The world’s biggest crypto broker has announced they are exploring the listing of two ERC20 tokens of BAT and 0x, the privacy coin Zcash, the Ripple like Stellar, and the yet not launched Cardano. They say:
“As part of the exploratory process, customers may see public-facing APIs and other signs that we are conducting engineering work to support these assets.
While we cannot commit to when or whether these assets will become available at this time, we will provide updates to our customers about the process and what they can expect.”
Coinbase says this announcement of an announcement was necessary because they need to contact many external parties to determine whether the listing is appropriate.
That means a decision hasn’t actually been taken, but nonetheless “customers may see public-facing APIs and other signs that we are conducting engineering work to support these assets.”
They say that would be as part of the exploratory process, but unless such APIs do not discriminate, then hints may be given as to which will actually be listed.
The choices are interesting. BAT of Brave Browser was of course guessed some time ago. Beyond that, the rest weren’t so obvious.
0x is a protocol that allows tokens to be traded on ethereum’s blockchain. They raised $24 million in an ICO during August last year which sold out very quickly. Their market cap now is half a billion, rising 15% today since the announcement of announcement.
That means OmiseGo has been passed, probably because their network is not yet out, with 0x now being the second biggest market cap token.
The intention to list Zcash passes many blockchain projects, even with the 10% rise today. They presumably don’t think EOS has much long-term standing. Iota has been facing many problems. Tron had criticisms of their whitepaper being plagiarized. Neo is somewhat centralized. Tezos perhaps is too new. Nem is still confusing in being a private-public hybrid chain of sorts popular mainly in Japan. Obviously they’re not going to list Binance Coin and VeChain says it is based on Proof of Authority.
Regarding the two coins with a higher market cap than Zcash, however, Monero and Dash, an obvious reason isn’t too easy to find.
Dash arguably is a bit centralized due to its masternodes, but Monero has some support with Bitcoin Core ideologues. That itself could perhaps be a reason, but that they’re listing any privacy coin is somewhat interesting.
The Japanese FSA is pressuring, and successfully so, local exchanges to not list Monero, Dash or Zcash. The latter does however have zk-snarks, which are pretty interesting, so that might give Coinbase some cover.
Now the other two projects are even more curious. Passing Ripple and listing its clone, Stellar, is arguably an insult.
XRP is far bigger, and its market cap even overtook eth at one point, albeit very briefly. It has been around since forever, and there are all sorts of tests on-going or announced with banks.
It is centralized, especially in ownership, with some 80% of XRP held by founders or Ripple the company and its protocol design is somewhat centralized in that you need to select nodes you trust.
Stellar, however, shares the latter with Ripple, which is really the main reason some say the two protocols are centralized. Understandably, therefore, some say the only reason Ripple was passed while Stella makes the cut is because Stellar was:
“Initially funded by Stripe, Stellar’s board members include Khosla Ventures partner Keith Rabois, Stripe cofounder Patrick Collison, WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg, YCombinator President Sam Altman, MIT DCI head Joi Ito, and AngelList founder Naval Ravikant.”
Coinbase itself came from YCombinator, and some of those listed investors have also invested in Coinbase. Yet as curious as this choice is, Cardano is even more curious.
That’s mainly because the thing is not out yet, which arguably goes against Coinbase’s own guidelines. They say the settlement layer is live, but we don’t see where we can download the node. That’s live.
On a general note, we’re not sure how their interface will be displaying all these new coins and tokens now. It will probably need a re-design, so it may take some time before they go live, if they do list them.
Another general note is that Silicon Valley is not quite giving Coinbase much competition. They’ve all probably invested in it by now and might be eyeing the IPO cash-out, but there is a real risk here of monopoly at such an early stage, and regulations would be to blame (SEC especially) as well as the Venture Capital funding method.