Coinbase, Cryptocurrency Exchanges–Coinbase has had an interesting news cycle over the last several days. Reports coming out earlier in the week and last had it that the company was planning an Initial Public Offering (IPO), a move that has long been rumored to occur but thus far gained little traction. On Oct. 30, Bloomberg reported that the company was on pace to bring in $1.3 billion in revenue despite 2018 being a near continuous down year for cryptocurrency, a figure that magnifies just how profitable both the industry and well-established exchanges can be (Binance is also projected to rake in over a billion). With the slumping crypto market for Bitcoin and altcoins taking a stranglehold on development for the industry, Coinbase has continued to capitalize on the tug of war in pricing, while doing little in the interim to improve its product.
Now, the company is at least giving the appearance that the lack of coin addition is coming to an end. Since announcing in July that the company was exploring five new cryptocurrencies–Cardano, Stellar, Basic Attention Token, 0x and Zcash–the exchange has managed to only list 0x, with no updates on whether the other coins will still be added to the exchange or a timetable on such on a development. While the spectre of the December 2017 Bitcoin Cash debacle is still looming heavy over the exchange, one which produced class action lawsuits that are still being acted upon by courts, Coinbase has been alarmingly slow in responding to the number one request by its 13 million plus userbase: the addition of more altcoins to compete with the offering of exchanges like Binance, Bittrex, etc.
At present, Coinbase only offers seven currencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, 0x, USD Coin (only offered to certain customers), Bitcoin Cash and Ethereum Classic, with the latter two largely finding their way onto the exchange due to the nature of their forked origins. Despite the user-friendly appeal of Coinbase and the easy to get started mobile application, the exchange has been far behind in offering a comprehensive selection of coins for investors to build their portfolios. Instead, the exchange has held to a position of being a major supporter of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency, and therefore thoroughly vetting products before releasing them to customers.
However, the company’s President and Chief Operating Officer Asiff Hirji told Bloomberg TV earlier today that the exchange is planning to vastly increase its offering, in addition to squashing rumors about the IPO.
“There’s not going to be an IPO any time soon; we have so much to do.”
Rather than continuing to focus on pumping the company and its appearance to improve IPO share prices, Hirji states the exchange is focused on improving the product first to the benefit of its userbase. As expected, the company has targeted increasing its selection of currencies as the first step in creating a more competitive and appealing exchange for veteran and new investors alike,
“We offer seven [coins], so you should expect us to go from seven to that total number we think is worth it [200 – 300] over the next year or so…Some things will be offered in the U.S., but more things will probably be offered outside the U.S.”
While an IPO for Coinbase will undoubtedly improve the marketing appeal of the crypto industry by creating another foothold in the traditional markets, the short term move to improve the exchange’s coin selection should greatly enhance the experience of the current customer base.