Will Coinbase/GDAX Support the Bitcoin Forks?
Many Bitcoin forks have occurred or been announced. We know Coinbase/GDAX supports Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin Gold, but will they support the new forks?
My Assumption About the Bitcoin Forks and Coinbase
I’m going to go out on a limb and make an educated guess based on what I think I understand about Coinbase and its policies. This is based fully on what Coinbase has said and done in the past.
UPDATE: Coinbase essentially confirmed my assumption. They will do what they deem reasonable and best for their customers and Coinbase as a whole (specifically, they will consider adding coins that meet a check list found here). So expect support overtime for stable forks that retain value and developer support, but expect lesser forks to potentially slip by the wayside in the short term or indefinitely. This isn’t a result of Coinbase being difficult, it has to do with the amount of work that would go into claiming and supporting each fork and the risk an unstable fork would pose to Coinbase. See Coinbase’s official blog post’s 1. Our process for adding new assets to Coinbase & GDAX (March 2018 update) 2. How Coinbase approaches forked and airdropped assets, and 3. Adding Support for Bitcoin Forks to Coinbase.
My Original Theory on Coinbase and Forks
My guess is: Coinbase/GDAX will support any stable fork. That is to say, if you had Bitcoin in your Coinbase wallet, or on GDAX (the exchanged owned and operated by Coinbase), when the snapshot of a given fork occurred, my assumption is that Coinbase will credit you with the coin in some way (either by letting you trade it on site, or by allowing you to move it from Coinbase to another wallet). Further, I assume this will occur at a time of Coinbase’s discretion after confirming the fork is stable. In other words, my guess is that they will do what they need to do to give their customers that best experience possible and to offer the most value.
This fits Coinbase’s model, which is very different than that of Coinomi, Binance, or Hitbtc. Is more like that of Bittrex, which is somewhere in between. And of course, it is very different from simply controlling your own private keys.
In other words, we can expect a much slower process with Coinbase than we can with other entities, but we can and should also expect an upstanding process with Coinbase. It seems like a bizarre business decision for the top crypto company to drop the ball and let their users go without forked coins from 11 forks in a row. Its hard to imagine that that is the pathway that they will choose, especially given their past support of stable forks.
TIP: This article generally applies to all Litecoin forks, Ethereum forks, and Bitcoin Cash forks (i.e. forks of coins on Coinbase). So for example the answer to the question “will Coinbase support the Litecoin Cash fork” is “great question, we would all love an answer.” In the meantime, learn about how to get coins from forks.
UPDATE: Forget 11 forks, there have been over 20 forks announced and this point (and many snapshot block heights have passed). Some of the forks are even live already like Bitcoin Diamond, BitcoinX, and SuperBitcoin. It makes sense that Coinbase would be slow and steady and take a methodical approach (as that is their style be we talking about Bitcoin Cash or Segwit)… but at some point they are going to have to address this. Not everyone knows or cares, but those of us who do, we are busy scratching our heads. An update would be nice.
What We Know About Support For Past Bitcoin Forks
To understand the above theory, one has to understand Coinbase’s history with forks (both recent Bitcoin forks and the old Ethereum fork).
Pertinent to our conversation, it took Coinbase from the Bitcoin Cash fork date in early August to December 19, 2017 to credit users with Bitcoin Cash. This isn’t because they were being slow for no reason, it was because they were being methodical.
This essentially benefited Coinbase users greatly, as many who got their forked coins early on other platforms sold for $300 or less (meanwhile if you sold your Bitcoin Cash right away when your coins hit Coinbase, you got between $3,500 – $4,500 for them… big difference!)
- Bitcoin Gold has not been credited yet, but support was announced.
- Coinbase planned to support the original Bitcoin Segwit2x fork, but the fork never occurred at the time (thus it is a moot point).
What We Still Don’t Know (And Would Really Like Coinbase to Tell Us)
All of the guessing and research aside, the bottom line is we don’t know what Coinbase has planned for the Bitcoin forks from Bitcoin Diamond forward.
That list potentially includes but is not limited to: Bitcoin Diamond (BCD), BitcoinX (BCX), Super Bitcoin (SBTC), Bitcoin Platinum (BTP), Lightning Bitcoin (LBTC), Bitcoin Cash Plus (BCP), Bitcoin Silver (BTCS), Bitcoin Uranium (BUM), Bitcoin God (GOD), Bitcoin Segwit2x “2.0,” and Bitcoin Interest (BCI).
They must be aware that Bitcoin is supposedly being forked over 10 times in the course of only a few months, yet they have said nothing.
This leaves us in guessing territory.
Do we guess that they will support all stable forks given their past statements and actions? That seems like a safe bet.
However, it would be nice not to have to guess. After-all, if they won’t support any of these forks, many customers might choose a non-Coinbase/GDAX wallet/exchange for their Bitcoin.
Meanwhile, if they come out and promise the sort of support we have seen from them in the past, many customers might prefer the due diligence of Coinbase and choose their platform for longterm storage (for example, their vault product).
Fingers crossed we get some confirmation one way or the other from Coinbase soon.