Čvc 01

New Coinbase Pro Platform Off to a Rocky Start Amid Flurry of Criticism

Digital currency exchange Coinbase shuttered GDAX on June 29th and transitioned to Coinbase Pro. The new interface is marketed as an upgrade but has received a lot of initial criticism.  

Coinbase has been very busy over the last few days. Responding to criticism about failures with their customer service, the exchange said on Thursday how they are planning to open a new office in Portland Oregon.

An official announcement from the company says the new location will be hiring for roles based on “customer support, finance, compliance, IT, and HR.” The news comes a few weeks after the exchange officially opened an office in Japan to help “accelerate the global adoption of cryptocurrency.”

Yesterday, Coinbase officially said goodbye to GDAX and invited people to start using the new Coinbase Pro. A company blog post said gdax.com would not be accessible after June 29th, but part of it still apparently lives on, as the design team has emulated GDAX’s interface in one of Coinbase Pro’s color themes.

Hello Coinbase Pro

Coinbase Pro General Manager David Farmer wrote in a blog post how the new interface was built on top of the GDAX trading engine. After June 29th, all GDAX balances and trading history are now automatically seen on Coinbase Pro.

Farmer said GDAX’s API would be functioning until December 31st, 2018 and encouraged those on Coinbase Pro to migrate their API usage away from GDAX.

Coinbase has been advertising the purported upgrades and advantages of Coinbase Pro over the last couple months. A company blog post from May said the platform is “completely dedicated” to the needs of the cryptocurrency trader.

Along with the automatic migration of transactions and balances, Coinbase Pro features a new design that is intended to make “the trading experience easier and more intuitive.” The company says it also has a simplified deposit and withdraw process, better charts for users trying to find historical data, and a new portfolio “that lets customers easily see an overview of their account orders and balances.”

Coinbase Pro touts a variety of benefits on their homepage, including an “industry-leading API”, FDIC insurance protection for USD balances up to $250,000 per customer, and 0% maker fees.

The company said their vision is to give users the ability to “interact with digital assets in new and unique ways,” including through services like staking and protocol voting.

‘This Does Not Look Good’

Coinbase Pro said in a June 29th tweet how a number of customer feedback suggestions from the previous two weeks were live on the platform. This included layout optimizations, more theme options, and a bigger market selector.

But many of the early reactions to the new Coinbase Pro have been negative, and a growing number of people seem to be taking to the internet to try and problem-solve through issues.

Criticism started to emerge on Coinbase Pro’s official Twitter announcement. One user commented and said the new platform is “not a step for the better” and questioned if the team’s “UI or UX designers quit?”

Another said the platform’s GUI was slowing down their computer, pointing out how their utilization was above 25% “the moment the switch to pro occurred.”

Reddit community /r/coinbase experienced a flurry of activity after launch, and a lot of the commentary was not positive.

One user posting on June 30th called for a “Coinbase Pro boycott” after noting they had not seen a “single positive response to Coinbase Pro.” They said they would consider trying to get used to the new platform since Coinbase offered “relative safety” with holding funds, but said it was otherwise “complete garbage.”

Some users said the ability to zoom and scroll back on charts was a positive, but others mentioned how some features were not really usable on mobile devices. One user asked how they can get the GDAX page layout back and questioned if the new platform was even tested before being rolled out. Another simply said the new design was “two steps backwards.”

A couple of people seemed to take things into their own hands and posted ideas and suggestions in response to criticisms about Coinbase Pro.

One user recommended people make their own dashboard with the API in order to customize the platform to avoid issues. Another posted a “fix” for Coinbase Pro’s apparent lagging for high volume traders, which included minimizing browser width to “make the site usable again.”

Since Coinbase Pro is so new, team members are assuredly working on smoothing out any issues and figuring out what needs to be changed. But only time will tell about how many the initial complaints and criticisms will be addressed in future updates.

What are your thoughts on the new Coinbase Pro? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter 

Pro 26

New Evidence Emerges, Points to Possible Insider Trading at Coinbase

· December 26, 2017 · 4:30 am

It was just a few days ago that news broke alleging “insider trading” after a botched Bitcoin Cash launch which saw prices spiking close to $9000. Now, new evidence has emerged appearing to bolster those allegations.

