Coinbase Spearheads Major Cryptocurrency Exchange Initiative

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San Francisco-based Coinbase, a cryptocurrency exchange announced its plans to support Bitcoin Cash, reversing its earlier stance on its refusal to support the new controversial digital currency.

Coinbase plans to begin supporting Bitcoin Cash as early as January, 2018. Initially, the support will only allow users of the system to make withdrawals of Bitcoin Cash. The company did announce earlier that it plans to support additional types of trading at a later date.

Bitcoin Cash is a newer cryptocurrency that became available following the controversial fork at the beginning of this month. The crypto-asset has experienced wide swings in its value ranging from $692 in the middle of last week to $297 at the beginning of this week.

Coinbase was started to offer crypto-exchange users a trustworthy means to store and purchase bitcoin. Backed by the New York Stock Exchange and Andreesen Horowitz, a private high-profile American venture capital firm, headquartered in Menlo Park, CA, Coinbase contributed to the blockchain, the currency’s digital ledger, initiative, which increased the volume of transactions that the cryptocurrency network is able to process.

Bitcoin is a fully digital exchange medium that replaces central-authority-created currencies. As with its fiat money counterparts, bitcoin allows its users to conduct purchase transactions and receive payments. The cryptocurrency also supports anonymous exchanges. Bitcoin is convertible to many currencies including the US dollar and vice versa.

“Coins,” the name of the bitcoin currency denominations, are generated by miners, operating computer networks that verify cryptocurrency transactions by solving complex mathematical problems. In exchange for their efforts, the miners are paid in bitcoin.

Proclaimed to be the currency of the future by its proponents, lack of broad acceptance by consumers and merchants as a means of payment have held those ambitious sentiments in check.

Criticisms of Coinbase stem from its association with bitcoin miners who implemented a "fork" update to the transaction software on August 1st that created a second version of the blockchain digital ledger, producing two versions of the cryptocurrency in the process.

The new digital currency, Bitcoin Cash, is designed to translate into equivalently valued government-issued currency. The controversy in the fork was a result of the users' expectations that holders of bitcoin would receive an equal amount of the new Bitcoin Cash. Currency exchange markets forecast that Bitcoin Cash would have a value of hundreds of dollars per coin.

Intially, Coinbase's position was that it would not support the full value of Bitcoin Cash, drawing scathing criticisms from disappointed users, who felt that they were being cheated.

Coinbase's move to support withdrawals to Bitcoin Cash restored confidence in the firm.


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