The premiere U.S based exchange has been a popular choice for Crypto trading & storage for millions with its presence in more than 190 countries of the World. Coinbase is one of the Top 20 Crypto exchanges in the World by volume. While not as competitive as top exchanges like Binance, OKEx or Huobi with their gigantic trading volumes and the availability of digital coins traded, it is still considered a very user-friendly platform – especially for beginners. Coinbase currently offers trading & storage services for 9 different digital assets as compared to 4 at the beginning of 2018. Current Portfolio includes – Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Zcash (ZEC), USD coin (USDC), 0x (ZRX) & Basic Attention Token (BAT). Coinbase Pro – advanced trading platform for the exchange, however, has a wider selection of tradeable digital assets. Apart from this, the exchange is actively exploring into adding multiple other assets to its platform in 2019 as the Cryptocurrencies achieve further mainstream adoption.
The video above summarizes the whole concept of Cryptocurrencies & how it has the ability to transform the current financial system to bring inclusiveness, transparency & collective success for all. Moving on, Let’s review some of the new features & initiatives that have been launched by Coinbase via the recent 12 Day marathon.
- WeGift – A new way to use your Cryptos for everyday items at the retail level. The service includes the conversion of your Cryptos to e-gift cards. The e-gift program which was originally available in the UK and EU only has been extended to include U.S customers as well. Gift cards for big-name retailers like Uber, Nike, Banana Republic, Domino’s, Hope Depot, 1-800 Flowers & a bunch of others will be available. Not only this, but the users will enjoy the zero withdrawal fee feature coupled with up to 10% of bonuses from select vendors. All you have to do is to visit the WeGift site & link it with your Coinbase wallet.
- PayPal – In a quest to make it easier for the customers to make withdrawals to fiat currencies, Coinbase has launched a new feature for its U.S customers, whereby Cryptos can be withdrawn to your linked PayPal account swiftly without incurring any fees – another major step towards inclusiveness & prompt service.
- USD Coin – A new stable coin backed by Coinbase was reintroduced to the users. Each USD Coin is an Ethereum based digital asset, backed the U.S dollar which can be used for global B2B & B2C transactions seamlessly without incurring any fee from your wallet @ Coinbase. The conversion between fiat currency & Crypto coin can be accomplished with similar ease.
- Crypto Cross conversion – This feature is still in early stages of deployment, which Coinbase intends to roll out the service in all 34 countries with native payment access. The iterative process will be gradually expanded after gathering feedback from the users. For now cross conversion between Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Litecoin (LTC), 0x (ZRX), & Bitcoin Cash (BCH) will be allowed. More information can be found here.
- 4 New Cryptos – Coinbase Pro has added four more digital coins to its advanced trading platform namely Dai (DAI), Golem (GNT), Maker (MKR) & Zilliqa (ZIL) in select jurisdictions – DAI & GNT will be available to Coinbase Pro users in US (excluding NY), the UK, EU, Canada, Singapore and Australia while MKR and ZIL will be available in all of the previous jurisdictions except U.S for now.
- EU expansion – The crypto exchange has increased its footprint with the recent expansion of its services in six European markets of Andorra, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Iceland, Isle of Man & Lithuania. For now the users in these regions can use the services of Coinbase platform & iOS and Android apps, followed later on with the introduction of Coinbase Pro platform.
- Charitable Donations – Continuing with the trend of Major exchanges acting as responsible & empathetic members of the global community, GiveCrypto.org (founded by CEO Brian Armstrong) strives to empower those who don’t have enough in our traditional financial system. Following donations were extended under the auspices of this charity during this marathon:
- $10,000 donation in Zcash ($ZEC) – GiveCrypto.org’s project in the Venezuelan border town of Santa Elena de Uairen where more than 100 families will receive $1 USD worth of crypto every day for the next 3 months.
- $10,000 gift in Bitcoin ($BTC) – providing basic income to more than 150 Syrian refugees in Greece expanding on the earlier initiative with Sempo to support needy families in Beirut & Kurdistan in 2018.
- $25,000 worth of Bitcoin – In collaboration with FreeFrom, to help domestic abuse survivor victims get back on their feet & achieve financial independence.
- Coinbase Earn – And finally, the most notable & my favorite was the launching of the Crypto learning platform. Coinbase Earn would allow the users to earn cryptocurrencies while they learn about the underlying digital asset. The idea emanates from the concept of learning about the utility & the technology behind the asset while giving the users little bit of it to figure it out. For now, the platform has been launched via an invite-only mode with only asset of 0x token: ZRX. For the initial set of tasks, funding is being provided by the external development pool of the ZRX token. More learning material on different cryptocurrencies will be added to the platform gradually, giving users the ability to learn about a host of different digital assets while earning token amounts as remuneration. If you have received an invite email you can go the platform pages to complete activities like video lessons & quizzes. Don’t worry if you haven’t received an email invite, since the material is absolutely free to view. Make sure to join the Waitlist on the page to be notified of whenever new material is uploaded.
The platform is still in very early stages of development with limited content available but the idea of incentivizing the learning will go a long way in educating people about the utility & underlying technology of the Cryptocurrencies. Coinbase is however, not the only Crypto player who has introduced this library of educational resources. Binance recently launched a collection of 500 articles in order to provide neutral content aimed at educating people about Cryptocurrencies. Also, ConsenSys partnered with an online educational platform Coursera offering a blockchain course. For lifelong learners like me, nothing is more important than having the opportunity & availability of learning resources about anything and everything. The Coinbase team summed it up nicely in the following words:
“[O]ne of the biggest barriers preventing people from exploring a new digital asset was a lack of knowledge about that asset. Many of the people we surveyed expressed a strong desire to begin learning about new and different crypto assets beyond Bitcoin, but didn’t know where to begin.”