Coinbase Changes Course, Will Support Bitcoin Cash

Announcements, FinTech, Investing, News | August 4, 2017 By:

Coinbase, the largest US cryptocurrency exchange, has reversed its position on Bitcoin Cash (BCC). It will now provide support for the new digital coins by January 1, 2018.

The service has also credited user accounts with an amount equal to their current legacy bitcoin (BTC) holdings. Once BCC support activates, customers will be able to withdraw it from their accounts if they so choose. Actual trading of BCC on the exchange “will be determined at a later date,” according to an email sent to customers.

The institutional investor site run by Coinbase, GDAX, will also incorporate Bitcoin Cash into its mix by January 1, 2018, according to that site’s general manager, Adam White. For now, GDAX will also merely provide support, but may opt to add trading in the cryptocurrency at some point.

Coinbase had initially balked at supporting Bitcoin Cash. But the fast adoption of the new cryptocurrency – along with customer anger at withdrawal delays that caused some to miss out on the free Bitcoin Cash being offered to non-custodial wallets – apparrently caused a change of heart.

“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,” said an email from the company. “We made this decision based on factors such as the security of the network, customer demand, trading volumes, and regulatory considerations.”

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong sent out a Twitter blast earlier in the week indicating the platform is “certainly not opposed to adding new assets” to its trading choices.

The tweet came in response to anger from many Coinbase members who couldn’t get their bitcoins out of the service. Long delays over the weekend prevented many from taking advantage of Bitcoin Cash’s offer to provide one BCC for each BTC held in a non-custodial wallet.

Coinbase previously said it would not support Bitcoin Cash’s fork. Thus, its members may have missed out on essentially free money.

Armstrong added several points in his tweet, stating, “We also don’t want to rush anything out. Our goal is to be the safest, most trusted and compliant, and easiest to use” exchange. “Not the first to market with new assets.” He added that creating new nodes to support unproven entities “I don’t think is prudent. Especially at scale, it takes time to ensure any new asset we add is well-tested and secure. With cold storage, transaction generation, etc.”

He concluded by stating that Coinbase’s plan “is to continuing (sic) adding new assets to the platform over time. Any that our customers want to trade, and that are legally compliant.”