Coinbase, a Bitcoin exchange company located in San Francisco, California, has just unveiled its plans to add cryptocurrency ether on its trading platform.
Ether is used as a digital currency in the Ethereum platform, blockchain, or any public ledger that can develop decentralized applications. Ethereum employs ether to fulfil peer-to-peer contracts automatically with no need for intermediaries.
Ethereum was launched by 22-year old russian-canadian programer Vitalik Buterin. According to the founder “Ethereum aims to be a superior foundational protocol, and allow other decentralized applications to build on top of it”. The project was crowdfunded during August 2014 by fans all around the world.
The Ethereum Wallet provides access to decentralized applications on the Ethereum blockchain. It allows users to hold and secure ether and other crypto-assets built on Ethereum, as well as write, deploy and use smart contracts.
“We’re very excited about Ethereum. There has been a ton of progress made in the last six to nine months,” said Adam White, vice president of business development at Coinbase. to Reuters. “We have seen hundreds of emerging decentralized apps (applications) launched on Ethereum.”
Talking about co-existence of ether and bitcoin, White underlined that the two digital currencies are not competitors and bitcoin cannot mirror Ethereum’s “scripting language”. Thus, both bitcoin and ether each can take its own niche.
Coinbase doesn’t only add ether on the trading platform – it is changing the name of the platform as well. White says that the platform will now be called Global Digital Asset Exchange (GDAX). However, Coinbase will retain its name for retail service such as exchanging dollars for bitcoin or ether.
Coinbase has changed the name of the platform because it is going to add more digital assets for trading on the exchange. As one of the largest bitcoin-focused companies in terms of investment, Coinbase will offer ether/dollar and ether/bitcoin currency pairs on GDAX.
Ether is currently the fastest-rising digital currency. According to coinmarketcap.com, ether is trading at $14.28. It has the second largest market capitalization after bitcoin – $1.1 billion against $6.9 billion. Bitcoin also surpasses ether in terms of daily volume – around $48 million for ether and $87.2 million for bitcoin.
“What’s powerful about ethereum is that I can write self-executing contracts and I can run them on Ethereum and it’s not on any central server or computer,” said White.
Whether it is a coincidence or not, but Coinbase added ether trading to its currency exchange platform right after Gemini Trust Company, founded by Winklevoss brothers, had got approval to trade ether on its exchange.