Timeline of Coinbase

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This is a timeline of Coinbase, a San Francisco, California–based digital currency exchange. It is one of the most popular and well-established cryptocurrency exchanges in the world.

Sample questions

The following are some interesting questions that can be answered by reading this timeline:

  • What does Coinbase offer as a service?
    • Sort the full timeline by "Event type" and look for the group of rows with value "Service".
    • You will see a variety of offerings throughout the years, including products, features and updates.
  • What are some key figures illustrating the growth of Coinbase over time?
    • Sort the full timeline by "Event type" and look for the group of rows with value "Growth".
  • How has Coinbase expanded its services geographically over time?
    • For national expansion, sort the full timeline by "Event type" and look for the group of rows with value "National expansion".
    • For international expansion, sort the full timeline by "Event type" and look for the group of rows with value "International expansion".
  • How has Coinbase support for cryptocurrencies evolved over time?
    • Sort the full timeline by "Event type" and look for the group of rows with value "Support launch".
    • You will see the evolution of cryptocurrency incorporations, starting with Bitcoin and followed by Ethereum.
  • What companies and services has Coinbase acquired over the years?
    • Sort the full timeline by "Event type" and look for the group of rows with value "Acquisition".
    • You will see the acquisition of a variety of businesses, including wallet, trading platform, broker-dealer, and app developers.
  • What are some legal cases involving Coinbase over time?
    • Sort the full timeline by "Event type" and look for the group of rows with value "Legal".
    • You will see a number of legal cases over the years involving the company, often in relation to the Internal Revenue Service.
  • What are some notable people having joined Coinbase team over the years?
    • Sort the full timeline by "Event type" and look for the group of rows with value "Team".
    • You will often read names of important people having worked in other major companies.
  • What are some partnerships having been formed between Coinbase and a number of companies and organizations over the years as part of its efforts to expand its reach and services?
    • Sort the full timeline by "Event type" and look for the group of rows with value "Partnership".
    • You will see collaborations with important companies, including Visa, Paypal and Square.
  • What are some notable instances of funding received by Coinbase from venture capital firms and other investors since its launch?
    • Sort the full timeline by "Event type" and look for the group of rows with value "Funding".
  • Other events are described under the following types: "Competition", "Consumer privacy", "Criticism", "Customer service", "Genesis", "Insider trading", "Integration", "Investment", "Patent", "Philanthropy", "Policy", "Pricing", "Survey", "Userbase", and "Valuation".

Big picture

Time period Development summary More details
2012–2019 Early years Coinbase is founded in 2012. By 2013, the company is ranked as the highest-funded Bitcoin startup and largest crypto exchange platform as well.[1] In 2014 Coinbase becomes the payment processing platform for major websites such as Expedia, Overstock, Wikipedia, Dell and Time, among others.[2] In 2015, Coinbase rebrands the exchange element of the company as GDAX and then again in 2018 to “Coinbase Pro”, to separate the ‘trading’ element of the exchange from the more casual consumer platform.[3] Coinbase Prime, another arm of the company’s crypto exchange platform, is launched in May 2019. By September of the same year, the company partners with Circle and Bitmain to launch a stable coin known as USDCoin, which was pegged to the US dollar.[4]
2020–2021 Remote-first model and IPO During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, Coinbase becomes a distributed company. In April 2021, Coinbase becomes the first crypto company in the world to go public.
2022–present Recent developments In February 2022, Coinbase shuts San Francisco HQ to promote a decentralized office strategy and remote work model.

Summary by year

Year Development summary
2015 Coinbase launches the Shift debit card.[5]
2016 Coinbase begins accepting Ethereum transactions.[6]
2017 Coinbase becomes the largest and prominent exchange platform across the world.[7] Coinbase Custody and Coinbase Wallet are launched. The company surpasses $1 billion in valuation.
2018 Coinbase Pro is launched.

