Coinbase – the most successful and important company in the crypto industry
Offering bitcoin core (BTC), bitcoin cash (BCH), ether (ETH), and litecoin (LTC), its sparse choices work to underwhelm those new to speculating on cryptocurrency. The format is light and only requires a linked bank account. Without the bother of having to hold and maintain decentralized currency, users can simply use the Coinbase client and trade for fractions, sometimes as low as $2.00. Fees, of course, apply.
Coinbase is Easy and Light
Coinbase is the most prominent version of mainstreaming the crypto revolution. It’s young (CEO, Brian Armstrong, is barely in his mid 30s), ambitious and sporting for market share. The demand is so great the company’s system crashed a few times during the runups of 2017. Brian Armstrong fired back, “There’s so many people rushing into the space, if it’s a bit of speculation, I’m O.K. with that. But we can’t guarantee the website’s going to be up exactly when you need it. Everyone needs to take a deep breath.” This year, the complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rocketed by more than 100%. Almost half were filed regarding “money not available when promised,” which is no small matter.
Perils of Centralization
Coinbase had to hand over customer information for those who moved more than $20K in crypto (small percentage of its users) when The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in US came calling, althought the company did fight back.
According to various sources, Mr. Armstrong holds most of his crypto wealth in ether. Under his leadership, the company embraced economic reality, choosing when to fight on principle and where to give-in. For example, it was one of the notable in its class to snag a controversial Bitlicense from New York. The company has been pragmatic in the all-important “business sense.”
For the more cypherpunk among us, it is critical to acknowledge the truth. Coinbase is good.