Most cryptocurrency enthusiasts know Coinbase as a bitcoin exchange, but the company is seemingly headed in a different direction. A recent blog post indicates Coinbase will transition to a digital currency company. To be more precise, the plan is to support more cryptocurrencies moving forward, which is positive news.
Coinbase and GDAX Have Big Digital Currency Plans
It is always positive to see cryptocurrency companies keep track of the bigger picture. Both Coinbase and GDAX initially positioned themselves as “just’ Bitcoin companies gain market traction. But given the recent developments in the digital currency space, only focusing on Bitcoin is no longer viable, and both companies will transition to digital currency platforms.
This news doesn’t mean either company will no longer be associated with Bitcoin, though. In fact, the changes have been coming for some time now. Back in 2016, both platforms integrated Ethereum support. This was a first step towards focusing more on all digital currencies, rather than just Bitcoin.
For the time being, it remains unclear which new currencies will be added to either Coinbase or GDAX. With Bitcoin and Ethereum already listed, the possible candidates are small in number. Now that the Kraken exchange added Monero trading, that could be one possible contender to make it into Coinbase and GDAX moving forward. But do not overlook ZCash, DASH, Litecoin, or even Ripple either.
Focusing on the bigger digital currency market is an interesting decision, but CEO Brian Armstrong feels it is the right move. He explained the decision by explaining how Bitcoin has not evolved into a scalable payment network yet. Moreover, he is uncertain if that will ever be the case, despite new developments being just around the corner.
“This initially saddened me because I think an open payment network is where the greatest potential lies for digital currency to improve the world (hence our mission at Coinbase: to create an open financial system for the world). But I’ve come to accept that Bitcoin may not fill this role, and that is ok. It is still a very valuable technology in the world as an asset class, and that is perfectly fine.”
Adding more digital currencies to both GDAX and Coinbase will create an interesting future for cryptocurrency as a whole, though. Creating fiat to crypto gateways for lesser-known currencies will help the ecosystem grow and gain more mainstream appeal. Buying and selling digital currencies needs to be facilitated, even though centralized exchanges may not be the best way to obtain cryptocurrency.
Header image courtesy of Shutterstock