Full timeline

Year Month and date Event type Details
2012 June Genesis Coinbase is founded by Brian Armstrong, a former Airbnb engineer, and Fred Ehrsam.[4]
2012 July 18 Funding Coinbase is accepted by Y Combinator's summer class. This would come with a US$164,000 worth investment.[8]
2013 February Growth Coinbase announces that its customers bought and sold more than US$1 million worth of Bitcoins in the past 30 days.[9]
2013 April Security Coinbase faces phishing attacks after data leak happened as a result of the exchange publicly, and presumably accidentally, exposed customer information, including names, e-mail addresses, and product details on the Coinbase website.[10]
2013 April Partnership Online dating service company OKCupid partners with Coinbase with the purpose to accept Bitcoin for online dating.[11]
2013 May Funding Coinbase announces infusion of US$5 million in venture capital, the biggest funding for a Bitcoin startup at the time.[12] The investment round is led by Union Square Ventures’ Fred Wilson.[4]
2013 May 29 Service Coinbase adds a feature that allows advanced users to create and print paper wallets directly from their accounts. A paper wallet is a physical, offline method of storing Bitcoin that is secure from internet-based threats, such as hacking. It consists of both a public address, which can be used to receive funds online, and a private key, which is required to withdraw funds. Coinbase aims to keep track of the paper wallets created by users, but would not have a record of the private key. Some users would raise concerns about the security of the paper wallets generated by Coinbase, as the keys are generated on the server side and sent to a third-party service to generate a QR code. However, others trust Coinbase due to its backing by prominent Silicon Valley investors.[13]
2013 June Recognition CoinBase is recognized by tech tabloid TechCrunch as the most trustworthy consumer Bitcoin brand.[14]
2013 July Service Coinbase opens instant Bitcoin transfers for verified customers. [15]
2013 August Service Coinbase adds SMS commands to its Bitcoin wallet and purchasing systems. The system uses simple commands, which allow users to securely transfer BTC between them using little more than SMS messages.[16]
2013 August 7 Service Coinbase announces that it would begin processing off-block chain microtransactions, which would be free for users. Once a user has accumulated 0.01 BTC they can withdraw funds, which then incurs the normal block chain fees.[17]
2013 August Team Litecoin creator Charles Lee quits Google and is hired to work full-time at Coinbase.[18]
2013 October Service Coinbase launches an iOS mobile app platform enabling users to buy, sell and send Bitcoins. The app is available for free in the Apple App Store.[19][20] Less than a month after launch, Apple would remove Coinbase from its App Store.[21][22][23]
2013 December Funding Coinbase raises $25 million in a Series B funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz. The round also includes contributions from existing investors Union Square Ventures and Ribbit Capital. As part of the deal, Union Square's Fred Wilson and Andreessen Horowitz's Chris Dixon would join Coinbase's board of directors.[24][25]
2013 December Userbase Coinbase surpasses 650,000 users, after having grown 20-fold over the past 9 months, starting the year with 30,000 accounts. Demographic information on the users reveals that almost half of them are aged 25-34, followed by 35-44, with 49.7% and 16.9% respectively. A majority of users are male.[26]
2013 December Service Coinbase releases its first standalone point-of-sale app to allow physical retailers accept payment via Bitcoin on a mobile device.[27]
2014 January Integration Personal finance app Mint integrates with Coinbase, allowing Bitcoin owners to quickly track how much their stash is worth and compare this value to their other financial accounts.[28]
2014 January Partnership Personal finance service Mint announces integration support for Coinbase into its web and mobile products, with the purpose to give users the option to track their Bitcoin holdings alongside traditional accounts like banks and credit cards.[29]
2014 January Growth By this time, Coinbase handles Bitcoin transactions for more than 19,000 businesses and 750,000 individuals. Due to its role in handling bitcoin transactions, Coinbase holds a significant amount of the digital currency in its own digital wallets.[30]
2014 February Partnership Square partners with Coinbase with the purpose to process Bitcoin exchange. The partnership allows Square to forward the payment to merchants in US dollars, minus the website's standard processing fee.[31][32]
2014 February 27 Growth Coinbase reveals that it officially passed 1 million wallet downloads.[33]
2014 March Partnership Seattle-based casual gaming company Big Fish Games partners with Coinbase to allow gamers to buy their games and in-game virtual items using Bitcoin.[34][35]
2014 March Team Coinbase hires Facebook's former director of security Ryan McGeehan and Amazon's former director of business development Todd Edebohls.[36]
2014 May Security Coinbase adds support for the Bitcoin payment protocol BIP 70, which allows communication between a merchant and its customers when transactions are made, and is designed to provide additional security and improve the customer experience.[37]
2014 June Service Coinbase introduces a feature that allows merchants in its network to offer discounts of up to 25% on Bitcoin purchases made by customers. The feature is intended to encourage merchants to accept Bitcoin as a form of payment and to incentivize customers to use the cryptocurrency. Coinbase stated that the feature will allow merchants to pass on savings from lower transaction fees and costs associated with fraud and chargebacks to customers. The company believes that this will make it more attractive for customers to use bitcoin for payments and for merchants to accept it as a form of payment.[38]
2014 June Support launch Coinbase users can once again use a Bitcoin wallet on Apple iOS devices with the release of a community-developed app. The app was developed by Andrew Vilcsak, an AirBnB developer and bitcoin enthusiast, and is based on the Coinbase API. It supports all major bitcoin operations, such as sending and receiving bitcoin, recording transaction history, balance, and more. Coinbase gives the app its endorsement and tweets that it believes the app is secure.[39]
2014 July 31 Pricing Coinbase announces that it will waive fees for registered non-profit organizations accepting Bitcoin through its merchant tools. The company states that any non-profit accepting BTC through its platform would be able to instantly exchange its Bitcoin donations for US dollars and receive a daily bank transfer without incurring any costs. By eliminating payment processing fees, Coinbase aims to encourage non-profits to accept Bitcoin as a donation option. Payment networks, such as PayPal and credit card companies, usually charge fees of around 1.5-3% for processing donations. Bitcoin, on the other hand, enables donors to give almost 100% of their donation to the intended charity, with only a small fee going to miners. US donors may also be eligible for tax deductions on their Bitcoin-denominated donations.[40]
2014 July Security Coinbase announces the launch of a new account called "Vault," which offers additional security features for storing large amounts of Bitcoin. The account is designed in response to demand from Coinbase's growing customer base of institutions and wealthy individuals for a more secure type of wallet. Vault accounts include security features such as multiple approvals for withdrawals, a time-delay feature on withdrawals, and cold storage technology. The accounts are free and would be initially available to a randomly selected sample of 5% of existing Coinbase users, before becoming available to all users on July 16. The accounts are intended to complement standard Coinbase wallet accounts, with the difference between the two being similar to a traditional bank's checking and savings accounts.[41]
2014 August Partnership Coinbase announces having been insured against the theft or loss of Bitcoin since November 2013. The company has partnered with Aon, one of the world's largest insurance brokers, to provide insurance coverage for its users' Bitcoin funds. The insurance policy covers losses due to physical or cyber security breaches, accidental loss, and employee theft, but does not cover Bitcoin lost or stolen as a result of individual user negligence in maintaining secure control over their login credentials. Coinbase also warns against claims made by other companies in the Bitcoin industry that claim to be fully insured, but are either self-insured or working with unaccredited carriers.[42]
2014 August 18 Acquisition Coinbase acquires popular blockchain explorer Blockr.io. Its two founders, Samo Drole and Sašo Matejina, join Coinbase after the acquisition. Blockr.io is expected to continue operating under the Coinbase brand. At the time of the acquisition, Coinbase has around 1.6 million wallets and 35,000 merchants on its platform.[43][44][45]
2014 September International expansion Coinbase launches service in Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia and Spain, allowing their citizens to buy and sell up to €500 in Bitcoin per day. This is its first expansion beyond the United States.[46]
2014 September Service Coinbase launches Toshi, a free API toolkit aimed at Bitcoin app developers. It runs on a full Bitcoin node backed by a SQL database.[47]
2014 October Service Coinbase launches a multi-signature vault service, giving users the option to control their own private keys and therefore, their own funds. The new service, called MultiVault, allows users to secure their funds using a multi-signature system, with Coinbase controlling one key, the user controlling another, and a third key encrypted and stored on Coinbase's servers. Users can also opt for a 3 of 5 multi-wallet, allowing them to give keys to family members or other trusted parties. The service is free and available to all Coinbase users.[48]
2014 October International expansion Coinbase expands service to Denmark, Ireland, Poland, Sweden and Switzerland, allowing their citizens to buy and sell up to €500 in Bitcoin through the exchange.[49]
2014 November Service Coinbase launches Coinbase Tip, a new micropayments tool that enables users of the wallet to send small payments to web publishers with one click. The tool is initially added to a number of popular blogs, including those written by Adam Carolla and Fred Wilson, and is intended to provide an additional revenue stream for websites and blogs through online donations. Coinbase Tip is aimed to allow users to enable one-click tipping, although those who use third-party wallets would have to follow additional steps. The tool is expected to encourage the wider online community to adopt new behaviours that allow for more sustainable content production.[50]
2014 December Criticism Coinbase comes under criticism for reportedly tracking its customers' transactions and closing accounts involved in transactions that the company objects to. Some argue that this demonstrates the problems with consumer regulation, as regulations are often designed to protect the interests of the financial sector rather than the consumer. Coinbase is accused of banning accounts that send Bitcoin to gambling sites, even though online gambling is not illegal, and for allegedly banning an account for purchasing cannabis products with Bitcoin.[51]
2014 December National expansion Coinbase enables USD wallets for its customers in 16 US states, allowing them to store dollar balances and make instant Bitcoin purchases without waiting for bank transfers. The new wallets also enable users to store proceeds from Bitcoin sales and withdraw them to a connected bank account at any time. The service is made possible through the repurposing and adaptation of existing fraud detection algorithms for Coinbase's ACH (automated clearing house) buys. Previously, the only way for US customers to acquire Bitcoin without delay was to enable "instant buy," which required a credit card.[52]
