In July, after going months without adding a new coin for investors to buy or sell, Coinbase teased its thirteen million customer base with news of potential listings. Included in the offering were Basic Attention Token, 0x, ZCash, Cardano and Stellar–a decent spread that had investors bubbling, particularly over the potential of the latter two.
Aside from adding support for Bitcoin Cash in December 2017, whose market cap was largely propped up due to splitting off from the number one cryptocurrency market cap, it was a welcome change to see Coinbase targeting such high profile coins.
ZCash (ZEC)–On November 29, in a move that was somewhat surprising given the state of the crypto markets, popular U.S. based exchange Coinbase announced upcoming trading support for ZCash (ZEC). While Coinbase had previously made waves with an update about adding five new currencies to the exchange, the company has been painfully slow in following suit.
Cardano’s ADA, the tenth largest token, and Stellar XLM, fourth by market cap, have made waves in their respective sectors by garnering attention from large company players. Cardano’s crew made a visit to Google’s offices earlier in the year, while Stellar has built ties to computing mainstay IBM and a rumored partnership with social media giant Facebook which was later denied.
However, of the original five currencies detailed in the Coinbase report, Stellar and Cardano are the two to so far not make the cut. Which has led investors to wonder whether an ADA and XLM addition is inevitable at this point, or if Coinbase is waiting for a more opportune moment. Given the somewhat disappointing price movement for ZCash earlier in the week, it’s fair to question whether the once massive hype surrounding a Coinbase addition is waning before either coin can make the cut.
While ZEC did jump 17 percent immediately following the announcement, the coin failed to hold its gains longer than twenty-four hours and has since receded back to the price level pre-announcement. In some respects, Coinbase’s shift in handling the process of new coin additions to the exchange is working: rather than creating a massive bull run and bust (like the Bitcoin Cash fiasco which led to the company being accused of insider trading), the price movement for ZEC was relatively pedestrian. For the exchange and its commitment to growing its asset class in a way that is ethical to the market, the modest price movement might represent a win.
However, it could also likely be a combination of investor fatigue as we near the end of 2018’s bear cycle and the culmination of two of the worst weeks for crypto valuation in conjunction with people moving past the fixation of a Coinbase listing. In January, after riding the wave of Bitcoin’s bull run, XRP shot to $3.80 per coin largely on the rumors of a looming Coinbase addition. When that rumor was proved to be false by the exchange, the price quickly plummeted and has since receded throughout the year.
Coinbase, at one time, had the potential to greatly impact the price of a coin by opening it up to the more casual, mobile-based crypto investors who trade within the limited confines of the exchange. But if recent price movement for ZEC is any indication, an eventual listing for Cardano and Stellar may fail to have the sort of price impact most investors would prefer to see.