Yesterday EWN reported on the development of popular U.S. based exchange Coinbase offering users a reward program to learn about cryptocurrency. In exchange for watching a series of educational videos or completing various tasks, which the company has marketed as an attempt to provide understanding and exposure for altcoins beyond the more well-known Bitcoin, users can receive small amounts of crypto in return.
As opposed to giving away Bitcoin, which many investors and non-crypto participators are familiar with, the initial series of rewards are based around the 0x currency, with users being paid in ZRX for their efforts,
“We give verified, invited users a series of useful tasks to complete from anywhere to earn digital currency. For this first set of tasks, funding is coming from the 0x external development pool, with 100% of the funds going directly to users.”
The rewards update by Coinbase also includes a willingness to expand the service beyond 0x, with an allusion to broadening the service for the funding to come from external sources.
By that development, Coinbase could utilize new currencies being added to the exchange as a way of updating users about cryptocurrency and the various uses for the coins, as opposed to only providing a platform for price speculation and buy/sells,
“In the future, we may experiment with other kinds of tasks from different types of senders, not necessarily always created by asset developers themselves. For example, there may be tasks paid in Bitcoin that aren’t sent by Satoshi Nakamoto!”
In July, Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin set the crypto space on fire when he publicly condemned the majority of exchanges for their focus on profit rather than contributing to the industry and development of cryptocurrency,
“I definitely hope centralized exchanges go burn in hell as much as possible”,
While Buterin’s comments were in relation to centralized exchanges, as opposed to the decentralized variety that would better fit cryptocurrency’s underlying ethos, his frustration no doubt extended from the billions of revenue being hauled in by exchanges even as the industry of crypto continues to suffer throughout 2018.
Coinbase has had a checkered history of contributing to the fires of cryptocurrency contention, including 2017’s Bitcoin Cash fiasco which led to months of class action lawsuits and accusations of insider trading. However, the exchange has also made a rare commitment to advancing not just the valuation of cryptocurrency, but the adoption and development of the industry–a company policy that has regularly been pointed to during coin addition updates.
With their newest reward program and emphasis on user education, Coinbase is providing a model for the rest of the industry to operate on as a method for promoting, and profiting, from the mutual growth of crypto. Exchanges may be benefiting in the short term from the high price volatility of cryptocurrency keeping transactions artificially high, but inevitably will suffer alongside investors if the marketplace continues to collapse.
Coinbase’s method of rewarding customers for learning about cryptocurrency provides a two-fold benefit: education for the space increases, while coins are distributed more broadly to incentivize their ultimate use of exchange in transactions rather than price speculation alone.