Coinbase, the leading virtual currency exchange in the United States, has recorded high customer growth over the last 10 months. In ten months, the exchange recorded a 5 million increase in users.
According to reports, Coinbase had 25 million users by the end of Sept 2018. Interestingly, by July 2019, the user base rose by 5 million to over 30 million users.
Alistair Milne, a crypto investor, tweeted:
— Alistair Milne (@alistairmilne) July 22, 2019
Surge in 2017-2018
Milne accompanied the tweet with a graph showing how Coinbase has been adding users over time. Interestingly, the graph shows that Coinbase on-boarded more users between mid-2017 and early 2018. This time corresponds to the crypto bull run which started weakening at the beginning of last year.
Although numbers revealed interest and increasing adoption, it was Coinbase’s change in policy and aggression to counter competition that could be credited for this surge. For example, Coinbase moved from being available in 32 countries to being available in over 100 countries.
In May 2019, Coinbase said:
“We’re deepening our support for crypto-to-crypto globally by adding USD Coin (USDC) trading to customers in 85 countries on Coinbase and Coinbase Pro. We’re welcoming more people around the world to trade between different cryptocurrency on a trusted platform. This helps accelerate the global adoption of crypto trading.”
More Coins, More Clients
Additionally, during the same time, the exchange listed more coins giving new users a reason to sign up. For instance, in December, Coinbase added XRP and EOS among others.
Apart from adding new cryptos on the platform, Coinbase took upon itself to educate people about virtual currencies through its Coinbase Earn initiative. In a press release, the exchange noted:
“User in more than 100 countries can start earning cryptocurrency by completing educational tasks. The rationale behind Coinbase Earn is that as we progress from mining cryptocurrency to buying it to earning it, we open up new opportunities for people to learn about blockchain technology. With this international expansion, anyone with a smartphone in a supported country can now earn crypto while they learn about crypto just by setting up a free Coinbase account.”
Another critical element that influenced the surge in users on Coinbase is its security. Coinbase is perhaps the only reputable exchange that is yet to register a security breach. To further explain, Binance, the largest crypto exchange in the world, was hacked in May and $40 million worth of crypto stolen. Not reluctant, they have a comprehensive insurance policy for their hot wallet and even planning to be an insurance company.
Unfortunately, Coinbase’s success was not without controversies. In February, Coinbase acquired Neutrino, a blockchain tracking startup. The startup was to help the exchange to identify “which new tokens are gaining value and gaining traction in the space.”
However, Coinbase users were not happy with Neutrino’s top team since they were previously involved with another nefarious startup, Hacking Team. Hacking Team specialized in spyware which they sold to governments known to violate human rights. Activists link the Hacking Team to the death of Jamal Khashoggi, an American journalist. That alone was enough to spark outrage.
To protest the neutrino acquisition, Coinbase users embarked on a Twitter Campaign dubbed #DeleteCoinbase. The campaign gained momentum with some posting their deleted accounts on social media platforms.
For Example, Udi Wertheimer, a Twitter user, said:
Not that I’m @coinbase’s biggest customer by any stretch of the imagination, but I’m done.
— Udi Wertheimer (@udiWertheimer) February 27, 2019