2015 January Service Coinbase launches Coinbase Exchange, a Bitcoin exchange for professional traders known. It would be subsequently rebranded as Global Digital Asset Exchange (GDAX) in May of 2016 and later as Coinbase Pro in 2018.[4][53]
2015 January Funding Coinbase raises $75 million in an investment round led by DFJ Growth and featuring participation from financial institutions such as the New York Stock Exchange, USAA, and BBVA. This is the largest investment to date in a Bitcoin company. The funding is aimed to be used to expand Coinbase's presence in international markets and to pay for money transmission license fees in the United States. To date, Coinbase has raised a total of $106 million and has 2.1 million Bitcoin wallets from a customer base of 1.9 million since it was founded in 2012.[54]
2015 January Service Coinbase launches its exchange product in 24 states in the US. The launch is marked by some technical glitches, with some users experiencing difficulty accessing the service. The launch follows news that VC investors Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss would be launching an exchange called Gemini in the US once New York's BitLicense regulation is finalized.[55]
2015 March Partnership Coinbase becomes the first cryptocurrency company to join the Internet Association (IA), a Washington, DC-based public policy group. The IA is a lobbying group that advocates for internet freedom and innovation and includes founding members such as Amazon, eBay, Facebook, and Google, as well as general members such as Airbnb, Lyft, and Uber. The IA aims to help regulators adapt outdated laws and address issues facing disruptive internet startups, including those related to Bitcoin. John Collins, head of government affairs at Coinbase, says the company joined the IA to benefit from the organization's experience in helping policy makers set the policies of decentralized networks like the Bitcoin protocol.[56]
2015 April International expansion Coinbase launches in the United Kingdom. This marks the second country, after the United States, to gain access to Coinbase's Bitcoin trading platform, Coinbase Exchange. Users in the UK can now trade Bitcoin on the Coinbase Exchange in two new currency pairs: BTC/GBP and BTC/EUR. Customers can add GBP and US dollars to their Coinbase wallets via wire transfer and add euro using the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA). The exchange's merchant tools are also available in the UK. Coinbase's CEO, Brian Armstrong, said the company has a banking partner in the EU region that agreed to support GBP payments and that the company is in talks with regulators and banks in several other countries with the aim of expanding access to its exchange and wallet even further.[57]
2015 April Security Hackers target mass email service provider SendGrid in order to infiltrate Coinbase. SendGrid confirms that one of its Bitcoin -related clients was compromised, but would not reveal the customer's name. Coinbase confirms that its SendGrid account has been compromised, but says that no Bitcoin was stolen. SendGrid states that it believes the attack was an isolated one, but the attack follows a similar pattern to an attack in 2014 against a former SendGrid customer. There is also evidence that other Bitcoin companies are targeted via their mass email providers.[58]
2015 April Policy Coinbase announces that all Bitcoin prices would now be denominated in "bits", a way of counting Bitcoin that divides it into one million parts. The move comes in an effort to make the currency easier for users to understand and to encourage the use of Bitcoin for everyday transactions. As part of the change, Coinbase optimizes its website to round up balances denominated in bits and align the decimal point with other transactions. New users who sign up to Coinbase would also receive 100 bits for free, worth approximately $0.02.[59][60]
2015 May Service Coinbase updates its iOS and Android apps to allow new users in the US to sign up for an account via their mobile phones or tablets. Previously, new users could only sign up and link their bank accounts through a desktop browser. The app update is part of Coinbase's focus on developing its mobile product, as CEO Brian Armstrong announced at the company's $75m Series C fundraising event. The updates also include support for older Android devices, instant Bitcoin buying for European users and a new customer bonus program that enables new users to receive 100 bits, worth approximately $0.02.[61]
2015 June Service Coinbase launches a feature called Instant Exchange, which allows users to buy and sell Bitcoin on the Coinbase website while protecting them from the volatility of the digital currency's price. The feature, which is available to users with euro, dollar, or pound Coinbase accounts, allows users to execute instant buy or sell orders and have the funds credited or withdrawn from their local currency wallet. The feature is subject to Coinbase's standard conversion fees and limits, which can be checked by logging into the user's account. The announcement follows Coinbase's decision to suspend operations in Wyoming due to regulatory legislation.[62]
2015 August International expansion Coinbase expands Bitcoin services to Canada, bringing the total number of countries it supports to 27.[63]
2015 August International expansion Coinbase announces that it now allows customers in the United Kingdom and Spain to purchase Bitcoin instantly using 3-D Secure-enabled credit and debit cards. 3-D Secure is a protocol developed by Visa that requires users to enter a password to confirm their identity with the card issuer before completing an online purchase. At the time, Coinbase currently only accepts Visa, Mastercard, and Maestro cards with 3D Secure authentication and purchases made in GBP or EUR are subject to a 3% "convenience fee". The company advises users to check with their bank or try adding their card to their Coinbase account to see if it is eligible for 3D Secure.[64]
2015 September International expansion Coinbase expands its operations to Singapore and Canada in an effort to increase the global usage of digital currency. In Singapore, Coinbase offers a money transfer service that allows consumers to buy and sell Bitcoin using Singapore dollars. The company also launches a retail buy and sell service and an exchange for professional traders in Canada. CEO Brian Armstrong states that the company's goal is to be present in 40 countries by the end of 2015. By this time, Coinbase operates in 28 countries and has over 3.9 million consumer wallets, 40,000 merchants using its payment system, and 7,000 software developers using its platform.[65]
2015 October International expansion Coinbase announces its expansion into the European market, offering support for Bitcoin transactions in 26 European countries. The company had recently launched services for the purchase of Bitcoin with 3D Secure-enabled credit and debit cards in the UK and Spain. By this time, Coinbase serves a total of 30 countries worldwide.[66]
2015 November Partnership Coinbase partners with payments platform company Shift Payments, allowing users to get a Visa card for US$10 and pay everywhere with Bitcoin.[67]
2015 November Service Coinbase launches its first debit card, the Shift Visa Debit card, which allows customers in 24 US states to spend Bitcoin at over 38 million merchants worldwide. The card is free to use for purchasing items, but fees apply for ATM withdrawals, international ATM withdrawals, foreign currency conversion, and an issuance fee. The Shift card is provided by Shift Financial and Visa is aware and supportive of the product.[68]
2015 November Integration USAA, a bank based in San Antonio that serves members of the military, announces testing of a feature that allows users to view their Coinbase balances within their online and mobile banking portals.[69]
2015 December Security A vulnerability in Coinbase's "Vault" service is discovered by a Reddit user, who is able to withdraw infinite amounts of Bitcoin from the service even if he did not own them. The user reports the vulnerability to Coinbase as part of the company's bug bounty program and receives a $5,000 reward. The user also discovers a second exploit, which Coinbase marks as "informative" and subsequently bans the user's account. When the user asks for an explanation, Coinbase cites its terms of service as the reason for the ban, with the user believing it was to avoid him fully confirming a second exploit and getting paid another bounty.[70]
2016 January Service Coinbase introduces new feature allowing clients to receive daily interest payments for holding Bitcoin.[71]
2016 March Service Coinbase introduces stop orders service for Bitcoin, allowing customers to buy and sell the digital currency at a previously set price.[72][73]
2016 April Service Coinbase announces availability of instant buys from debit cards to all users in the United States.[74]
2016 May 16 Support launch Coinbase announces that it will begin supporting the trading of ether, the virtual currency unit behind ethereum. Ethereum is a digital currency that is similar to bitcoin, but also includes smart contract capabilities, which allow for automated agreements between parties without human involvement. The inclusion of ether on Coinbase is seen as a vote of confidence in the virtual currency, and the exchange hopes that it would generate more trading activity on its platform. However, Coinbase does not yet receive regulatory approval in New York State.[75]
2016 June Partnership Coinbase announces that it will allow US customers to sell Bitcoin and have the proceeds deposited into their PayPal accounts. Initially in a beta phase and is only available to US users, Coinbase plans to eventually expand the program to other countries and add support for buying Bitcoin through PayPal as well. Previously, using PayPal to buy or sell Bitcoin was risky due to the potential for fraud, as hackers could use stolen PayPal accounts to purchase Bitcoin and then have the transactions reversed, leaving the legitimate owner without the Bitcoin. Coinbase's requirement for customers to prove their identity before making significant Bitcoin purchases helps reduce this risk. The company also adds support for credit card payments.[76][77]
2016 July 21 Service launch Coinbase announces adding site-wide support for Ethereum.[78]
2016 July 26 International expansion Coinbase expands to Australia, bringing the total number of countries it supports worldwide to 33.[79]
2016 August 02 Partnership Web browser Brave announces partnership with Coinbase to provide Bitcoin wallets and purchasing tools for the Brave Ledger, a micropayments system that uses Bitcoin to allow users to anonymously pay their favorite websites.[80]
2016 August 21 Partnership Amazon-owned live streaming video platform Twitch re-enables the use of Bitcoin as a payment option on its platform through Coinbase. Prior to this, Twitch had partnered with Xsolla, a gaming payments company, to provide various payment options to its users, including Bitcoin. However, Xsolla later removed Bitcoin as an option, which caused frustration among Twitch users who had no access to traditional payment methods such as credit and debit cards.[81]
2016 September 19 Support launch Coinbase completes its integration of support for Ethereum, allowing users to buy and exchange ETH using various payment methods. The news has a positive impact on the price of Ethereum.[82]
2016 November 21 Consumer privacy On behalf of the Internal Revenue Service, the United States Department of Justice files a paperwork in federal court requesting the identities of United States Coinbase customers who transferred convertible virtual currency at any time between December 31, 2013, and December 31, 2015.[83] As a response, some Coinbase users, led by Mr. Jeffrey K. Berns, intervene in the IRS’s case to enforce the summons, arguing that the IRS request threatens their privacy.[84]
2016 December 6 Userbase Coinbase reaches five million users.[85]
