Recently Coinbase announced that they are releasing their own crypto visa card! Now it is easier than ever for Coinbase customers to spend their cryptocurrencies. At the moment, this service is only available in the UK. European Union countries are the next ones in line.
Spend your Coinbase balance anywhere, anytime!
With the Coinbase card, users can spend their cryptocurrencies both in-store and online. Also, you will have a chip and PIN feature, which means that you will be able to withdraw your funds from ATMs. “When customers use their Coinbase Card, we instantly convert crypto to fiat currency, such as GBP, which is used to complete the purchase,” says in their blog.
However, this brings up questions. When Coinbase says “Customers can use their card in millions of locations around the world” while at the same time they’re saying that this service is only available in the UK. Does that mean that you can get the card only in the UK, and then use it all around the world? Or does the part of “all around the world” comes later?
Coinbase card app
Coinbase developed a separate app for this service. Within the app, users can choose which crypto wallets they are willing to fund their Coinbase card with. At the moment, Coinbase card supports all crypto wallets that are available across Coinbase platforms. It looks like the app will be no different to any other pre-paid visa card. Hence the users will have the ability to see instant receipts, transaction summaries, spending categories and more.
Coinbase has become the first major cryptocurrency exchange in the UK which has issued their own cards, thus allowing its customers to spend their balances right away.<– TWEET THIS!
“This card is issued by Paysafe Financial Services Limited. Paysafe Financial Services Limited is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority under the Electronic Money Regulations 2011(FRN: 900015) for the issuing of electronic money and payment instruments,” explains Coinbase in their blog.
Drives user adoption?
While crypto-payment VISA cards are nothing new in the cryptocurrency ecosystem, many Coinbase users have been waiting for this kind of feature. Coinbase still is one of the largest companies in user count. And this new service will come very handy to their customers.
However, why couldn’t Coinbase incorporate this feature within their existing Coinbase app? Instead of downloading yet another crypto app on my phone, I could just use the same app which I use for crypto storing. Nevertheless, when speaking about crypto adoption, this is a massive step towards it. As already mentioned above, Coinbase still is one of the top cryptocurrency apps in user count. That means that all their +20 million users now will be able to spend crypto. However, at the moment, only in the UK.
If you want to start your independant crypto journey with Coinbase, just click HERE!
A Decentralized exchange or DEX is a type of a pair matching that allows users to trade cryptocurrencies and place orders. It’s without an intermediary institution controlling their funds or managing the ledger. Crypto excites people because it is a way to trade value directly. Blockchain allows strangers to trust each other without the need for a central institution.
It is an amazing technology with the potential to change the way we think about trade and structure our economy. Ironically, you have to use a real currency i.e. euros, dollars, yens or any other to enter the crypto ecosystem. This entry is usually done through a number of centralized exchanges like Coinbase or Kraken. To enter a decentralized ecosystem, you have to trust a centralized institution. It manages your accounts, takes your information and is vulnerable to hacks and slowdowns.
There are two basic components when talking about DEXs – centralization, and custody.
Centralization alludes to where is the order routing, matching, and execution. As the term alleges, all action takes place on a specific server using exchange software. DEXs operate on a computer network. Either directly on the chain through the use of smart contracts, or through second layer networks or trusted nodes. Around 98% of transactions take place on centralized networks. This allows some to judge this aspect as one of the most negative concerning crypto infrastructure.
Custody means that the exchange holds the ownership of the accounts keys. If you have coins in a custodial exchange, you do not own them until you have transferred them to an external wallet. In an instance of a hack, slowdown or any technical malfunction there can be serious problems of securing your assets. A non-custodial exchange acts as a service provider. It allows users to keep their coins in private wallets. Also, it helps them do transactions using verified open source smart contracts. The vulnerable point of this system is the time when assets are not in users’ wallets.
