Coinbase has attracted a lot of flack recently for stating they will not give Bitcoin Cash to their customers, with some of their support answers stating they will simply not touch it even though the network automatically gives BCC to all BTC holders on Coinbase or elsewhere.
It is one of the few bitcoin businesses that has united in anger both small blockers and big blockers, not least because one BCC is currently worth around $400 to $500. So regardless of their views, all bitcoiners would probably like some.
Despite the backlash, Coinbase has not made any further statement to clarify their position, but Brian Armstrong, in answering some public questions, stated:
“If you don’t understand the hard fork, and are keeping your coins on Coinbase, you are essentially trusting us to make the right call about future forks.”
Coinbase has faced many complaints recently for their very long support line queues, their moody verification system and of course their flash crashes.
They also seemingly lost quite a few ETC during the ETH and ETC split last year through replay attacks, but Bitcoin Cash has now implemented strong protections against replay attacks so hopefully that doesn’t repeat.
“We can’t guarantee access to everything people want right then it happens. I think we’ll be able to provide what most people want over time though – so if you’re ok trusting us to make those calls then feel free to keep your coins with Coinbase,” Armstrong says.
That suggests Coinbase customers will probable get their Bitcoin Cash, not least because it rightfully belongs to them and because Coinbase gave the ETC to ETH holders last year.
But certainty would be useful because they have made it very clear Coinbase customers will not be able to withdraw BCC in a statement which says:
“Coinbase will not be able to support the new blockchain or its associated coin,” followed by “customers that desire access to [Bitcoin Cash] should withdraw their bitcoin from Coinbase by July 31st.”
“Coinbase is not the best product for more tech savvy people who want 100% control over all aspects of their coins. Our goal is to make digital currency simpler, and help digital currency reach a much larger market of people, and this can sometimes be in conflict with complete control,” Armstrong says.
Andreas Klinger, a software engineer, asked him if he should withdraw his bitcoins from Coinbase, with Armstrong stating in reply:
“If you want full control of any potential coins right away, at a fork. Then yes! If you want to not worry about it, and trust us to make a call for you, then no.”
It’s not very clear what he means by “make a call for you” since the matter appears very simple. There will be two coins, BTC and BCC, will Coinbase customers be able to withdraw both of them or not.
Especially since BCC has been given significant value by the free market. But we’ll have to wait and see how the matter develops with the hardfork chain split now in just a few days.