2016 December 7 Legal Coinbase releases a legal framework to help developers navigate the regulatory gray area surrounding blockchain and cryptocurrency innovation. The framework, developed in collaboration with Coin Center, Consensys, and Union Square Ventures, provides a decision matrix that developers can use to mitigate design flaws that could have legal consequences. The framework is geared towards developers of new tokens, and focuses on US law, although it is intended to be used as a primer rather than formal legal advice. It also highlights the risk that developers face due to a lack of public education on concepts such as distributed applications and autonomous organizations, and aims to help developers be prepared when seeking guidance from regulatory bodies such as the US Securities and Exchange Commission.[86]
2016 December 15 Legal The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requests that a US district court in California allow it to continue its search for user information from Coinbase. The request follows a filing by a Coinbase customer, lawyer Jeffrey K Berns of the Berns Weiss law firm, who had sought to prevent the agency from gaining access to the company's user data. The IRS argues that Berns' filing, which seeks to protect the privacy of Coinbase users, reveals him as a user of the platform and therefore he is no longer of interest to the agency's inquiry. The IRS's request for Coinbase user information remains controversial, with concerns being raised about its "overbroad" nature and the potential vulnerability of users to attack if their information is handed over.[87] [88]
2017 January 17 Recognition Coinbase is awarded New York BitLicense, a formal license to do business in the state of New York.[89]
2017 February 8 Recognition Coinbase is selected by officials from Vernon Hills, Illinois, for the sale of US$10,000 worth of Bitcoin seized in joint police investigations with federal authorities in the past. The finance director of the Vernon Hills Finance Department describes Coinbase as a “police friendly” trading platform and reveals that the police department's asset forfeiture account would be linked to the village's Coinbase account.[90]
2017 March 23 National expansion Coinbase receives approval to offer trading of Litecoin and Ethereum in New York state.[91][92][93]
2017 April 20 Service Coinbase launches a new subsidiary brand called Token, aimed to offer a secure messaging app, an Ethereum wallet, and a browser for Ethereum apps. Token is designed to offer financial inclusion through the use of digital currency, and to make it easier for people to build and use Ethereum apps. It would also include a built-in reputation score that adjusts as users interact with the platform, and future upgrades will include support for the decentralized identity platform uPort. Coinbase also operates the subsidiary brand GDAX, an exchange service for digital assets and digital currencies.[94][95][96]
2017 May 03 Support launch Coinbase announces support for Litecoin, allowing users to buy, sell, send, and store LTC on the exchange website or mobile apps using payment methods such as credit/debit cards or PayPal. Litecoin gained popularity as it implemented Segregated Witness (SegWit), a solution that aims to scale the currency for the future by increasing the block size and moving non-essential data off the blockchain. SegWit also prevents transaction malleability and allows for instant Litecoin payments through something called Lightening Networks. The increased trading volume resulting from these developments allowed Coinbase to add Litecoin support.[97]
2017 May 23 Service Boston-based asset manager Fidelity Investments announces plan to allow its clients to view their Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency holdings held on Coinbase, on the company's website. The move makes Fidelity one of a few large financial services firms to have integrated cryptocurrencies into its website.[98]
2017 June 17 Team American computer scientist Charlie Lee quits Coinbase to dedicate himself to Litecoin development.[99]
2017 June 21 Security The digital currency exchange GDAX, operated by Coinbase, experiences a flash crash in its USD-Ethereum market. The price of ETH drops from around $320 to as low as $0.10 within seconds, before quickly recovering. The cause is known to be a large sell order placed at market price, which causes the price of ETH to suddenly drop 30% to $224 and triggers 800 stop loss orders and margin liquidations. These types of trades require assets to be sold, further driving down the price. Initially, GDAX says it would honor all of these orders as they were made in accordance with the exchange's trading rules. However, it would later announce that it would use company funds to reimburse customers who suffered losses due to margin calls or stop loss orders triggered by the flash crash. The exchange states that it would not reverse any trades, meaning that any purchases made at a low price during the flash crash would be honored.[100]
2017 July 07 Legal The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the United States engages in talks with Coinbase about limiting the information it requires for searching for unreported income. According to a report in Fortune, the IRS may not request passwords or security settings for Coinbase accounts as part of this process. By this time, the IRS has been involved in a legal battle with Coinbase and its customers since 2016, when the agency requested all Coinbase customer activity from 2013 to 2015. During this period, the value of Bitcoin rose significantly. A group of Bitcoin holders has hired a law firm to request permission to challenge the IRS summons. The IRS argues that anonymous customers do not have the right to challenge the agency in court. US lawmakers have written a letter to the IRS calling the agency's case "overly broad, extremely burdensome, and highly intrusive to a large portion of individuals."[101]
2017 July 21 Legal United States magistrate judge Jacqueline Scott Corley of the Northern District of California rules in favor of Coinbase customer known as “John Doe 4” against the Internal Revenue Service, granting permission to the unnamed bitcoiner to challenge the agency's summons and proceed with their case anonymously. The case began on November 17, 2016 with the IRS's petition to serve a “John Doe” administrative summons on Coinbase, which was granted on November 30, 2016. The agency's investigation would attract angry criticism from Coinbase and others who claim the agency’s demands ensnare too many people and involve too much information.[102]
2017 August 04 Support launch Coinbase announces support of Bitcoin Cash from January 2018.[103]
2017 August 10 Funding Coinbase raises $100 million in a Series D funding round, making it the largest single funding round for a public blockchain or cryptocurrency startup. The round is led by Institutional Venture Partners, and includes participation from Battery Ventures, Draper Associates, Greylock Partners, Section 32, and Spark Capital. The funding brings Coinbase's total funding to over $217 million, making it the most funded industry firm to have raised money from accredited investors. Coinbase plans to use the funds to expand its customer support and engineering teams. The company's valuation is now $1.6 billion, making it a "fintech unicorn."[104][105][106][107]
2017 September 04 Growth Coinbase reaches 10 million users in its wallet and exchange service.[108]
2017 September 20 Customer service Coinbase adds a new customer support phone line during business hours, with support agents only assisting issues related to verification and locked accounts.[109]
2017 September 22 Service Coinbase announces the addition of Ethereum and Litecoin "Vaults" for all customers. These vaults provide additional security for stored digital currency, including a 48-hour withdrawal delay and required email approvals. The exchange has already previously introduced Bitcoin vaults.[110]
2017 October 12 Service Coinbase announces that users in the United States would be able to instantly purchase cryptocurrency using their bank accounts. Previously, such purchases took 3-5 days to complete as Coinbase waited for funds to be transferred via the ACH network before crediting the purchase. Instant purchases were previously available for users paying with credit cards, but this option carried a higher fee of 4% and had lower purchase limits.[111][112]
2017 November 16 Service Coinbase announces the launch of Coinbase Custody, a service aimed to securely hold digital assets for institutional investors. The service is only available to funds that store $10 million or more of digital currency with Coinbase, and has an initial setup fee of $100,000, as well as a storage fee of 0.10% per month. Institutional investors would have access to features such as multiple signers, audit trails, withdraw limits, dedicated account representatives with phone support, and in some cases, the option to insure their holdings.[113]
2017 November 29 Legal Coinbase is ordered by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service to supply with identifying information on users who had more than $20,000 in annual transactions on its platform between 2013 and 2015.[114] In compliance with this, Coinbase would announce on February 23, 2018, that it would be providing user data such as taxpayer ID, birthdate, address, and transaction history of 13,000 affected customers to the IRS within 21 days.[4]
2017 December 12 Service Coinbase halts trading of litecoin and ether due to record-high demand for the digital coins, as both cryptocurrencies reach all-time highs.[115]
2017 December 20 Insider trading Coinbase launches an internal investigation to determine if any of its employees engaged in insider trading of Bitcoin Cash. The probe is prompted by increased trading activity that led to a significant increase in the value of Bitcoin Cash shortly before it was officially added to Coinbase's exchange. Coinbase's ethics policy prohibits employees from trading on non-public information, such as when a new asset will be added to the platform. The company's CEO Brian Armstrong states that if any employee is found to have violated these policies, they will be terminated and appropriate legal action will be taken. Trading of Bitcoin Cash on Coinbase is briefly suspended after it is added to the exchange.[116]
2018 January 4 Support launch Coinbase releases a blog post denying plans to add any new assets up to date. This prompts Ripple prices to drop sharply after the announcement.[117][118][119]
2018 February Competition Popular mobile-first brokerage app Robinhood enters the cryptocurrency market by allowing its customers to trade Bitcoin and ethereum starting. Customers are also able to monitor market data and set alerts for 16 major cryptocurrencies. The move puts Robinhood in direct competition with Coinbase.[120]
2018 February 15 Security Users of Coinbase report seeing strange charges on their credit and debit cards. Some users report being double-charged for past transactions, while others report being charged as many as 50 times. Coinbase says that the issue is related to its credit card processing system and was caused by Visa reversing and recharging past charges after deciding to classify Coinbase transactions as "cash advances." All of the transactions were refunded at the same time they were recharged, but the delay in updating banking and credit card systems meant that some users saw the second charge before the refund.[121][122]
2018 March Legal Two lawsuits are filed against Coinbase in federal court in San Francisco. The first suit claims that Coinbase employees unfairly profited from the December listing of Bitcoin Cash. The suit alleges that employees knew about the listing ahead of time and were able to profit from the price increase of Bitcoin Cash when trading began. The second suit involves two men who claim they were unable to redeem Bitcoin that had been transferred to them and accuse Coinbase of fraudulently keeping the funds. The pair also claim that thousands of other non-customers have had cryptocurrencies sent to them in a similar manner but have been unable to redeem the funds. Coinbase does not comment on either lawsuit.[123]
