainly responsible for the long period of time in which Bitcoin network transaction fees were incredibly high and Bitcoin transactions were incredibly slow. At the time, 40% of all Bitcoin network traffic moved through Coinbase.

They were one of the few exchanges to not implement Segwit, which drastically increased the efficiency of the network. In effect, due to their overwhelming centralized control, they held the entire network back from its full potential. Cryptocurrency (and Bitcoin in particular) was designed as a force of decentralization, yet as it becomes more mainstream, we should genuinely consider where trusting its future to centralized entities defeats the point.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.