In a twist of sorts, Coinbase and Gdax have announced they will not give you your Bitcoin Cash, with the exchange stating in very clear terms:
“Customers that desire access to UAHF [AKA Bitcoin Cash] coins should withdraw their bitcoin from GDAX by July 31.”
It’s not clear what they will do with their customer’s Bitcoin Cash. Some support replies say they will simply not touch it, but Coinbase will automatically be given by the network an equal amount of Bitcoin Cash as their current bitcoin holdings.
As such, if Bitcoin Cash does gain some value – as you’d think it would because it seems to have support by some big blockers – then Coinbase’s statement seems to suggest they would simply keep it.
Which is unlikely because some say it would amount to theft. So it’s unclear why they would make the most astonishing statement of any exchange so far.
Needless to say, big blockers are very unhappy as shown by commentary on their public forums, but neither seem to be many small blockers who want the option of selling their Bitcoin Cash, so gaining their rightfully earned money.
Moreover, their statement is very surprising because Coinbase’s CEO, Brian Armstrong, has been very vocal in supporting bigger blocks, even to the point of acting as a leader of sorts during 2016.
The complete u-turn, therefore, seems puzzling. Certainly from a business perspective, but also from a more political angle.
One explanation may be that they have backed the New York Agreement, known as segwit2x, which is soon to activate segwit. As such, they may be sticking to one coin. But not listing it is one thing. Not giving the Bitcoin Cash to their rightful owners is something completely different.
It’s an approach no other exchange has taken so far, not least because it would probably not stand in any court of law. OKCoin, for example, has stated they will support any and all bitcoins that may arise from a chain-split on August 1st. ViaBTC has gone further in stating they will actually list Bitcoin Cash on their exchange.
Bitcoin Cash, therefore, under the ticker of BCC, will have a market. And with a market, it will probably have at least some value. How high is not clear, but Bitfinex’s futures of a like minority coin are trading at $250.
If Bitcoin Cash gains a comparable value, then that would be a considerable amount of money for any bitcoin holder regardless of their views on how bitcoin should progress.
As such, Coinbase’s statement might go down as a blunder. Certainly from a practical angle, but also conceptually. Because it does set an unappealing precedent when one centralized exchange thinks it can decide the direction of a decentralized currency like bitcoin, instead of doing its job of serving the market.