2018 March 6 Service Coinbase launches a passively managed cryptocurrency index fund made up of digital currencies traded on its GDAX platform, weighted by market capitalization. The fund has a $10,000 minimum investment and charge a 2% annual management fee, but is not expected to have a performance fee. It is initially available to accredited and US-based investors. The fund is to be held in cold storage and investments can be made in US dollars or any of the included digital currencies.[124][125]
2018 March 27 Support launch Coinbase announces support of Ethereum ERC20 technical standard for tokens. While not yet revealing which specific assets or features would be supported, the company emphasizes that any additions would go through internal legal and risk checks and would need to be approved by a committee of employees and executives using the Digital Asset Framework.[126]
2018 April 13 Acquisition Coinbase announces that it has acquired Cipher Browser, a decentralized app browser and wallet for the Ethereum blockchain. Cipher Browser allows users to browse Ethereum apps, send secure messages, and use it as a wallet for Ethereum. Coinbase also operates its own decentralized mobile browser called Toshi, which allows users to do similar things. As part of the acquisition, Coinbase would combine the Toshi and Cipher Browser teams and integrate certain features from the latter into the former. The head of engineering at Cipher Browser, Pete Kim, would become the head of engineering at Toshi and work with Sid Coelho-Prabhu, Coinbase's product lead for Toshi. The first new feature to be introduced to Toshi would be Testnets, which allow developers to test their apps without using real cryptocurrency. The terms of the acquisition are not disclosed.[127]
2018 April 16 Acquisition After acquiring Cipher Browser, Coinbase announces its biggest acquisition to date after agreeing to buy Earn.com, a US start-up that uses the blockchain for its paid-email service, for over $120 million. The deal sees Earn.com co-founder and CEO, Balaji Srinivasan, appointed as Coinbase's first Chief Technology Officer (CTO). This is Coinbase's fifth acquisition, with its previous purchases being talent-centred. Earn.com was founded as a Bitcoin mining operation in 2013, but struggled as the price of Bitcoin fell and operational costs increased. It was refocused as a service that rewards users for answering emails and completing tasks.[128]
2018 April 23 Security Coinbase suspends WikiLeaks' Bitcoin account, alleging the latter was “in violation” of its terms of service, without specifying why. As a response, WikiLeaks tweets that it would “call for a global blockade of Coinbase” because it is “an unfit member of the crypto community.”[129]
2018 April 23 Service Coinbase launches Coinbase Ventures, a new fund aimed to invest in early-stage cryptocurrency and blockchain startups. The company's head of corporate and business development Emilie Choi says that the fund's goal is to strengthen the sector.[130]
2018 May 23 Acquisition Coinbase acquires cryptocurrency trading platform Paradex, a decentralized exchange which does not maintain custody of the tokens on behalf of its users but allows them to trade them through digital wallets. The acquisition significantly expands the types of cryptocurrencies that customers are able to access through Coinbase.[131][132]
2018 June 6 Acquisition Coinbase acquires California-based broker-dealer Keystone Capital, with the purpose to allow the exchange to offer services such as crypto securities trading, margin trading, and over-the-counter trading. The move comes as initial coin offerings (ICOs) have raised over $13 billion for startups since the beginning of 2017, with $6.3 billion raised in the first three months of 2018 alone.[133][134][135]
2018 June 6 Acquisition Coinbase acquires Venovate, which facilitates the discovery, evaluation, and purchase of private company stock and other alternative assets.[136]
2018 June 6 Acquisition Coinbase acquires Digital Wealth, a fee-only financial planning and investment management firm.[137]
2018 June 11 Service Coinbase announces plans to add Ethereum Classic (ETC) to its platform in the coming months. ETC is a version of Ethereum that was created after a hack on The DAO in 2016. By this time, Ethereum is the second-highest valued token, while ETC is ranked 19th according to Coinmarketcap. Coinbase decides to announce its intention to list ETC in advance in order to test integrations and avoid any potential issues related to inside trading, similar to what happened when Coinbase added Bitcoin Cash in December 2017.[138]
2018 June 11 Support launch Ethereum Classic sees its price spike, following the announcement that it will be added to Coinbase's trading options. The decision to add Ethereum Classic follows criticism of Coinbase's asset selection process, which some in the industry have described as "random, if not altogether dubious." Coinbase had previously added support for Bitcoin Cash just months after it was created through a hard fork of the Bitcoin blockchain, but had not yet embraced Ethereum Classic a year after it was created through a hard fork of the Ethereum network.[139][140]
2018 June 13 Service Coinbase launches its Coinbase Index Fund, which allows customers to invest in all assets listed on the exchange. The minimum investment required is $250,000, and the fund is initially only available to US-resident accredited investors. The assets in the fund would be weighted by their market capitalization, with prospects to add more assets in the future if Coinbase lists them. The fund was originally going to offer exposure to assets listed on GDAX, Coinbase's cryptocurrency exchange that would be replaced by Coinbase Pro.[141] “Coinbase has formally launched a new index fund product aimed at large investors” [142]
2018 June 27 Philanthropy Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong (businessman) unveils GiveCrypto.org, a fund focused on philanthropy. Inspired by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, it aims to raise US$10 million by the end of the year, — having already secured $3.5 million — with a view to growing to $1 billion over the next two years.[143][144][145]
2018 July 13 Support launch Coinbase announces plan to add five new cryptocurrencies to its platform: Cardano (ADA), Basic Attention Token (BAT), Stellar Lumens (XLM), Zcash (ZEC), and 0x (ZRX). The company states that it plans to negotiate with local banks and regulators to make these assets available in as many jurisdictions as possible. However, the company notes that adding these new assets would require additional exploratory work and that the listing process may not necessarily make all of the coins available for customers to send or receive using a local wallet.[146][147]
2018 July 16 Support launch Coinbase receives approval from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority to sell tokenized securities. This approval allows the company to expand its offerings to include initial coin offerings (ICOs) and other tokenized securities. Previously, Coinbase only allowed users to trade a limited number of cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin, on its central exchange. The company announces that it is exploring the addition of five new tokens to its exchange, including Cardano, Basic Attention Token, Stellar Lumens, Zcash, and 0x, but states that the classification of these tokens as securities may vary by jurisdiction.[148]
2018 July 25 Service Coinbase launches a way for users to purchase retail goods and services with cryptos in Europe, thanks to a deal with WeGift, a London-based online gift card platform. By this time, the exchange supports Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin and Ethereum. Gift cards purchased by cryptocurrencies can be used in over 120 retailers that accept WeGift, including Tesco, M&S, Uber, Carrefour, Google Play and Costa. The service is launched in the United Kingdom, France, Spain, the Netherlands and Italy.[149]
2018 August 10 Team David A. Marcus resigns from the board of directors at Coinbase, favoring his new role leading Facebook's blockchain strategy. He had joined the board at Coinbase in December 2017. Marcus' departure follows speculation that Facebook has held talks with cryptocurrency firm Stellar about how it could use blockchain technology. His departure also comes shortly after Facebook lifted its ban on cryptocurrency-related ads, allowing Coinbase's advertisements to appear on the platform.[150][151]
2018 August 15 Acquisition Coinbase acquires startup Distributed Systems, which developed an identity standard for decentralized apps (dApps). The five-member team of Distributed Systems and its technology would join Coinbase, with three members joining Coinbase's Toshi decentralized mobile browser team and the CEO and co-founder forming a new decentralized identity team that would work on a product called "Login with Coinbase." The goal is to create a platform that allows dApp developers to easily sign up users and connect their cryptocurrency wallets using Coinbase's "know your customer" (KYC) data on its 20 million customers. The financial terms of the deal are not disclosed. The acquisition allows Coinbase to develop an identity software development kit (SDK) that other apps can integrate, similar to how Facebook developed its SDK and login buttons to increase its presence on the web. The move is expected to make it easier for users to sign up for dApps by eliminating the need to create new accounts and deal with complicated keys and procedures for connecting wallets.[152][153]
2018 August 16 Patent Coinbase files a patent for a payment portal that would allow users to securely make Bitcoin payments directly from their digital wallet. The system proposed in the patent involves setting up a "key ceremony" that creates encrypted key shares, which are combined into an operational master key that can be made publicly available and deleted after use. This master key is used for encrypting private keys during checkout and for transaction signing when a payment is made. The system also includes "freeze logic," which allows transactions to be halted if necessary, and an API key that allows different websites to launch their own version of the portal with added security measures. The goal of this patent is to create a more secure way for merchants to accept bitcoin payments.[154]
2018 September 6 Service Coinbase announces that it would be rolling out new order book trading pairs for British pounds (GBP) for traders based in the United Kingdom. The new pairs would include GBP against Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum Classic, and Litecoin, in addition to the current offering of Bitcoin . The new pairs would first go through a "post-only" phase and then a "limit-only" stage before full trading services become available. The addition of these pairs follows Coinbase's enabling of direct withdrawal and deposit services for GBP through the UK's Faster Payments Scheme in August, and the company's recent acquisition of an e-money license from the Financial Conduct Authority, which allows it to expand its services to the country and Europe.[155]
2018 September 25 Policy Coinbase announces a new policy for adding assets to its platform. Under the new policy, developers now are able to apply for their token to be listed on Coinbase through an application form. Coinbase would also continue to evaluate and add assets on its own. The company would no longer give advance notice of new asset additions, but would instead make a single announcement at the time of addition or right before. The new policy aims to "rapidly list all assets that meet our quality criteria and are compliant with local law," according to Coinbase. The policy also includes provisions for offering certain tokens only outside the United States and the possibility of eventually charging fees for listing applications to cover legal and operational costs.[156]
2018 September 27 Service Coinbase announced a new feature called Bundle, which lets users purchase a market-weighted sampling of Coinbase's five available cryptocurrencies at the time: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin and Ethereum Classic. The purpose of the feature is to offer users a starter pack for cryptocurrency trading on the platform with stakes of their choosing.[157]
