Coinbase to support BAT token as they look ahead?
Apple support for "verified currencies" is a key factor in the move that prepares Coinbase for when cryptocurrency goes mainstream.
A few weeks ago, Coinbase announced that it will add support for Ethereum ERC20 tokens. Ordinarily, such an announcement, while interesting, would not be a big deal. Except that Coinbase was, for a while, the number one app in Apple's iOS App Store. That makes it super easy for newbies to get into trading as the entry point has been simplified to installing an app.
According to an analyst from The Edge Analysis Group, the only coin that has been approved for use in the App Store is the Basic Attention Token (BAT) – an ERC20 token. Interestingly, BAT's creators say the token is not a security and, therefore, not subject to the same regulatory scrutiny from the Securities and Exchange Commission in the US as other tokens.
Coinbase's play is to be ready for when cryptocurrency moves from niche into the mainstream. For example, it recently spent $120 million buying earn.com and hiring its former CEO to be Coinbase's new CTO. Earn.com allows people to earn cryptocurrency for completing tasks. In other words, they are receiving cryptocurrency as salary.
Add in the recent announcement to create products and services for institutional traders and investors and it's clear the company has a vision to be ready for when there's broad adoption and acceptance of cryptocurrency.
In a recent tweet, the company called this part of its "utility phase" as people start to use, earn and transact with various cryptocurrency market services.
We are still in the early days of widespread cryptocurrency adoption and there are limited ways in which tokens and coins can be used. Coinbase's strategy seems to be focussed around finding tools that allow people to do useful things with their coins. Its smart play in getting listed in Apple's App Store and offering services compliant with Apple's terms give it an addressable audience numbering in the hundreds of millions of people worldwide.
The acquisitions it has made puts Coinbase in a good position to be ready for broader acceptance.
Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author holds BTC, EOS, ETH, ETH, str, LTC, TRX, BCC, ADA, XRP and GAS.