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The Huge Coinbase Experiment



Yesterday, we saw a huge announcement from the leading cryptocurrency exchange in the United States, Coinbase, who are now embarking on a year long study that aims to totally transform the way users of blockchain technology control their data and personal information.

One of the biggest ironies in cryptocurrency is that whilst transactions are anonymous and hidden in most instances, the actual buying of cryptocurrency through registered exchanges like Coinbase require users to give up a lot of personal information, including images of their Passport or identification, as well as giving up contact details and in some instances, even bank details.

Also known as ‘Know Your Customer’ the problem here is that signing up to exchanges is time consuming and quite complicated. Once a user submits this information, it then needs to be checked out for legitimacy, so often it can take days for an application to use an exchange to be approved, assuming you meet all the stringent anti-fraud checks.

Another issue this presents is that exchanges and wallets then need to securely store all of this personal information, meaning they are vulnerable to data hacks going forward. This, is a concern for the exchanges themselves and their customers. Data handling is a hugely sensitive subject in the news at the moment, we only need to look as far as Facebook and Cambridge Analytica to see why too.

So, it really is within the best interests of Coinbase to try and simplify this whole procedure, whilst adhering to important anti-fraud checks and laws. This is where blockchain technology comes to play.

Coinbase Experiment

First reported by CoinDesk, Coinbase have established a research team, led by B. Byrne, the Product Manager of the Coinbase identity team. Byrne and the team wish to simply allow internet users to own more of their own identity online, so this moves past just their own customer base and seems to have implications for a far wider audience too.

The team will be exploring the use of decentralised applications within the blockchain in order to build bridges between Coinbase products, the exploration of dApps will build the backbone for this study. According to CoinDesk:

“In Byrne’s mind, the best way to start lies in identifying a small segment of Coinbase users who would gain real value from controlling more of their personal data, rather than Coinbase repeatedly collecting and storing their know-your-customer (KYC) information across the platform’s products. Over the next 12 months, Byrne said his team aim to scale these experiments from just a few users to a meaningful group of dapp users. In addition to tech-savvy power users, Byrne said identity solutions could have the most immediate impact for customers that aren’t getting access to things because it’s too hard as is.”

How will it work?

As stated, this experiment is expected to last over a 12 month period, starting with an exploration of Coinbase Wallet users in order to find a suitable demographic to build the research upon. This will then move towards developing and testing a decentralised identity solution that will help benefit that small group of users. Once testing is complete, a final application might then be rolled out within Coinbase products that uses a decentralised applications to allow people to control their own identity checks through the blockchain.

This is more than just Coinbase

As stated, this experimentation phase has big implications for more than just Coinbase, therefore the research team won’t be going at this alone:

“Byrne said his team is talking with projects like the W3C Credentials Community Group. W3C co-founder and crypto veteran Christopher Allen told CoinDesk the group aims to launch a Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs) Working Group in January that can recommend standards through the Massachusetts-based World Wide Web Consortium.”


“Even if Byrne’s team develops identity solutions that reduce cross-platform friction or increase customers’ privacy, these solutions will probably rely on public tools and protocols that exist beyond Coinbase. Without commenting on any specific resources or priorities, Byrne agreed Coinbase would need to commit to keeping the infrastructure for future solutions, healthy. Byrne also expressed curiosity about how Coinbase could someday take a more active role in community efforts.”

What will come of this?

Well, this is where we are left to speculate, as Coinbase have not yet made clear what will come of this experiment. I suppose as with any experiment, they cannot predict the results so therefore, the current hypothesis from Byrne et al. is rather vague. The team are expecting to develop some sort of decentralised identity management solution that will give users far more control of their personal data, though the full scope of this solution is yet to be understood.

In an ideal world, we imagine a dApp being created that can be used to verify a users identity across an unlimited number of platforms, by simply just entering a private key, or a block address or something similar. This would be fantastic and would do great things for the adoption of cryptocurrency and most importantly, for the confidence of those in the industry that have to tackle data handling issues on a daily basis.


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Coinbase Reveals the Assets It Is Considering Listing, Including XRP, NEO, Stellar, and EOS



According to a recent blog post, one of the largest cryptocurrencies exchanges in the US, Coinbase noted it is considering the addition of several new assets on its platform. The list includes several ERC20 and standalone assets including Ripple’s XRP, one of the most highly anticipated coins to arrive on the platform.