2018 October 16 Support launch Coinbase announces that retail investors can now trade the 0x Protocol token (ZRX) on its platform, including coinbase.com, as well as its Android and iOS apps. ZRX is the first ERC-20 token to be listed by the exchange, which previously announced that Coinbase Pro would support the token on October 11.[158]
2018 October 23 Support launch Coinbase announces support for USDC stablecoin, a digital token backed by the US dollar at a 1:1 ratio. USDC would be available to Coinbase customers outside of New York through the company's iOS and Android apps, as well as coinbase.com. USDC is the first stablecoin supported by the exchange, and is only the second ERC-20 token that the exchange's customers can trade, following the addition of the 0x token earlier in the month.[159][160]
2018 October 23 Service Coinbase is granted approval by the New York Department of Financial Services to form a qualified custodial firm for cryptocurrencies. The Coinbase Custody Trust Company can now offer custody services for Bitcoin , Bitcoin cash, ethereum, ethereum classic, litecoin and XRP. The approval allows the exchange to act as a qualified custodian for crypto assets and hold the company to the same fiduciary standards and oversight as other financial institutions operating in New York.[161]
2018 October 30 Funding/valuation Coinbase closes $300 million round of funding, reaching a value of over $8 billion.[162]
2018 November 8 Support launch Coinbase announces the rollout of full trading of the Basic Attention Token (BAT) at Coinbase.com, as well as in the Coinbase Android and iOS apps. The exchange's customers can now buy, sell, send, receive, or store BAT along with other digital currencies supported on the platform, except for residents of the state of New York. The exchange previously announced that it had started accepting inbound transfers of BAT to Coinbase Pro and that it would undergo four listing stages before full trading was available. The announcement leads to a surge in the price of BAT, although its price would fluctuate since then.[163]
2018 December 18 Service Coinbase introduces Coinbase Convert, a feature that allows retail users to make direct cryptocurrency-to-cryptocurrency conversions on the exchange. The feature allows customers to sell one cryptocurrency to buy another, saving them time and multiple fees. Initially, Coinbase Convert would support conversions between Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ethereum Classic, 0x and Bitcoin Cash, but more cryptocurrencies are expected to be added based on customer feedback. Coinbase would charge a 1 percent fixed fee for using the Convert feature. The feature is targeted at retail users who don't trade frequently or those who want to spend less time converting their cryptocurrencies.[164]
2018 November 26 Investment Coinbase and others invest $12.75 millions in digital asset securities firm Securitize, which offers a range of services to help companies create blockchain-based security tokens.[165]
2018 November 29 Support launch Coinbase Pro announces that it will add privacy coin zcash to its listings. Customers would be able to transfer zcash into the platform, but would not yet be able to purchase the token until the exchange has established sufficient liquidity. Deposits would be accepted for at least 12 hours after the announcement. Initially, Coinbase Pro would support deposits from both transparent and shielded addresses, but would only support withdrawals to transparent addresses.[166]
2019 January 7 Support suspension As a result of a series of blockchain history reorganizations on the network, Coinbase halts all ethereum classic transactions, withdrawals and deposits.[167]
2019 January Security Coinbase halts transactions on the Ethereum Classic Network based on a suspected hack. Although the hack did not occur, Coinbase would acquire Neutrino shortly afterward to strengthen its security and intelligence infrastructure.[4]
2019 January 17 Acquisition Coinbase acquires Blockspring, a startup that provides tools for collecting and managing data from APIs. Blockspring would continue to operate as an independent company and its products would remain available to current and new customers. No financial terms of the deal are disclosed. This is Coinbase's 11th acquisition. Blockspring was previously backed by Andreessen Horowitz and Y Combinator.[168]
2019 February 19 Acquisition Coinbase acquires Italy-based blockchain analytics startup Neutrino, as part of its efforts to offer a wider range of cryptocurrencies across borders. The financial terms of the deal are not disclosed.[169] Backlash would arise from the cryptocurrency community as a result of the acquisition as Neutrino was founded by former employees of Hacking Team, an Italian spyware company known for selling its products to governments with poor human rights records.[170]
2019 February 25 Support launch Coinbase Pro adds support for Ripple's XRP token. Full trading becomes available to customers in the United States, Canada, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Singapore and Australia, with the possibility of expansion to other countries in the future. XRP trading would go through four stages, including "transfer-only," "post-only", "limit-only", and "full trading." The addition of XRP to Coinbase was long-awaited by the cryptocurrency community.[171]
2019 March 5 Team Coinbase announces that it would be parting ways with several new employees who have previously worked for Hacking Team, an Italian spyware company known for selling its products to governments with poor human rights records. The decision comes after Coinbase's acquisition of Neutrino, the blockchain intelligence platform founded by former Hacking Team employees. Hacking Team has been accused of helping the Ethiopian government target journalists in the US.[172]
2019 April 10 Service Coinbase launches a debit card in the United Kingdom to make it easier for customers to pay using cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. The Coinbase Card is a contactless Visa debit card that is linked directly to a user's Coinbase account. It would be accepted by any retailer that accepts Visa cards and will allow users to spend and invest cryptocurrencies from one platform. When making a purchase, Coinbase charges a small fee of about 2.5% to convert fiat money into a cryptocurrency, and the payment is made from the user's Coinbase account.[173]
2019 April 17 International expansion Coinbase launches its crypto-trading service in Argentina, Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Chile, India, Hong Kong, South Korea, Indonesia, the Philippines and New Zealand.[174] With these additions, the exchange now supports 53 countries and territories across four continents.[175]
2019 May 14 International expansion Coinbase expands USDC stablecoin support around the world, allowing customers to trade USD Coin in 85 countries. previously, USDC support was only available in the United States, excluding New York.[176]
2019 June 11 International expansion Coinbase launches its cryptocurrency debit card in Spain, Germany, France, Italy, Ireland and the Netherlands.[177]
2019 June 28 Survey Coinbase releases findings from a survey on cryptocurrency awareness and adoption in the United States. The survey, which includes 2,000 participants over the past year, finds that 58% of Americans have heard of Bitcoin and that cryptocurrency awareness in the United States has continued to grow. The top 10 states for crypto ownership are California, New Jersey, Washington, New York, Colorado, Utah, Florida, Alaska, Nevada, and Massachusetts.[178]
2019 August Acquisition Coinbase acquires Argentinian startup Xapo, which operates a Bitcoin trading platform and stores its Bitcoin in a vault under a Swiss mountain. The $55 million deal increases Coinbase's assets to more than $7 billion worth of cryptocurrencies, and allegedly gives it control of 5% of all circulating Bitcoins.[179]
2019 September 30 Partnership In a company blog post, Coinbase announces it has co-founded the Crypto Rating Council, a member organization purposed with assisting cryptocurrency companies determine if they comply with current U.S. federal securities law. The other co-founders, Anchorage, Bittrex, Circle, DRW Cumberland, Genesis, Grayscale Investments and Kraken, also join with the purpose of helping cryptocurrency companies determine if they comply with current US federal securities law.[180]
2019 October 2 Service Coinbase announces interest earning on user holdings of stablecoin USDC, with an annual percentage yield of 1.25 percent. Customers with at least one dollar's worth of USDC in their accounts would automatically begin to accrue rewards on their holdings, with no additional cost or fees. The rewards would be paid out to users on a monthly basis and can be used to buy other cryptocurrencies listed on the exchange. Coinbase expects to finance the initiative by pulling from different pre-existing revenue streams.[181]
2019 December 23 Shutdown Coinbase closes down Earn.com, which acquired in 2018 for an estimated $100 million. The email service allowed users to be paid in cryptocurrency for replying to commercial messages or completing tasks.[182]
2020 January 29 Team Surojit Chatterjee is hired as Chief Product Officer, joining the company from roles including head of Product for Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart and Google Shopping Vice President of Product.[183]
2020 February 12 Service Coinbase Pro enables margin trading for eligible customers in 23 U.S. states, allowing them to access up to 3x leverage on USD-quoted books. Margin trading allows traders to borrow additional funds to amplify the impact of their trades. Having been one of the most requested, this feature was added to increase diversity in trading portfolio, hedging and arbitrage across multiple positions without depositing additional capital.[184] Margin trading would be disabled in November of the same year.[185]
2020 February 19 Partnership Coinbase is approved as a principal member of Visa. This makes the exchange the first "pure-play" crypto company to be approved by the credit card company. As a principal member, Coinbase is authorized to issue certain types of payment cards with potential to issue cards to other crypto companies. Coinbase has been working with Visa since 2019 when it launched the Coinbase Card. The card is available in 29 markets and supports 10 cryptocurrencies. The approval by Visa would allow Coinbase to offer additional features and services to Coinbase Card customers, and expand its presence in more markets.[186]
2020 March 16 Team Coinbase Chief Legal Officer Brian Brooks is appointed Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), a bureau of the United States Department of the Treasury that regulates and oversees banks and savings associations in the country. Brooks is also appointed as First Deputy Comptroller, starting on April 1. In his previous role at Coinbase, Brooks served on the board of Avant Inc., a marketplace lending and technology platform company, and has also held executive roles at Fannie Mae and OneWest Bank.[187]
2020 April 23 Service launch Coinbase announces the release of Coinbase Oracle, a source of signed price data for BTC-USD and ETH-USD markets sourced from the Coinbase Pro exchange. The Coinbase price oracle is a signed price feed and is sourced from the Coinbase Pro exchange. It updates every 60 seconds and is secured by the same Coinbase infrastructure used to store crypto assets of Coinbase customers.[188][189]
2020 June Criticism Coinbase receives criticism for not publicly supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. The company's CEO, Brian Armstrong, defends the decision by stating that Coinbase has a culture of remaining apolitical. The company also faces accusations of racial and gender discrimination in its treatment of employees.[4]
2020 June 25 Service Coinbase adds support for Compound's COMP token on all its platforms, allowing users to buy, sell, and store the token alongside other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. Compound is a decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol that enables users to borrow tokens locked as liquidity by other users. The COMP token is used for governance of the protocol, giving holders the right to vote on changes to the protocol, such as interest rates for stablecoin deposits. Coinbase is an early investor in Compound through its venture capital arm, Coinbase Ventures.[190]