Benefits of a DEX
DEXs offer a number of benefits to crypto users. The main one is free and direct trades, generally representing the main idea and mission of crypto. Centralized exchanges usually gather quite an amount of user data, including name, address and even bank account number. In theory, DEXs use only blockchain information, requiring only a public address. In order to comply with government regulations, even anonymous exchanges have to gather user location data. Some DEXs have tried to pose as open source software providers not liable for their users’ actions. Most of DEXs are non-custodial, giving users the responsibility for the safety of their assets. Existing on a network of separate computers, DEXs are exponentially more secure against hacking. This also means less chance for them to go down.
Top ERC20 DEXs
As you can see in the chart below, IDEX currently is the most popular exchange. However, this chart only represents the exchanges that operate with ERC20 tokens. DEXs like Stellar, Binance, Tron, and Waves native ones aren’t in this chart.
The current situation of DEXs
At present DEXs still face a number of drawbacks, being intrinsically more complex than centralized. Even the first steps are not user-friendly and can demand technical knowledge like software installation and configuration. Users typically can only buy and sell their assets, lacking advanced tools like options and margin trading. Only small volume deals with popular coins can be done, meaning low liquidity. High latency time on order processing and cancellation can lead to price changes and price slipping. This allows malevolent users with fast connections to jump ahead and make transactions before anybody else with the same intent.
Major technical problems
There are still some major technical problems that need solving before a move to complete decentralization can happen. It seems that a hybrid model could emerge. It would be with benefits from both – centralized (speed, liquidity, advanced tools) and decentralized (security, anonymity) features. Solutions like 0x protocol, Atomic swaps and Lightning could make the transition even smoother. The role of regulation is still unclear and perhaps governments will still collect KYC information, making true anonymity unreachable. The technologies being developed for DEXs will undoubtedly create a trend of innovations in the crypto world. It will help us to get closer to the dream of fast, anonymous, secure and cheap coin trading.
January 3rd marks the day when Bitcoin blockchain started working. Some refer to this day as the real birthday of Bitcoin, despite 31st of October when Satoshi Nakamoto published the Bitcoin white paper. January 3rd was the day when the first block was mined, and the first 50 Bitcoins were issued to Satoshi Nakamoto. Eventually, people started calling it “block 0”, although previous adaptors called it Block 1.
What is Bitcoin?
Ten years ago the Bitcoin white-paper, also called as “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” was first published. It was posted by an anonymous pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto on October 31st, 2008. To this day people are still exchanging opinions on what, who or they are.
The definition says that Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer (P2P) electronic cash system, as described in the white-paper. It was first published on October 31st, 2008 by Satoshi Nakamoto. Because of blockchain technology, Bitcoin can offer a completely transparent way to transact payments. This system can entirely question the need or importance of Banks and other similar money transfer institutions. It ultimately allows sending money from one peer to another (peer-to-peer). Thus getting rid of the third-party instances such as Banks.
The coinbase, basically, is the input of a generation transaction. While regular transactions use the input section to refer to their parent transaction outputs, a generation transaction has no parent and creates new coins from nothing. The coinbase gives the possibility to contain any arbitrary data. And, interestingly enough, the Genesis Block includes a rather famous message:
“The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks”.
Originally, that was a headline in The Time magazine on January 3rd, 2009. Some say that Satoshi intended this to provide proof that this is the first block. Others vary in speculations that this kind of proves that Satoshi Nakamoto was living in the United Kingdom or that the text might have a meaning about Bitcoins purpose.
An interesting fact is that these coins cannot be spent due to the Bitcoin code. So even if Satoshi once came out and wanted to claim these 50 BTC, he couldn’t. It is not entirely sure if this was done on purpose. A Redditor who goes by the nickname theymos, explained it very well:
“This is how the Bitcoin client worked when Satoshi created it: The client maintains a block database and a transaction database. When it finds that its block database is empty, it inserts the genesis block into its block database to get things started. This block includes a transaction sending 50 BTC to 1A1z…, but the client does not insert this transaction into its transaction database. So even though this transaction is part of the blockchain, if the client sees a transaction spending this 50 BTC, it won’t be able to find the 50 BTC transaction in its transaction database, and the spending transaction will be rejected. In other words, the genesis block’s transaction isn’t considered to be a “real transaction” by the original Bitcoin client.”
