In the 17th episode of Magical Crypto Friends, creator of Litecoin Charlie Lee, Samson Mow, Riccardo Spagni (also known as Fluffypony), and WhalePanda sat as the members of the Magical Crypto Friends. A very interesting topic that the podcasts touched was the recent outburst in the crypto community against Coinbase’s actions and the #DeleteCoinbase movement. Charlie Lee’s opinion on the matter was that the people who are deleting their Coinbase accounts were never really using it.
Coinbase is one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the United States and is currently in a bit of a pickle due to some of its recent actions. At the end of February 2019, the crypto exchange added Ripple (XRP) to its listing. While the news was a bright one for Ripple’s community, many other people in the overall crypto arena simply didn’t take well to it. The company is being frequently called out for listing XRP even after its own concerns of the digital token becoming a security in the future.
The crypto exchange was already treading in dangerous waters as allegations of insider trading of XRP have also hit Coinbase recently. XRP price rose 3.5 percent just four hours before Coinbase announced that the cryptocurrency is being listed on the exchange. The conclusion of the public was that employees who were aware of this decision bought Ripple in large quantities to profit from the expected spike in XRP’s price after the announcement.
The firm made things worse for itself by acquiring a blockchain analytics startup, Neutrino. After a background check of the analytics firm, it was revealed that the company has been associating with Hacking Team. Later, Christine Sandler, Direction of Institutional Sales, states that Coinbase was aware of the association between Hacking Team and Neutrino and also that Neutrino had been selling client data to outside sources.
All of these miss-shots added up to Coinbase’s negative reputation and the #DeleteCoinbase movement took off. CEO of Coinbase Brian Armstrong soon addressed the Coinbase-Hacking Team matter and announced that the firm has decided to let go of all the employees who were in association with the hacking firm.
In the 17th episode of the podcast, Charlie Lee said about this matter, “I thought, like, people have been deleting Coinbase for a while now, right? I guess this Neutrino thing really brought this back out and people are, like, more upset about Coinbase and actually going out and deleting their accounts. But, you know, from my point of view, people who actually delete Coinbase, don’t actually use it anyways, right? So, it’s not really going to affect anything.”
Ricardo Spagni also had a similar point of view on the matter. However, the Fluffypony did say that this controversy will have a trickle-down effect from the people who are in the #DeleteCoinbase movement. Spagni believes that this scene will make Coinbase a less-eligible candidate for being a first point of contact for new people who wanted to start purchasing Bitcoin.