2020 August 12 Service Coinbase introduces a lending service for US customers that allows them to borrow money against their Bitcoin holdings on the platform. Customers can borrow up to 30% in cash, up to a maximum of $20,000 per person, with interest rates of 8% for terms of one year or less. The service is promoted as an alternative to traditional personal loans with high interest rates and is available to customers in certain states where Coinbase has a license to offer the service.[191]
2020 October 28 Service Coinbase launches Coinbase Card in the United States. It can be used with a mobile app that allows users to control how they want to spend their cryptocurrencies. Customers in the US can get a virtual card immediately after signing up, and a plastic card within two weeks. It supports many cryptocurrencies available on Coinbase, including USDC. It can be managed from the main Coinbase app in the United States and withdraws money from the user's Coinbase account directly. US users of the Coinbase Card would also earn rewards, including up to 4% back in Stellar Lumens or 1% back in Bitcoin. There are fees associated with the card, including a 2.49% crypto liquidation fee (except for USDC balances) and foreign transaction fees and ATM limits.[192]
2020 November 25 Service shutdown Coinbase disables margin trading service, following guidance from the U.S. Commodity Future Trading Commission, as in March 2020, it had issued guidance determining that cryptocurrency exchanges are required to deliver digital assets such as bitcoin and Ethereum no later than 28 days after a trade, with no exception for margin trading. This means that Coinbase would not be able to hold cryptocurrency purchased under a margin loan as collateral.[185]
2020 December 28 Support suspension Coinbase announces suspension of trading in XRP, the third-largest cryptocurrency by market value, on January 19. The move follows the US Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) charges against blockchain firm Ripple and two of its executives for conducting a $1.3 billion unregistered securities offering.[193]
2021 January 7 Acquisition Coinbase acquires trade execution start-up Routefire, which is seen as a move to strengthen prime brokerage offerings for institutional investors.[194]
2021 September 14 Acquisition Coinbase agrees to acquire Zabo, a startup that enables financial companies to provide their customers with a comprehensive view of their cryptocurrency investments. Zabo's service is similar to those offered by traditional financial service providers like Plaid and Yodlee, allowing users to see all of their accounts in one place, but specifically connects to cryptocurrency wallets rather than bank or brokerage accounts.[195]
2021 November 24 Acquisition Open-source cryptocurrency software wallet Breadwallet is acquired by Coinbase. The announcement causes the price of BRD, the native utility token for Breadwallet, to increase by 400%. Breadwallet, which by this time has over 10 million users worldwide, would continue to operate normally after the acquisition. Users of Breadwallet may have the option to migrate to Coinbase Wallet in the future.[196]
2021 Valuation Coinbase reveals a valuation of $68 billion ahead of its planned direct listing, according to a regulatory filing. This increase in valuation reflects the significant rally in the price of Bitcoin. The average price of Coinbase's shares in the private market during Q1 2021 is $343.58, a significant rise from $28.83 in Q3 2020.[197]
2021 April 15 Valuation Coinbase (COIN) shares rise as much 10% in pre-market trading, a day after the company's initial public offering, as it is known that Ark Invest, run by Cathie Wood, bought 749,205 shares of the company on the first day of its IPO.[198]
2021 April 30 Acquisition Coinbase announces the acquisition of Skew, a UK-based data analytics firm for cryptocurrency markets. The acquisition allows Coinbase to provide real-time data analytics to institutions and traders using its platform, as part of its efforts to strengthen services for institutional clients. The integration of Skew could help Coinbase's institutional users to take advantage of deeper analysis of the Bitcoin market. The terms of the financial deal are not disclosed.[199]
2021 May 10 Service Dfinity project's internet computer (ICP) token launches on Coinbase Pro and instantly makes it one of the largest cryptocurrencies.[200]
2021 May Team Coinbase announces elimination of all salary negotiations during recruiting. Consequently, all employees in the same position and location are eligible for the same remuneration.[4]
2021 June 1 Partnership Coinbase announces a partnership with Apple Inc. and Google that would allow users to add cards from their Coinbase accounts to the payment apps of the two tech companies. The Coinbase card can be used to make purchases with digital currencies and automatically converts the cryptocurrency to US dollars for use in transactions and ATM withdrawals. Coinbase also announces that users can earn crypto rewards when using the Coinbase card with Apple Pay or Google Pay. This partnership follows PayPal's announcement that it will allow US consumers to use their cryptocurrency holdings to pay millions of its online merchants globally, increasing the use of digital assets in everyday commerce.[201]
2021 September Acquisition Coinbase acquires prime brokerage platform Tagomi, which specializes in digital asset trading. The acquisition comes at a time when Coinbase sees a 100% increase in volume from professional and institutional traders over the previous three months. Tagomi focuses on best execution by pooling buy and sell orders across multiple large crypto exchanges, including Coinbase, and routing client transactions to the venues offering the best prices.[202]
2021 September Service Coinbase discontinues plans to launch a feature called "Lend," which would have allowed customers to earn interest on certain coins. The decision comes after Coinbase received legal warnings from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that the feature would be considered an investment product and regulated as securities, resulting in a potential lawsuit if the feature was launched. Coinbase had planned to use the stablecoin USDC to power the feature and had promised users a 4% annual percentage yield (APY) return. The company states that it is still seeking "regulatory clarity" for the cryptocurrency industry. The SEC also requested the names and contact information of everyone on the waitlist for the Lend feature as part of its investigation.[4]
2021 November 2 Acquisition Coinbase acquires Agara, an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered customer support platform, for an undisclosed amount rumored to be between $40 million and $50 million. Agara, which was founded in India and also operates in the United States, has expertise in machine learning and natural language processing, which it uses to improve the user experience. The acquisition is part of Coinbase's strategy to build a tech hub in India and follows the hiring of Pankaj Gupta, a former Google Pay executive, in the country.[203]
2021 November 30 Acquisition Coinbase acquires Unbound Security, a cryptographic security company, to expand its capabilities in multi-party computation (MPC), a subset of cryptography that allows multiple parties to evaluate a computation without revealing their private data. The financial terms of the acquisition are not disclosed. As part of the acquisition, Coinbase would also establish a presence in Unbound’s native Israel. Unbound Security is considered a pioneer in MPC, which is used to enable the secure storage, transfer, and deployment of cryptocurrency assets.[204]
2022 January 12 Acquisition Coinbase acquires FairX, a US-based derivatives platform. The move is aimed to allow Coinbase to offer crypto derivatives products in the United States, where at this time only a few exchanges allow investors to trade Bitcoin and ether futures. FairX is a designated contract market (DCM) registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), which means it is authorized to offer futures products in the United States. Coinbase is also an applicant to the National Futures Association, a self-regulatory organization that oversees derivatives platforms in the US. FairX launched its exchange in May 2021 and has relationships with major brokerages including TD Ameritrade and E*Trade. The acquisition is expected to help Coinbase expand its offerings and attract a wider range of investors.[205][206]
2022 February 21 International expansion Coinbase announces a new cross-border payment feature for users in Mexico, which allows Mexican emigrants and expats to send cryptocurrencies to their relatives via the Coinbase app. Recipients can either keep the funds in the app or generate a code to withdraw the money in cash at 37,000 points across Mexico. The service aims to stand out from competitors by offering lower fees, with Coinbase claiming that cross-border payment services can charge up to 6-7% in fees, while its service would be 25-50% cheaper. The service would include stablecoins such as USDC. Coinbase plans to eventually expand the service to other countries with similar issues.[207]
2022 March 7 Security Coinbase blocks over 25,000 wallet addresses belonging to Russian individuals or entities that it believes engage in illegal activity. Using blockchain analytics to identify and block addresses potentially linked to sanctioned individuals, the company shares the information with the government to support sanctions enforcement. As Russia began its invasion of Ukraine, the Biden administration has asked crypto exchanges, including Coinbase and Binance, to help ensure that Russian individuals and organizations are not using virtual currencies to evade sanctions imposed by the United States. However, the exchanges have stated that they will comply with government mandates to restrict sanctioned individuals, but will not ban all Russian users.[208]
2022 March 16 Service Coinbase announces that it will launch an NFT marketplace "soon", and tweets that its team “met with more than 100 content creators to work on the launch of their new NFT marketplace.” It is expected to compete with other major NFT marketplaces such as OpenSea and Rarible.[209][210][211]
2022 March 17 Service Coinbase launches crypto wallet support for Solana, adding its blockchain on Coinbase's wallet browser extension, which already supports Ethereum, Polygon, Avalanche, and the BNB Chain, among others.[212]
2022 April 21 Acquisition Coinbase acquires BtcTurk, a Turkish cryptocurrency exchange. The deal, which is referenced by both MergerMarket and Bloomberg, is said to be worth approximately $3.2 billion. BtcTurk is the largest cryptocurrency exchange in Turkey, with 4.5 million users and 850 employees, and a 2021 transaction volume of $116 billion. By this time, Coinbase looks to expand its presence in emerging markets and developing countries.[213][214]
2022 June 14 Team Coinbase announces it would be laying off approximately 18 percent of its workforce, about 1,100 full-time jobs, amid the global downturn in cryptocurrencies and services.[215]
2022 June 23 Service shutdown Coinbase announces shut down of Coinbase Pro with the purpose to consolidate its services into one platform. The services provided by Coinbase Pro would be migrated to Advanced Trade, Coinbase's new trading section aimed to replace Coinbase Pro. The migration has the purpose to simplify the trading process by allowing professional traders to access advanced tools and use general Coinbase features in one place using one balance. Coinbase Pro was launched in 2018 and focused on expanded trading services for professional investors, providing exposure to more cryptocurrencies than the original Coinbase platform.[216]
2022 November 8 Security In the midst of the FTX collapse, Coinbase announces in a blog post that it has $15 million worth of deposits on the ill-fated exchange. However, Coinbase reports no exposure to FTT or Alameda Research and no loans to FTX.[217]

