Top-three USD exchange Bitstamp is “agnostic” about the currencies it offers to traders, says CEO Nejc Kodrič. In an interview with Bitsonline, he said it was a market-based decision to introduce Bitcoin Cash trading on the platform starting this week — and ultimately consumers will decide what succeeds.
Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash could eventually have different uses, Kodrič said.
Bitstamp has come a long way since July 2017, when it made a statement calling Bitcoin Cash “an altcoin” and said it wouldn’t support trading. However it did reserve the right to change its mind later.
Of course, that was all before the fork — and BCH didn’t even exist at the time. In September, an update promised to make BCH trading against BTC, USD and EUR “available by the end of September”.
The move will make Bitstamp the second-largest (fee-charging) USD platform to trade Bitcoin Cash, after Bitfinex. Arguably it’s the largest, given Bitfinex’s troubles moving actual USD in and out of its accounts.
It then rescheduled the launch for “first week of December” and it appears that will go ahead as planned, with all the security measures now in place.
We asked Kodrič a few questions about why Bitstamp changed its mind and where he thinks it’s all heading.
JS: Was it merely customer demand, or was there an ideological/technological reason for offering BCH trading?
NK: We decided to start offering Bitcoin Cash trading because of customer demand and trading volume we were seeing. Listing BCH is also part of our effort to list more currencies.
JS: Does Bitstamp have any official (or unofficial) position on the rivalry?
NK: We are agnostic when it comes to the different currencies. We don’t take sides, we simply provide users with the opportunity to trade what the currencies of their choice. It is ultimately up to the market to decide how they view the relationship between the Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash.
JS: Where will BCH be five years from now?
NK: We see the entire cryptocurrency industry continuing to expand and become more accessible to consumers in the coming years, and those same consumers will be the ones to decide where BCH, or any cryptocurrency for that matter, will be five years from now.
JS: Can the two currencies coexist in the future or must one “win”?
NK: Unless anything changes in the market, we don’t see why the two cannot coexist and continue to be viable currencies. We believe they can coexist and serve different use cases.
JS: How will Bitstamp ensure customers don’t deposit/withdraw to the wrong kind of address? Will it assist those who do?
NK: Bitstamp has been assisting customers who deposit/withdraw a certain digital currency to the wrong kind of address. This will remain the same in the case of BCH.
Despite broken friendships and passions running high on both sides of the debate over who represents the “original Bitcoin vision”, many services are now adopting a pragmatic approach.
Exchanges more than anyone understand the power of market forces, and would not miss an opportunity to enable more trading activity. They’re also reluctant to lose users to a crowded and competitive field.
The number one U.S. exchange, Coinbase/GDAX, has also agreed to let customers access their BCH balances — but has yet to clarify whether it will enable full trading. The longer BCH exists with stable technology and a respectable market cap, however, the harder it will be to avoid it.
Would you trade Bitcoin Cash on Bitstamp? Tell us what you think in the comments.
Images via Bitcoin Cash Australia, Twitter, TechCrunch
The ‘Bitcoin Cash’ section at Bitsonline is sponsored by Bitcoin Cash. In hopes of bringing cryptocurrency to the masses, Bitcoin Cash has set out to provide a digital currency with on-chain scalability, so everyone can use the blockchain affordably. Learn more at BitcoinCash.org and join the official Telegram Group.