Since then, people supporting the Bitcoin movement and the creation of Bitcoin blockchain has sent small amounts of donations to the address. For example, today, January 3rd, 2019, at 11:10 AM UTC, the address already has received six gifts. The amounts vary, but overall they are tiny amounts. Over time, the genesis address has collected more than 16 BTC, altogether from 1492 transactions.
On January 3, 2019, 10 years after the creation of Bitcoin, BitMEX has purchased an ad placement on the cover of The Time magazine. It says “Thanks, Satoshi. We owe you one. Happy 10th birthday, Bitcoin”. Below this ad is a block hash. When opening the transaction coinbase, we see a message which reads:
The average block time in the Bitcoin blockchain is 10 minutes. Referring to this, it seems rather odd that the next block was mined only six days later. There are many speculations on why this happened. Some say that it could be that Satoshi mined the first block with a backward timestamp to match the edition by The Times. Another opinion is that Satoshi actually was mining all these six days with the same timestamp because of the block’s low hash.
Raw block data
The raw HEX version of the Genesis block looks like:
Just recently, Coinbase managed to move, what they claim to be, the largest crypto transfer ever recorded. They published this announcement in their blog.
“To our knowledge, this is the largest movement of cryptocurrency (certainly in USD terms, potentially in absolute terms) ever undertaken,” they write.
According to the article, Coinbase moved 5% of all Bitcoin (BTC), 8% of all Ethereum (ETH), and 25% of all Litecoin (LTC) in the market. Also, along with this party, “many other assets” contained this significant transfer. Altogether, that sums up to be around $5 Billion. They report this was an on-blockchain transfer.
New storage systems
Coinbase moved these assets from a Generation Three to Generation Four of cold storage infrastructure. The Generation Four infrastructure begins with a “highly controlled and audited key generation process and continues with a globally distributed key storage and transaction approval system.”
Further, they elaborate on how Coinbase has solved cold storage issues over time. For example, their first interpretation of cold storage, back in 2012, was multiple keys in a safety deposit box. That was fine at that time. But “as asset values increased and cryptocurrencies started to diversify, we needed to build a system that ensured broad consensus on movements from cold storage and could flexibly support many types of assets.”
Coinbase is a large company that holds a lot of investors money. They have to evaluate all the risks that might be occurring. Coinbase says that early in the process they identified a few possibilities that might be happening. One of them, according to Coinbase is, “the potential for our migration to be mistaken for an exchange breach or a large trader preparing to sell a significant amount of cryptocurrency. Either way, we were worried that the market uncertainty would result in price movements.”
They also predicted that hackers might plan for an attack during the migration if Coinbase would give out too much notice.
Photo by Markus Spiske temporausch.com from Pexels
Just recently Coinbase announced their new feature – Convert. The users of Coinbase now can easily convert one crypto into another with much less fees than if doing two separate transactions.
Initially, this service will be available between Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, 0x, and Bitcoin Cash. The feature already is available at coinbase.com or iOS and Android apps. So far this feature is only available for U.S. Citizens, but eventually, Coinbase’s goal is to make this available to all 34 countries in which Coinbase offers native payment access.
Coinbase says that the fee of conversion will be much lower than doing two separate transactions. We naturally went to check it out, and it is true. Coinbase charges a spread of 1% for crypto conversions. But there is a catch in their Pricing & Fees Disclosures page: “However, the actual Spread may be higher or lower due to market fluctuations in the price of Digital Currencies on Coinbase Pro between the time we quote a price and the time when the order executes.”
Conversions happen instantly.
12 days of Coinbase
Recently Coinbase started an announcement rally where they will announce news 12 days in a row. On the first day they announced their gift card feature. Users can now turn their crypto into gift cards from various vendors like Uber, Nike, and many more. This is done through partnership with WeGift.
On the second day, they announced givecrypto.com and donated $10,000 worth of Zcash (ZEC) to their project to help support more than 100 Venezuelan families. “With our gift, the organization will put $1 USD worth of crypto directly into the crypto wallets of more than 100 families in Santa Elena every day for 3 months,” says in their blog post.
