Rumours of Ripple XRP joining Coinbase quashed – for now

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  • Coinbase states it will not add “additional assets”
  • Speculation led to 6% surge in XRP’s value
  • XRP remains the only digital coin in top five cryptocurrencies not on Coinbase

Rumours that digital currency wallet service Coinbase was contemplating adding Ripple’s XRP cryptocurrency to its own Bitcoin Cash were suppressed yesterday, when the popular mainstream exchange declared that they would not be adding “additional assets to either GDAX or Coinbase”.

Cryptocurrency watchers had got into something of a lather last week, after some had overinterpreted a segment to be broadcast on CNBC’s Fast Money show as an indicator that Ripple’s XRP cryptocurrency would be added to Coinbase. The rumour mill began churning at full speed when news got out that the segment would feature Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of digital money transfers service Ripple, and Coinbase President Asiff Hirjj, in what looks like a panel debate about cryptocurrency trends.

Speculation about that Fast Money exchange had an almost instantaneous effect, boosting the value of XRP to $1.07 – a rise of around 6% from weekly averages.

Presently, Ripple’s XRP is the only digital coin in the top five cryptocurrencies that isn’t included on Coinbase. But there may be good reasons for that. Other cryptocurrency platforms aim to allow their digital money to be used by mainstream banks and financial institutions. Despite the recent trial deal with cross-border payments giant MoneyGram, XRP is far more centralised and remains firmly under the control of Ripple. Ripple and Ripple alone decides when to release more coins into the market. That runs contrary to the guiding spirit of other blockchain organisations, which trenchantly advocate for completely decentralised systems free from the undue influence of companies.

These differences don’t necessarily preclude Coinbase from adding XRP in the future if it wanted to, of course. But Coinbase moved to quash rumours this week with the following tweet:

“Our January 4th, 2018 statement continues to stand: we have made no decision to add additional assets to either GDAX or Coinbase. Any statement to the contrary is untrue and not authorized by the company.”

Directly after the statement was released, XRP eased gently back to its previous averages.

The 4th January statement reaffirmed Coinbase’s commitment to becoming “the most trusted and easy-to-use digital currency exchange” and went on to emphasise its parallel commitment to sharing with customers its process for adding new assets to its trading platform.

It continued: “A committee of internal experts is responsible for determining whether and when new assets will be added to the platform in accordance with our [Digital Asset] framework. These individuals – and all employees at Coinbase – are subject to confidentiality and trading restrictions. Coinbase will announce the addition of new assets only via our blog post or other official channels.”

It seems that Coinbase is keen to avoid the chaos that surrounded the introduction of Bitcoin Cash in December, when suspicious rises in its value arose pre-launch, only to be immediately followed by soaring prices that trebled its worth. Coinbase was forced to freeze transactions to cool the volatility down and became subject to an insider trading investigation because of the chaos.


Nigel Frith
Nigel Frith
Former Global General Manager
Nigel was the Global General Manager at FXcompared. Nigel has a background in marketing for businesses and consumers as well working in a variety of online financial services roles. Read more

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