Coinbase addresses Ripple rumors, says it has made no decision on adding new coins


Coinbase just threw a bit of cold water on Ripple enthusiasts eager to see their coin hit the popular mainstream exchange. 

Rumors that Ripple’s XRP would be next in line after Bitcoin Cash reached a fever pitch this week among coin hype types, with some reading between the lines of a Tuesday segment of CNBC’s Fast Money that’s set to feature Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse and Coinbase President Asiff Hirji in what appears to be a panel discussion on cryptocurrency trends.

Speculation based on the Fast Money segment drove XRP up to $1.07, up about 6{36b96a1f853ebc4400789db5a6750c1e4fd7f7ac668ceaf8c757e025080de237} from weekly averages. Ripple’s XRP remains the only coin in the top five by market cap that isn’t available on Coinbase, though given XRP’s centralized nature and very different aims when compared to other cryptocurrency projects, its absence isn’t that surprising. Still, there is plenty of trading interest and those things don’t preclude Coinbase from adding XRP in the future were it to choose to do so.

Responding to the rumors, Coinbase tweeted “Our January 4th, 2018 statement continues to stand: we have made no decision to add additional assets to either GDAX or Coinbase. Any statement to the contrary is untrue and not authorized by the company.” Following the statement, XRP slid back modestly toward its previous averages. 

The company also linked to a January 5 blog post on its criteria for adding new assets. That post states that “Coinbase will announce the addition of new assets only via our blog post or other official channels.” The company likely isn’t eager to repeat the chaos around the introduction of Bitcoin Cash. Support for Coinbase’s newest asset was announced officially well ahead of time, but the rollout itself was marred by massive premiums, a trading freeze and an internal insider trading investigation.

Disclosure: The author holds a small position in some cryptocurrencies. Regrettably, it is not enough for a Lambo.

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Visa confirms Coinbase wasn’t at fault for overcharging users


Yesterday, we wrote that Coinbase customers were being charged multiple times for past transactions.

While some speculated that the erroneous withdraws were down to a Coinbase engineering issue, Coinbase issued a statement saying it wasn’t liable for the duplicate charges. The blame, instead, rested with Visa for the way it handled a migration of merchant categories for cryptocurrencies, Coinbase said.

While you can read my post yesterday for an in-depth description of what happened, the basic gist is that Visa refunded and recharged (under a different merchant category) a month of old transactions. Many users saw the recharge come through before the refund processed, making it look like they were double charged. Honestly, the issue was likely exacerbated by existing payment rails — it’s normal for refunds to take multiple days to show up on credit and debit statements.

But here’s where it gets weird — this morning Visa issued a statement to some publications shifting the blame back to Coinbase, telling TNW that “Visa has not made any systems changes that would result in the duplicate transactions cardholders are reporting.” We are also not aware of any other merchants who are experiencing this issue.”

But now it seems that the payment giant has revised its stance, and clarified that it wasn’t Coinbase’s fault.

The following is a joint statement from Visa and Worldpay, which is Coinbase’s payment processor partner. While Coinbase initially distributed the statement on its own blog, we’ve also received the statement directly from Visa.

Over the last two days, some customers who used a credit or debit card at Coinbase may have seen duplicate transactions posted to their cardholder accounts.

This issue was not caused by Coinbase.

Worldpay and Coinbase have been working with Visa and Visa issuing banks to ensure that the duplicate transactions have been reversed and appropriate credits have been posted to cardholder accounts. All reversal transactions have now been issued, and should appear on customers’ credit card and debit card accounts within the next few days. We believe the majority of these reversals have already posted to accounts. If you continue to have problems with your credit or debit card account after this reversal period, including issues relating to card fees or charges, we encourage you to contact your card issuing bank.

We deeply regret any inconvenience this may have caused customers.

While the statement doesn’t give a ton of clarity on the issue, it seems to absolve Coinbase of any blame, which is a win for the startup considering it’s been trying to prove to the world that its engineering and customer service teams can stand up to the challenge of maintaining a reliable financial platform.

Indeed, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong hit out at media reports that initially placed the blame for the snafu on Coinbase.

The startup — is valued at $1.6 billion after raising $100 million last year — has endured some challenging periods as it continues to scale its service to accommodate its 10 million-plus registered customers.

Issues over the past year have included muddling prices on Overstock.com, a flash crash, and a general struggle to keep up as cryptocurrencies boomed in 2017. In December, Coinbase launched an internal investigation into suggestions that company insiders profited from knowledge of impending support for Bitcoin Cash.

Note: The author owns a small amount of cryptocurrency.

Jon Russell contributed to this story. He also owns a small amount of cryptocurrency.

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