Offering Support for More Assets

In its blog post, Coinbase said:

“We are continuing to explore the addition of new assets and will be working with local banks and regulators to add them in as many jurisdictions as possible.”

It added that the goal of the exchange is to support new assets that meet listing standards and comply with local laws. It suggests that the exchange intends to list 90% of all assets by market cap.

Which Assets Is Coinbase Considering?

All new listings on the exchange have to comply with the Digital Assets Framework created by Coinbase that assess a project based on its security, compliance and other crucial factors. The assets that could debut on the exchange include Cardano’s ADA, Ripple’s XRP, Stellar Lumens (XLM), Tezos (XTZ), ChainLink (LINK), Decentraland (MANA), NEO (NEO), Kyber Network (KNC), EOS (EOS) and Dai (DAI).

Other tokens being considered for a possible listing are Aeternity (AE), Status (SNT), Zilliqa (ZIL), Aragon (ANT), Mainframe (MFT), Maker (MKR), IOST (IOST), EnjinCoin (ENJ), Golem Network (GNT) Request Network (REQ), QuarkChain (QKC), Bread Wallet (BRD), Augur (REP), Stor (STORJ), Civic (CVC), Loopring (LRC), OmiseGo (OMG), Kin (KIN), Loom Network (LOOM), districtox (DNT) and (POE).

Coinbase suggested that it cannot guarantee that all the assets mentioned above will be listed on the platform as each listing has to satisfy both technical and compliance issues. It also noted that due to the listing process, some of the assets could only be available for buying and selling, without the ability to send and receive with a local wallet. New assets will be added on a jurisdiction-basis, meaning that if an asset doesn’t match the local compliances, it would not be available for trading in that jurisdiction.

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Coinbase CEO Predicts Virtual Reality To Be A Major Cryptocurrency Adoption Booster



Cryptocurrency To Gain Massive Adoption In VR, Coinbase CEO Predicts

Innovations in cryptocurrency market will in the near future, challenge traditional banking and finance systems, and bring virtual reality to either change or oust the status quo in this area.

It will most likely do this by becoming the preferred currency in virtual reality. That is the hypothesis and thought of Brian Armstrongfounder of Coinbase in his new blog titled Digital Currency Could Be Widely Used in VR.

Armstrong’s optimistic proposal is predicated on the simple reason that a virtual reality world will soon emerge in which transactions will no longer be carried out on the principle of uni-currency.

In other words, when people trade in virtual worlds, it will no longer be fashionable- or perhaps even rude- to rely on or use the currency of one country. Digital currency at that material time will then become the currency that will be used in these virtual spaces.

Armstrong’s hypothesis further theorizes that many more companies and investors will stay on these virtual worlds to make easy cash and profit, with the digital currency creating huge incentive that will make them stay put with its adoption.

Between Virtual Reality And Virtual Currency

Virtual reality, according to Armstrong include “things like Second Life. VR is not required to have a virtual world (Second Life is an example here), but VR will likely accelerate the usage of virtual worlds dramatically.”

In simple terms, Virtual Reality involves experiencing the computer generated ecosystem with the use of VR devices such as Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard, HTC Vive, to mention a few. Besides, VR is likely going to go mainstream system, with projected revenue of about $27 billion by 2022.

The market system of the virtual world, as Armstrong conceives, will operate in such a way that nothing will be absent for purchase in the virtual world.

People will be able to buy all kinds of assets in virtual worlds, including services (songs, experiences), teleportation, fashion and clothing (for their avatars), real estate, and vehicles (cars, spaceships, etc.).

In fact, the adoption will involve sales and exchange of special abilities, with people having free access to events or clubs, and entertainment (new episodes, levels, songs, and experiences).

What will be more fascinating is the fact that each of these assets and services can stand as a unique digital token that their owners can truly own. In that sense, digital currency (cryptocurrency) becomes a means of exchange as well as an asset which can stand in the place of real money itself.

All of these transactions will be carried out using cryptocurrency, Armstrong, who made reference to a literature like Ready Player One or Cryptonomicon, written on virtual realitywhich described the time people would be spending in the future, insists.

