bitcoin cash coinbaseRemember the first attack on Bitcoin? Well, we’ve just witnessed round 2, as many are claiming. Last time it was Roger Ver and the mining community — this time it may have been Roger Ver and Coinbase. Fortunately, Bitcoin has proven resilient once again, but is it over yet?

Roger Ver has continually assaulted Bitcoin, both verbally and through moves like these. Now it seems he’s roped Coinbase in to it as well, although the proof is hard to come by.

Who is Roger Ver?

Born in the United States, Roger left his homeland for Japan in 2005 before renouncing his US citizenship in 2014. Prior to leaving the US, Ver was indicted for selling illegal explosives on eBay, for which he was convicted and served 10 months in federal prison. That probably had something to do with him leaving the country (just speculation). Add to this resume the orchestration of an attack on the world’s most loved currency, and you can’t help but understand why the crypto community holds him in such low esteem. Someone willing to sacrifice the reputation and longevity of the cryptocurrency movement for personal gain deserves no place in our community.

And yet he is still shilling Bitcoin Cash as if it is a godsend. While it does boast an 8MB block size compared to Bitcoin’s 1 MB blocks, he’s alienated its possible clientele through antics like today.

Coinbase, what have you done?

Coinbase has established itself as the largest US-based crypto exchange by virtue of being one of very few options for US citizens wishing to enter the crypto market. It offers the distinct advantage of fiat-to-crypto transactions and vice versa. Compared to other exchanges, it has the highest fees: 1.5% for sales and purchases, compared to .25% for Bittrex or .05% for China-based exchange, Binance. It also offers a referral program, whereby both parties are awarded $10 in free Bitcoin when friends are recruited.

Coinbase has long been tolerated by the community as our doorway into the crypto space. Bitcoin and altcoins offer plenty of volatility to offset the high Coinbase fees, and its interface is definitely user friendly. It has introduced an incredible number of newcomers to the community, and for that we should still be grateful. This recent debacle, however, has called their true motives into question.

Coinbase’s stance on Bitcoin Cash has been unstable at best since its inception. Initially, it took a hard stance against the currency, calling the developers intentions and longevity of the new coin into question.

“In the event of two separate blockchains after August 1, 2017 we will only support one version. We have no plans to support the Bitcoin Cash fork. We have made this decision because it is hard to predict how long the alternative version of bitcoin will survive and if Bitcoin Cash will have future market value. This means if there are two separate digital currencies – bitcoin (BTC) and bitcoin cash (BCC) – customers with Bitcoin stored on Coinbase will only have access to the current version of bitcoin we support (BTC). Customers will not have access to, or be able to withdraw, bitcoin cash (BCC).”

Days later it altered its stance with the following statement:

Over the last several days, we’ve examined all of the relevant issues and have decided to work on adding support for bitcoin cash for Coinbase customers. We made this decision based on factors such as the security of the network, customer demand, trading volumes, and regulatory considerations. We are planning to have support for bitcoin cash by January 1, 2018, assuming no additional risks emerge during that time.

That was the last we heard on the topic until today. Props to them for exceeding their deadline, but some clarification or guidance could have gone a long way in preventing today’s cluster. Adding insult to injury, Coinbase has experienced some odd glitches along the way that some speculate are intentional. Immediately following the BCH release, the currency was showing a false price of $8,499.03 before halting trading moments later.BCH traded on other exchanges around $3300 at the time. Proponents of the “intentional glitch theory” believe this was intentional to further destabilize Bitcoin through the height of the selloff.

Some unhappy spectators have taken to Reddit to express their distaste in the handling of the matter. They bring up some good points. Here is a quick summary:

  • Coinbase has centralized a currency intended to be 100% decentralized
  • Coinbase can make or break a currency
  • Gemini has become a very attractive alternative to Coinbase, on principle
  • The run-up in the price of BCH leading up to its release seems to indicate insider trading
  • Hard fork proliferation has become a serious problem.

Which coins will Coinbase showcase next?

Coinbase is rumored to add many more altcoins during the first quarter of 2018, as revealed by another redditor. While there is no proof that this will come to fruition, the market has responded over the past 48 hours as if it already has. All of the altcoins listed as possible targets have skyrocketed to unnatural levels. Realistically, the chances of this happening are slim. Coinbase is very diligent about which coins it supports. It closely scrutinizes each prospect with emphasis on ensuring that they remain SEC forward-compliant to avoid that regulatory headache. Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong explains the process below.

Coinbase will be adding new coins in 2018 from Monero

Post Bitcoin Faux-Apocalypse

Bitcoin sold off following the Coinbase announcement to $15,501 near its 1 week low, breaking short term support near $16550.At the same time, Bitcoin Cash erupted over 50% to a new all-time-high of exactly $4,000 on Bittrex exchange. At press time, both coins had mellowed out at $16,450 and $3150 respectively. For the active trader, this presented excellent profit opportunities for numerous coins. On the unfortunate flipside, many new investors who flocked to top digital currencies over the past few days may have been caught off guard by the extreme volatility.

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Creighton Piper

Creighton is a media contributor and Partner with Crypto Answers.