During day 4, Coinbase added a new feature called Watchlist to their services. With it you can follow your favorite assets and personalize your dashboard.
On day 5, Coinbase announced a straight up partnership with PayPal. Customers from US can now instantly withdraw cash to their PayPal account.
Another donation on day 6. Coinbase donated $10,000 worth of Bitcoin to givecrypto.org project to help Syrian refugees.
And last, but not least, on day 7 they explained everything about their new stablecoin – USDC.
Spreading knowledge and crypto to the world.
Coinbase is an early player in the crypto space and one of the most profitable as well. It is an excellent campaign that Coinbase undertakes right now. Donating crypto to help people and expanding their services at the end of the year, it looks like they have been preparing for this all year. This is what crypto needs – more effort on trying to explain what crypto is to the wider public. Plus all that, they are giving away their profits to spread cryptocurrencies around the globe. Especially to those people who are in critical need for a little financial boost. They will initially look at cryptocurrencies as almost a savior. And we need more life stories like this. Props to Coinbase, and let’s wait what the next four days of Coinbase will bring us.
Recently Coinbase came out with a blog post announcing a broad range exploration of assets. These assets include Cardano (ADA), Aeternity (AE), Aragon (ANT), Bread Wallet (BRD), Civic (CVC), Dai (DAI), district0x (DNT), EnjinCoin (ENJ), EOS (EOS), Golem Network (GNT), IOST (IOST), Kin (KIN), Kyber Network (KNC), ChainLink (LINK), Loom Network (LOOM), Loopring (LRC), Decentraland (MANA), Mainframe (MFT), Maker (MKR), NEO (NEO), OmiseGo (OMG), Po.et (POE), QuarkChain (QKC), Augur (REP), Request Network (REQ), Status (SNT), Storj (STORJ), Stellar (XLM), XRP (XRP), Tezos (XTZ), and Zilliqa (ZIL).
Not all will be available for everyone
Coinbase explained that not all assets would be available for everyone. That highly depends on the law of the specific jurisdiction. “Some of these assets may become available everywhere, while others may only be supported in specific jurisdictions,” they say in their blog post. They are working closely with local banks and regulators to add these assets in as many jurisdictions as possible. Also, some assets might be only available for hodling, they reveal in their post, saying that “our listing process may result in some of these assets being listed solely for customers to buy and sell, without the ability to send or receive using a local wallet.”
This decision by Coinbase comes not precisely as a surprise, but it raises a specific question. Does Coinbase know something that we don’t know? Why explore the addition of these assets only now? Of course, “now” is a stretched term, and they already announced this in September, but all of these assets have lost more than 90% of their all-time high value. Is Coinbase discretely signaling of a bull market approaching?
“Over time, we intend to offer our customers access to greater than 90% of all compliant digital assets by market cap.”
Isn’t this a little late? Multiple services are offering this already, so what would set Coinbase aside from them? However, the motivation is bright for this, the market is getting larger, and people want to hold their assets in one place. On the other hand, this could have been a great feature last year, during the ICO craze.
On Friday, November 2, following an announcement from Coinbase, BAT (Basic Attention Token) is available on the Coinbase Pro trading platform. The first trading book to open will be the BAT/USDC trading pair. At the moment this is not available only for residents of the state of New York.
The four stages
Coinbase carefully describes that this BAT implementation will go through four different stages. The first stage is only for depositing BAT. Users will not be able to trade it.
The second stage means that users will be able to put limit-orders, but no matches or completed orders are going to occur. “Order books will be in post-only mode for a minimum of one minute,” says in their announcement blog post.
In the third stage, the limit orders will start matching, but users will not be able to submit real market orders. This limit-only mode will be for a minimum of ten minutes.
So in the final fourth stage, full trading, limit, market, and stop orders will be active.
BAT to conquer Coinbase
Coinbase notes that at the moment BAT is not available at Coinbase.com or on their iOS and Android apps. They are going to announce it later.
