Coinbase has announced in the blog post that now its customers have an opportunity to buy, sell, send, and store Ether in their Coinbase account. To start, consumers can visit the “Trade” page on Coinbase.com or tap on “Buy” or “Sell” options in the iOS or Android apps.
A better photo of the ethereum launch – use this one instead 🙂 pic.twitter.com/2rQxlBzlwb
— Brian Armstrong (@brian_armstrong) July 21, 2016
Being on the experimental stage, Ethereum now contributes to the development of the digital currency ecosystem and eventually will perhaps evolve to serve a different purpose than bitcoin.
The fact that Coinbase has added support for Ethereum proves how much activity the platform has had recently – the largest crowdfunding in history (The DAO) was followed by an attack on The DAO, a massive theft in the world of cryptocurrencies, and a resulting hard fork. The fork can provide tens of millions returned to the original owners but at the same time harm the reputation of the platform on which that currency was created.
Ethereum, a bitcoin-like platform developed as a host for applications, underwent the attack on one of its applications, The DAO, in June when the malefactor took $60 million worth of ether. The best possible solution to return the funds was hard fork, which was intended to erase the transactions that created the theft and return the funds to their original owners.
To adopt or not to adopt
Users now can choose either to adopt the fork or not. The Wall Street Journal explains: “For a time – perhaps as short as several hours – there will be two competing versions of Ethereum’s ledger, called the blockchain. As users make those choices, one chain will eventually grow significantly longer than the other. At that point, users of the shorter chain should be compelled to adopt the longer chain, eventually leading to the dissolution of the former.”
Those, who decided not to adopt the fork, supported the idea of “pure,” non-forked blockchain. They insisted that changing the underlying code to erase specific transactions can destroy “the very thing that makes cryptocurrencies worthwhile: an unalterable version of the truth.” If the percentage of those who supports and opposes to the hard fork makes up 55%-45%, both versions of the “truth” may remain alive.
“I totally get both sides,” says Vitalik Buterin, the creator of Ethereum. “I don’t think the way things are done right now are precedent setting.” Buterin stands for the fork pointing to the developmental stage of Ethereum and saying that as the platform develops, forks like this will be harder to do. Hesitation now can result in someone getting away with $60 million.