Numerical and visual data

The table below shows key statistics allowing for a quick overview of the evolution of trends.[218]

Date Users (mm) Monthly active users (mm) Valuation ($bn) Revenue ($bn) Net income ($mm) Transaction volume ($bn) Assets under management ($bn)
2014 1
2015 2
2016 5
2017 13 1.6 0.9 380 135
2018 22 0.7 8 0.5 -55 105 11
2019 30 1 0.5 -30 130 18
2020 35 2.8 28 1.2 108 195 36
2021 56 8.8 65 7.8 3097 1650 223
2022 98 18

Google Scholar

The following table summarizes per-year mentions on Google Scholar as of November 23, 2021.

Year Coinbase
2012 25
2013 62
2014 210
2015 291
2016 365
2017 633
2018 1,370
2019 1,420
2020 1,300
Coinbase gscho.png

Google Trends

The comparative chart below shows Google Trends data for Coinbase (Search term) and Binance (Search term) from January 2017 to February 2021, when the screenshot was taken. Interest is also ranked by country and displayed on world map.[219]

Coinbase vs binance gt.jpeg

Wikipedia Views

The chart below shows pageviews of the English Wikipedia article Coinbase, from July 2015 to October 2021.[220]

Coinbase wv.png

Meta information on the timeline

How the timeline was built

The initial version of the timeline was written by Sebastian.

Funding information for this timeline is available.

Feedback and comments

Feedback for the timeline can be provided at the following places:


What the timeline is still missing

  1. https://techcrunch.com/2019/05/14/coinbase-adds-usdc-stablecoin-support-in-50-countries/
  2. https://www.businessofapps.com/data/coinbase-statistics/

Timeline update strategy

See also

External links


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