Previously Coinbase added the ZRX (0x) token, but that implementation went the other way around. They implemented it on all of their platforms – Coinbase.com, iOS, and Andriod apps first. Only after that, they enabled it for open trading.
I believe the answer to this is that Coinbase considers BAT a small market. They’re doing the four-stage implementation to check if this addition can establish sufficient liquidity, only then they will fully activate the BAT/USDC trading pairs.
Basic Attention Token
Basic Attention Token radically improves the efficiency of digital advertising by creating a new token that can be exchanged between publishers, advertisers, and users.
BAT just recently released their new version (0.55) of the Brave desktop browser. The latest version of the browser is based on Chromium. The new version is 22% faster than the previous, and with that, it is the fastest browser they have ever made.
It looks like these past weeks have been very successful for BAT, and they are here to stay. They have been continuously upgrading their Brave browser and expanding their markets. Today BATs largest market by volume is on Binance (BAT/BTC) with $42 million volume in the last 24 hours. They are working on delivering the Brave version 1.0, which will feature an extensions store, private tabs instead of windows, tab previews and more UI customizations.
It is interesting to see an instant price change following news like this. The BAT price was doing fine, with no significant fluctuations, and then on November 2, 10 PM, the price just spiked from $0.26 to $0.31 in only about five minutes. At the moment it has leveled out at $0.29. This Coinbase addition is good for BATs adoption since Coinbase is the leader cryptocurrency wallet app for mobile users. Now it will become even more comfortable for them to purchase BAT.
On October 23, Coinbase Custody received a qualified custodian license, which means the company now will operate as a Limited Purpose Trust Company charactered by the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS).
As Coinbase clarifies, it “is more than just a new license — it’s an important piece of regulatory clarity that will allow us to compliantly store more assets and add new features like staking.”
That means that Coinbase Custody Trust Company has met all the needed banking standards of NYDFS, and will operate as a separate business to Coinbase Inc.
I don’t know, but I have the impression that I can call it a regular bank now. How do they differ, if not looking at the asset class they’re operating in. They apply to the same banking rules all the other banks do, so in one word they all are – centralized. For now, it’s only in NYC, but we all know that they are going to expand to the world.
The USDC craze
It seems like this is the last piece of the puzzle Coinbase needed to start finally adding all those other coins and tokens everybody has been waiting for so impatiently. Moreover, they have already begun to do such. After this news, on the same day, Coinbase announced that they are adding the Circle supported stablecoin – USDC. Everything is excellent and all, we can now store our funds within the Coinbase app on a stabilized currency, and not worry about anything. Wrong! There have been posts already that the fees are too high, and one tweet from @EzMrcz I liked the most, he said: “I can get 673 USDC with $700 USD on Coinbase. Wtf is that lmao?”
Going deeper into the thread, people are saying that this is true – this is because of the abnormally high fees, but only when paying directly from the bank account, when paying from your USD account within Coinbase there are no fees. Which sort of demolishes their opening statement: “Customers can deposit USD and click to convert to USDC with no fee.”
However, one specific thing is almost if not shocking then at least it’s worth giving a thought. Circle, which is a fin-tech company worth almost $3 billion, released the USDC stablecoin this year, in May. Now, when they finally got the listing on Coinbase, some users found out a few pretty controversial points in the user agreement. Circle can “suspend or terminate your USDC Account which can result in the potential forfeit of any US Dollar funds otherwise eligible for redemption.” These actions would apply if you were a suspect of one of the prohibited transactions:
Weapons, controlled substances, Money-laundering, Ponzi schemes, counterfeit goods and more. If Circle founds out you have been in a chain of these kinds of transactions, they can freeze your USDCs.
The mysterious thing is that Coinbase mentioned they are going to add a new feature – Staking. Not sure how that is going to carry out, but as far as I know, they haven’t elaborated on this.
One thing is for sure – as Coinbase gets more regulated and receives more licenses, they become more centralized as well. Sure, it is a different independently-capitalized business, but still. Many people are suggesting to use other services like Wirex or Uphold.