Interestingly, Armstrong pointed in the direction of the great works underway which stress the impact of the virtual worlds. He enumerated that a number of firms are working hard on virtual world in virtual reality today. Some of the companies in this regard include High Fidelity, Alt Space, and VR Chat.

In his article posted on his blog, Armstrong highlights a handful of ways developers and creators of virtual worlds can benefit by the product of their creation, especially the adoption of a decentralized digital currency.

He also touched on the cons of this development, balancing the options the developers of these virtual worlds have. For Armstrong, developers could,

  • Create a centralized digital currency, as indicated in the Second Life’s activities with the Linden Dollar
  • Use an existing decentralized digital currency like Bitcoin or Ethereum
  • Also issue their own token on any of the major coins

The implication of these options, for Armstrong is that participants, particularly content creators in these virtual worlds will be able to earn “real money.” Besides, people could also have a chance of paying their bills, including rent while earning and living in these worlds.

If that happens, in Armstrong’s thought, more people will be willing to come and stake games in the virtual world. Plus, that will naturally prompt gamers to spend more time in the virtual games, increasing their game time.

“More people will spend time in the game. Perhaps they will even earn a living in the virtual world that pays their rent in the real world. . If this happens, you could see people spend 8 to 12 hours per day,” Armstrong said.

A great deal of benefit for game app developers, Armstrong noted further. Using digital currency in virtual worlds is a good deal generally for app developer and content generators as they could commercialize their innovations.

More specifically, this becomes a serious popular business model in games world as using a digital currency would give room for a large number of people to earn an actual living in VR. By that, “they can convert their earnings to their local currency.”

The question which immediately stares Armstrong’s hypothesis in the face bothers on what the outlook of the virtual currency and virtual banks in VR will be. And he would say that there could be virtual bank structures with their pillars holding them.

Armstrong also theorizes that there perhaps will be virtual bank vaults that spin when opened, and virtual tellers with glasses. The hypothesis also refers to Reader Player which had already stated that:

“Perhaps the wallet where you keep your coins will have them pile up, or jostle around when you move.”

Armstrong concluded with these remarks which apparently encourage content creators and virtual game app developers to adopt the use of virtual currency within the app.

With that, customers can use such digital coins by converting them into traditional money so as to use it in real life. If that happens, it will blur the lines between the virtual and the real world, creating an interwoven and interconnected reality.

“This will help take virtual reality from a hobby or entertainment to a full-time job or lifestyle.” Said Armstrong.

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Coinbase leaps towards “BUIDL” trademark



Coinbase, one of the leading cryptocurrency exchange in the market, continues to make a buzz in the cryptocurrency space. This time, the exchange is in the limelight because of the term “BUIDL”.

BUIDL, is one of the common terms used in the cryptocurrency space, which refers to building real-world use cases. The term’s most common use phrase is “BUIDL, not HODL”, which is used by several cryptocurrency influencers. The other term used is “HODL” that stands for “Hold On for Dear Life”, referring to holding Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies instead of selling them.

Coinbase has made a filing with the United States Patent and Trade Office [USPTO] with the intention of gaining the trademark for the popular term.

Coinbase filing with the USPTO | Source: USPTO

Coinbase filing with the USPTO | Source: USPTO

Francis Pouliot, a Cypherpunk maximalist says:“Coinbase just filed to trademark BUIDL for software related to cryptocurrency. Pathetic’

Ameero, a Twitterati said:“Seriously not the way to win over the crypto community. @coinbase Coinbase could have gained a lot more support from its customer base by listening to them. From segwit to BCH and now these IP chasing tactics #Buidl is for the people -“

Bryan Lerardi, another Twitterati said:“Well, I suppose that’s one way to stop people from saying it.”

Recently, the company announced that they would be launching their own agency-only Over the Counter [OTC] trading platform. The reason for this step is revealed to be the demand from the customers. The OTC will be acting as a compliment to the exchange platform.

Additionally, reports point out that Coinbase has added PayPal as one of their options for fiat withdrawal services. The currencies supported for this services include US Dollars, Euro, and the British Pound. Along with this, it is also believed that the exchange will be offering this service free of charge.


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