Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong has poured ice water on rumors that its exchanges would support Ripple XRP in the near future. The company’s existing framework for adding new assets on Coinbase or GDAX looks at multiple legal, technical and economic factors before making any such decision, he said.
Armstrong tweeted a clarification on 4th January and reminded everyone of his company’s policies:
We haven't made any decisions to add new assets to Coinbase or GDAX at this time. Any statement to the contrary is untrue. Be careful what you believe out there! https://t.co/1yUYG33AoG
— Brian Armstrong (@brian_armstrong) January 4, 2018
Coinbase is currently the most popular platform for trading digital assets in the U.S. and operates in 32 countries. It’s also the easiest onboarding platform for newcomers, meaning any new asset would likely see a surge in popularity and price.
Even a rumor is usually enough to create a gain — Ripple speculation has floated around since November 2017 at least, and XRP has gone from $0.25 USD to $3.83 in that time. It slid back to $3.37 (at press time) in the past 24 hours, possibly after Armstrong’s message.
The Ripple and Altcoin Rumor Industry
Anyone who’s watched the cryptocurrency space for a few years would be skeptical of rumors that major companies are about to support a new cryptocurrency — especially Coinbase and Amazon. For years, amateur Photoshoppers have used those names and others to pump the value of their favorite coin by a few cents.
Purportedly “leaked” screenshots like this one have surfaced in recent weeks indicating imminent support for Ripple, Dash, Ethereum Classic, Monero, plus one or two other lesser-known assets.
However, every so often the rumors are actually true — as with Coinbase itself when it suddenly added support and trading capability for Bitcoin Cash (BCH) in December 2017. While Coinbase itself had previously announced it would support BCH in some capacity, but did not give specifics on timing and trading.
Another popular trick is to contact a random support representative at a major company (often Amazon) and post any reply less than an outright rejection as a sign cryptocurrency support is just around the corner.
Coinbase/GDAX Has Specific Conditions to Meet
In November, Coinbase’s GDAX exchange published a four-page list of specific factors it considers before adding support for new digital assets. The “GDAX Digital Asset Framework” refers to market demand, development team competence, scalability, legal and compliance issues, community and other exchange support as key points.
As a now six year-old token with a well-known development team and support from several major multinational corporations, Ripple’s XRP would appear to check all the boxes. But so far, Coinbase has given no official indication it’s even considering support.
Coinbase also faced criticism after its BCH launch last month, which many said was hasty and poorly announced. It even faced accusations of insider trading after the BCH price leapt to over $3,000 just 24 hours before the surprise announcement, prompting Armstrong to call for an internal investigation.
Are you convinced either way, or do you still think Coinbase will announce support for Ripple and others in 2018? Let’s hear your thoughts.
Images via Reddit, Amazon