Leading bitcoin exchange and wallet service provider Coinbase has announced that users can now buy and sell Ethereum network’s ether on its platform amid rising interest in the digital currency.
This announcement was made about two months after Coinbase added ether trading to its platform as more and more digital currency traders, organizations and financial institutions across the globe express interest in the cryptocurrency and/or the technology behind it.
Trading in ether commenced on Coinbase back in May, according to CoinDesk. Only traders were allowed to buy and sell ether on the exchange at the initial stage after support was added in May. Now, all Coinbase users can buy and sell the Ethereum cryptocurrency.
Rising interest in ether
Coinbase is not the first digital currency exchange to offer support for ether, but it arguably ranks among the most trusted of exchanges around the world to do so. It is the first cryptocurrency exchange to be regulated in the United States. The decision by the popular exchange and wallet service to support ether certainly looks to boost its rising reputation.
Several exchanges in different parts of the globe have added ether support in recent months. Interest among these exchanges especially went up after Kraken of San Francisco revealed last August its intention of becoming the first leading venture-back service to support ether trading pairs. Gemini is one of those exchanges that have also added ether pair support recently.
Ether’s value has risen significantly since emerging in 2014. The price rose by as high as 1000 percent recently. The cryptocurrency rose in value to about $12.50 at the beginning of June indicative of rising interest in it.
Coinbase’s confidence in Ethereum
Given the thoughts of Coinbase co-founder Fred Ehrsam, the exchange sees a lot of potential in the Ethereum blockchain. Ehrsam states in a Medium post that Ethereum is a cryptocurrency of the future. Coinbase sees so much potential in the network making the company consider it capable of overtaking bitcoin in relevance in the future.
Adam White, Coinbase vice president of business development, revealed that the startup has stayed abreast of latest Ethereum development for a long while. The exchange had some of its employees take part at several of the network’s meetups last year as part of its research into ether. This led to Coinbase team commencing development of Ethereum-based services.
As regards recent controversies linked to the Ethereum platform, including those associated to the collapse of The DAO project, Coinbase defended the platform based on the fact that it is still at an “early and experimental” stage. The exchange says it expects ether to be used for different purposes to bitcoin.
Ethereum platform is intended mainly for handling smart contracts.
Coinbase has also rebranded itself and will now be known as Global Digital Asset Exchange (GDAX). The new name reflects the business’ readiness to take on more cryptocurrencies as they come online. White told CoinDesk that the exchange would get a new logo as well.
With the ether integration, you can now buy and sell the digital currency against bitcoin and US dollars. This is done in your account using an Ethereum wallet or the recently-announced Coinbase Buy Widget. You can also buy and sell using your credit/debit card or bank account.