New cryptocurrencies get added to crypto-exchanges all the time, but when Coinbase adds one, it’s news.
Coinbase, the largest U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange, has only supported four coins so far: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash. The addition of Ethereum Classic or ETC, announced on Tuesday, will happen “over the next few months,” Coinbase told Mashable.
This will undoubtedly bring a new level of visibility to Ethereum Classic, which is a decentralized smart contract platform similar to Ethereum. In fact, Ethereum is a so-called hard fork of Ethereum Classic; it was created in July 2016 and the two projects share their blockchain history up until that point, though Ethereum got to keep the original name.
Ethereum Classic came to be after a part of Ethereum’s leadership decided to undo the damage done by the DAO hack, which saw hackers exploit a vulnerability in the code of Ethereum-based decentralized venture capital fund called DAO to steal 3.6 million ether, worth roughly $50 million at the time. Ethereum Classic chose not to change its blockchain history, and while it claims it wants to preserve Ethereum’s original vision, Ethereum turned out to be far more popular, with thousands of decentralized apps and initial coin offerings (ICOs) being run on the platform.
The price of Ethereum Classic went up sharply following Coinbase’s announcement, jumping from $12.9 to $16.15 in less than an hour. ETC is currently trading at $15.8 and its market capitalization stands at $1.61 billion, making it the 18th largest cryptocurrency according to CoinMarketCap.
Coinbase recently announced it would add support for ERC20 tokens, which are standardized cryptocurrencies created on Ethereum’s platform. On Tuesday, the company reiterated that it plans to add assets within that category, as well as Bitcoin forks, to its exchange in the future, though it didn’t provide a timeline nor did it mention a specific asset that’s being added. It did say, however, that it will announce new assets far in advance of them being actually added to the platform, just like it did with ETC.
Disclosure: The author of this text owns, or has recently owned, a number of cryptocurrencies, including BTC and ETH. The author of this text does not own, or has recently owned, ETC.