Yesterday, October 16th, Coinbase came out with an announcement of adding 0x (ZRX) to their cryptocurrency platforms Coinbase.com and iOS and Android mobile apps. ZRX is now available for buying, selling, storing, sending or receiving, but not yet for trading. It is available to all the customers except residents in the United Kingdom and in the state of New York.
ZRX or 0x, is an Ethereum blockchain based open protocol designed for decentralized exchanges. With the help of the protocol, decentralized exchanges can speed up the order book process and could eliminate some of the unnecessary transaction fees.
Of course, the Twitter thread under the announcement, as always, went mad because of the reluctance of the Ripple supporters. A lot of tweeters showed confusion, asking what was the above mentioned ZRX, and why Coinbase didn’t add Ripple instead. @alansturgis1 says: “Still in shock you list ZRX but not XRP. Makes no sense at all! Your business ideology is a mystery.”
Some even got offended like @Andyram2k and said things like: “Who says we want #XRP to be on Coinbase? Its gone from a potential outcome to a meme. I think Coinbase needs XRP more than XRP needs Coinbase”
One thing we know for a fact – the Ripple community is very large, and they are willing to defend their asset at any given time. The best thing, what can I say about Ripple, which I read somewhere on the internet, was – Ripple is the Top3 most popular crypto asset in the world, and has been sitting there for quite a while. They have reached these highs with no help of Coinbase. Coinbase has helped Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum in the long run, because last year, Coinbase had 50k users joining their platform per day, and it is the top crypto mobile app in the world! And tell me that doesn’t affect the market of the mentioned assets.
But since Coinbase came out earlier saying that they are willing to add as many crypto assets as possible, I believe the time of adding XRP will also come soon and we could be seeing a lot of new assets added on Coinbase platforms in the near future.
Yesterday, September 27, Ethos.io and Voyager Digital Holdings formed a strategic partnership to bring fiat-to-crypto and vice versa trading to Ethos universal wallet users and to enhance wallet solutions and self-custody on Voyager’s retail and institutional platforms.
On Voyagers’ side, this partnership would improve their wallet functionalities and self-custody optimization while on the Ethos side of the partnership this formation would improve the current Ethos wallet user experience by allowing seamless converting, storing and trading their digital assets, all on one platform, thus being one of the first platforms to do so. With the help of Voyager, Ethos universal wallet users will be able to covert fiat to the Ethos token and vice versa.
Voyager on the other side, will integrate Ethos Bedrock for self-custody on their platform along with the Ethos Universal Wallet in their offerings. All this is done to enhance the Voyagers’ plans to launch their own mobile trading app in Q4.
“With this transformative partnership in place, we believe we are offering the first end-to-end, fully integrated solution in the crypto asset space,” commented the CEO of Voyager, Stephen Ehrlich.
And Shingo Lavine, the CEO of Ethos said that “Voyager gives our users the power of fast, commission free trading, using their smart order router and liquidity network. For Ethos Universal Wallet users, this means that a low-fee fiat gateway will be a future enhancement, first for our U.S. clients and then rolled out globally,” adding that “this partnership creates a true bridge between traditional and institutional finance within the crypto-asset market to create a dynamic and borderless financial ecosystem.”
The way how I see it.
Referring to a recent announcement by Coinbase, on their willingness to implement as many as possible assets to their platform, I believe that this was a strategic move done in the result of this already mentioned partnership. I think that when Coinbase found out about this partnering, they immediately understood that Ethos could become a major competitor. So they went out on CNBC Fast Money to announce their new “idea”, which Ethos has been promoting since the day they rebranded. Since Coinbase most definitely has more users than Ethos, Coinbase would grab the market with ease, while Ethos still has to gain trust in the hearts of its users since their app is currently pretty useless. All this also applies to the new Coinbase updates on educating their users with Informational Asset Pages and Coinbase Learn. Since Ethos is offering their users a similar service, all this is sort of coming together. Ethos is a serious competitor to Coinbase, and Coinbase just acknowledged it by their premature announcement, which a lot of users have been waiting since the beginning of this year.
Hopefully, these two platforms could co-exist in the future, and the fiat-to-crypto gateway goes as smoothly as planned.