Coinbase is a digital currency exchange headquartered in San Francisco, California. They broker exchanges of Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic and Litecoin with fiat currencies in around 32 countries, and bitcoin transactions and storage in 190 countries worldwide.
|Type of business||Private|
|Headquarters||San Francisco, California, U.S.|
|Area served||32 countries|
|Key people||Brian Armstrong (CEO & Co-Founder)|
Asiff S Hirji (President & COO)
Alesia Jeanne Haas (CFO)
Balaji S Srinivasan (CTO)
Emilie Choi (VP of Corporate & Business Development)
Eric Scro (VP of Finance)
Rachael Horwitz (VP of Communications)
|Products||Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin, exchange of digital assets|
|Revenue||US$1 billion (2017)|
|Employees||500 (September 2018)|
|Alexa rank||272 (Global, March 2018[update])|
|Users||13,300,000 (November 2017)|
Coinbase was founded in June 2012 by Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam. Blockchain.info co-founder Ben Reeves was part of the original founding team but later parted ways with Armstrong due to a difference in how the Coinbase wallet should operate. The remaining founding team enrolled in the Summer 2012 Y Combinator startup incubator program. In October 2012, the company launched the services to buy and sell bitcoin through bank transfers. In May 2013, the company received a US$5 million Series A investment led by Fred Wilson from the venture capital firm Union Square Ventures. In December 2013, the company received a US$25 million investment, from the venture capital firms Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures (USV) and Ribbit Capital.
In 2014, the company grew to one million users, acquired the blockchain explorer service Blockr and the web bookmarking company Kippt, secured insurance covering the value of bitcoin stored on their servers, and launched the vault system for secure bitcoin storage. Throughout 2014, the company also formed partnerships with Overstock, Dell, Expedia, Dish Network, Time Inc. allowing them to accept bitcoin payments. The company also added bitcoin payment processing capabilities to the traditional payment companies Stripe, Braintree, and PayPal.
In January 2015, the company received a US$75 million investment, led by Draper Fisher Jurvetson, the New York Stock Exchange, USAA, and several banks. Later in January, the company launched a U.S.-based bitcoin exchange for professional traders called Coinbase Exchange. Coinbase began to offer services in Canada in 2015, but in July 2016, Coinbase announced it would halt services in August after the closure of their Canadian online payments service provider Vogogo.
In May 2016, the company rebranded the Coinbase Exchange, changing the name to Global Digital Asset Exchange (GDAX) and offering Ether, the value token of Ethereum, for trade to professionals, and in July 2016, they added retail support for Ether.
In January and then March 2017, Coinbase obtained the BitLicense and licensed to trade in Ethereum and Litecoin from the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS). In November 2017, Coinbase was ordered by the US Internal Revenue Service to report any users who had at least $20,000 in transactions in a year.
On February 23, 2018, Coinbase told around 13,000 affected customers that the company would be providing their taxpayer ID, name, birth date, address, and historical transaction records from 2013-2015 to the IRS within 21 days.
In August 2018, Amazon cloud executive Tim Wagner joined Coinbase as vice president of engineering.
Coinbase has two core products: a Global Digital Asset Exchange (GDAX) for trading a variety of digital assets on its professional asset trading platform, and a user-facing retail broker of Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ether, Ethereum Classic and Litecoin for fiat currency. It also offers an API for developers and merchants to build applications and accept payments in both digital currencies. As of 2018[update], the company offered buy/sell trading functionality in 32 countries, while the cryptocurrency wallet was available in 190 countries worldwide. On March 26, 2018, Coinbase announced their intention to add support for ERC-20 tokens.
In March 2018, it was reported by Quartz that the number of monthly customer complaints against Coinbase, jumped more than 100% in January of that year, to 889, citing official Consumer Financial Protection Bureau data, with more than 400 of those categorized as "money was not available when promised".
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- "Adding ERC20 Support to Coinbase – The Coinbase Blog". The Coinbase Blog. 2018-03-26. Retrieved 2018-04-27.
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