Entrepreneur and cryptocurrency enthusiast Albert Renshaw is claiming that he has discovered additional evidence pointing to insider trading of Bitcoin Cash related to its recent adoption by Coinbase and their cryptocurrency exchange, GDAX.

Speaking with Forbes, Renshaw states:

I’ve found and isolated one instance of insider trading on BCH addition to GDAX/Coinbase.

He references the following discussion thread that took place on /r/Coinbase:

The highlighted comments in the thread have since been deleted, however, the conversation was archived in its entirety at Archive.is.

Timeline of Events

The screenshot above focuses primarily on the comments of one Redditor, /u/mukiwa2. The conversation was archived on December 20, 2017, making the ‘2 days ago’ time stamp (see mukiwa2’s first highlighted comment) December 18 – a day before Coinbase announced their addition of Bitcoin Cash.

December 18

  • Bitcoin Cash is trading between $1900 – $2200 (CoinMarketCap).
  • /u/mukiwa2 announces to the thread that Bitcoin Cash is coming to Coinbase and that he has “a mate at CB”.

December 19

  • Coinbase announces the addition of Bitcoin Cash.
  • Bitcoin Cash begins trading on GDAX at 10:20 pm EST.
  • Within minutes the price of BCH jumps to $8500 – more than double the previous day’s price.
  • GDAX suspends trading at 10:22 pm EST, later tweeting, “All BCH books will enter cancel-only mode, and all existing orders will be cleared. While in cancel-only mode, no new orders will be accepted. We will post an update shortly.”

December 20

  • GDAX resumes Bitcoin Cash trading.

Between /u/mukiwa2’s comment on Reddit and the opening of trade on GDAX, the price of Bitcoin Cash jumped by over 370%. To put that in perspective, if a person bought $50,000 worth of BCH at $1900 on December 18 and was able to sell it as soon as trading opened on December 19 at $8500, they would have made a profit $223,684, less their initial investment.

So Who is /u/mukiwa2?

Well, that’s where things start to get murky. Nobody knows. Shortly after the crypto community began calling Coinbase out over possible insider trading, /u/mukiwa2 deleted his comments from the thread. Shortly thereafter, he deleted his account entirely. Bitcoinist was able to dig up a cached copy of his Redditor profile page, but that provided little information other than the fact that it was a new account, created on December 6, 2017.

So Who is /u/mukiwa2?

Some further research yielded some possible clues to his identity, and Bitcoinist has reached out to this person for confirmation and possible comment. At the time of this writing, we have received no response.

So What Happens Next?

In the wee hours of the morning on December 20, Coinbase issued a statement via Twitter that all of its employees have been prohibited from trading Bitcoin Cash for several weeks. Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong addressed the matter personally, as well. In a blog post published on the same day, Armstrong clarified Coinbase’s employee trading policy and also addressed the accusations of insider trading, stating:

Given the price increase in the hours leading up the announcement, we will be conducting an investigation into this matter. If we find evidence of any employee or contractor violating our policies — directly or indirectly — I will not hesitate to terminate the employee immediately and take appropriate legal action.

This is all well and good, but it’s a little bit like shutting the barn door after the horse has already bolted. It doesn’t change what happened, if insider trading did, indeed, take place, and it doesn’t prevent it from happening again in the future with some other coin on some other exchange.

While it is heartening that Armstrong isn’t simply dismissing the accusations, the whole idea of an internal investigation being offered up as a panacea should be concerning to the entire crypto community. If a non-crypto investment firm were accused of insider trading, there would be no self-policing. The SEC would investigate the company and, if found guilty, the parties responsible would face fines and most likely jail time.

The crypto community is at a crossroad. On the one hand, they don’t want regulators mucking about and trying to control things. On the other hand, when something goes wrong – like an exchange being hacked or insider trading – they clamor for the protection that only regulation would provide. There is no simple solution, but one thing is clear – we can’t have it both ways.

Does this new information change your opinion on Coinbase’s involvement (or lack of involvement) in insider trading? Let us know in the comments below.

Images courtesy of Archive.is, Google Cache