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Coinbase Business Model Becoming Increasingly Concerning

3 mins
Updated by Dani Polo
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The old adage ‘Keep It Simple Stupid,’ K.I.S.S, appears to have been the best way to bring true crypto adoption into reality. With blockchain technology being difficult to learn, the need for simple interfaces to help new investors and users participate has been clear from the start.
And, like candy cigarettes or Midori sours, Coinbase has been considered the ‘entry-level drug’ for the crypto revolution. With a simple user interface, an extremely accessible app, and excellent advertising, the exchange saw massive growth over the past two years. Coinbase

Changes Afoot

Recent events, however, have led some to note that the company that brought cryptocurrency to the masses has begun to drastically change the way that it serves its customers. While a number of recent decisions have precipitated the assessment, the community is beginning to take notice. New clients, wanting to join in on the crypto revolution, are now facing a complex array of trading pairs which are often coupled together in ways that seem completely random. These contain a large number of confusing pairs which require some substantial knowledge of the crypto market in order to begin to understand.

Policy Changes

Additionally, the exchange has made some massive shifts in policy, apparently moving toward a more traditional cryptocurrency exchange model and away from the model that has brought in the crypto ‘noob’ market. Part of these additions, however, were not random. The creation of trading pairs with USDC, the Coinbase stablecoin, allowed the new coin to steal a substantial share of the market almost instantly. While the move may have been seemingly good for business from a surface level, the complexities it has introduced have made trading on the exchange particularly difficult. New users would need to understand the concept of the stablecoin, the ways that the coins interact with one another, and how to trade using the various pairs. All of this information, while readily available online, require substantial research before any user would have enough data to make informed trades.

New Tokens Mean Change

The exchange has also begun to show signs of a rethink over the past few months, as a large number of new coins were added for trading. These included several that were shocking for industry insiders until a connection with the Digital Group came to light through investigations by BeInCrypto. The previously lengthy process for inclusion on the Coinbase platform had made it the Rolls Royce of exchanges for the top currencies. However, this new policy of rapid additions has made industry insiders concerned that the exchange has completely altered its value proposition. The difficulty is that, for crypto insiders and those who have the ability to trade in complex ways, a host of exchanges already exist that would arguably compete well against Coinbase. On the other hand, the simplicity that built the Coinbase model is now all but lost amid a flurry of coins and trading pairs. [bctt tweet=”Coinbase needs to return to the ‘Keep it Simple, Stupid’ model that made them great in order to keep their value proposition alive. Anything else may spell failure.  ” username=”beincrypto”] Whether these changes will spell a loss of customer base for Coinbase or not, the K.I.S.S principle has been lost in recent months. For Coinbase to thrive, they need to return to the value proposition that made them the fastest growing exchange in 2017. Coinbase Do you think the new face of Coinbase is confusing? Have the recent changes improved the platform? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! 


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With a background in science and writing, Jon's cryptophile days started in 2011 when he first heard about Bitcoin. Since then he's been learning, investing, and writing about...