Coinbase Pro Adds New Security Features and Support for USDC Stablecoin

Coinbase Pro has launched support for the Circle USDC stablecoin, and added two new security features to make the user experience safer and easier.

Circle's "USD Coin" (USDC) is a fully dollar-collateralized stablecoin. On 23 October 2018, Coinbase added support for USDC on its Coinbase Consumer (Coinbase.com) platform, the Coinbase mobile apps for iOS and Android, and Coinbase Wallet (a user-custodied Ethereum Wallet and DApp browser). One thing worth pointing out is that the "underlying technology behind the USDC was developed collaboratively between Coinbase and Circle" in their "capacity as partners and co-founders" of the CENTRE consortium.

In the post on the Coinbase blog that announced the launch of USDC on Coinbase Consumer, three use cases for USDC were given:

  • Improved Send and Receive: "Two Ethereum wallets can quickly send and receive any amount of USDC at any time of day. Large transfers for business purposes become as easy as small e-commerce payments. Consumers can use the Coinbase app to send USDC to someone, while remaining confident the value is stable."
  • Use in DApps and Exchanges: "There is a burgeoning ecosystem of crypto dApps, exchanges, and blockchain-based games. A USDC follows the ERC20 standard, which means it can be used with any app that accepts tokens based on that standard. The USDC can thus be used as a stable digital dollar to buy items in the crypto ecosystem, from Cryptokitties to tickets for blockchain-based games."
  • A Programmable Dollar: "For developers and fintech companies, a digital dollar like USDC is easier to program with. For example, given the private keys for USDC, a program can easily send and receive them back and forth using the public Ethereum blockchain."

At the time, Coinbase promised that USC would arrive on Coinbase Pro "in the coming weeks." However, just two days later (i.e. on 25 October 2018), Coinbase announced via another blog post that it was launching USDC on Coinbase Pro. This was good news for Coinbase Pro users who like USDC, but what made this launch special was that Coinbase was promising to make USDC behave like a real stablecoin should by offering to allow its customers to easily (with one click) convert between USD and USDC on a 1:1 basis with no fees and no exchange rate risk:

"One of the unique aspects of this launch is that while users may trade Bitcoin or Ether for USDC, the USD/USDC order book will not be available at this time. Instead we’ve developed something we consider better: an automatic tool to instantly convert USD to USDC and back, without exchange rate risk. What this means is that US customers will be able to buy 1 USDC for $1 or sell 1 USDC for $1, with no fees, in large volume, with one click... This makes USDC a true stablecoin, as it’s stable in value at Coinbase Pro"

Here is a screenshot from the blog post showing what the USD/USDC "instant conversion" feature looks like:

Coinbase Pro Conversion Feature.png

Of course, Coinbase users can also trade USDC against Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH).

The next day, Coinbase Pro users received more good news via another blog post: Coinbase was making crypto transfers easier and more secure by introducing a crypto wallet "Address Book" and providing the option to "restrict crypto transfers to addresses in your Address Book."

The "Address Book" allows users to store an unlimited number of wallet addresses, which simplifies sending crypto to addresses "you know and trust", and eliminates the need for users "to do a manual address lookup, copy, and paste each time they want to withdraw crypto." A new address can be saved to the Address Book after "withdrawing crypto to a previously unsaved address."

Here is another screenshot from the Coinbase blog that shows what the new Address Book looks like:

Coinbase Pro Address Book Feature.png

Furthermore, the Address Book has an optional feature called "Address Whitelisting" that when enabled restricts transfers from a Coinbase Pro account to only those addresses already saved in the Address Book. For enhanced security, this feature also "adds a 48-hour delay to adding new addresses to your Address Book and disabling the Whitelisting feature."

All Images Courtesy of Coinbase

Hacked Exchange Cryptopia Enables Trading in 40 Different Currency Pairs

New Zealand-based digital asset exchange, Cryptopia has reportedly resumed trading on its exchange as it is now allowing 40 different trading pairs. This, after Cryptopia recently experienced from several different security breaches.

Support For Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin Pairs Added

Cryptopia’s management announced (via Twitter on March 18th) that it is planning to expand its list of coins which will again be supported on its trading platform. As noted on Cryptopia’s official support website, the exchange has enabled several different trading pairs (as of March 19th, 2019) with major cryptocurrencies. These include bitcoin (BTC), litecoin (LTC), and dogecoin (DOGE).

In response to Cryptopia’s announcement, Twitter user @dgb-chilling, a supporter of DigiByte (DGB), a cryptocurrency that uses five different mining algorithms, said that he had emailed the exchange’s support team to inform them regarding the coin’s latest update (version 6.17.2). He added that “an upgrade was recommended but not mandatory.”

Meanwhile, Chuck Norris (@CryptoTweet6) remarked: 

Now this is good news! Let’s hope the rest of the coins will be released for trading swiftly.

Other users also considered it “good news” that the compromised cryptoasset exchange was gradually resuming its operations. However, one social media user asked when Cryptopia would start enabling deposits while another inquired about why his ARK coins were still not recoverable from the trading platform. He claimed that he had deposited 1,000 ARK, currently valued at around $628, (a popular proof-of-stake based coin) on Cryptopia. The user also complained that his coins were missing “missing because [the exchange] did not update the ARK wallet."

Tens Of Millions Of Dollars Stolen In Hack

On February 27th, 2019, Cryptopia’s management announced that it was “assessing the impact incurred as a result of the hack” which led to the theft of tens of millions of dollars in cryptocurrency. Last month, Cryptopia’s support team had also estimated that the total loss incurred due to the security breaches was of around 10% of its total holdings (in the worst-case scenario).

Notably, the exchange’s official Twitter account had been silent for several weeks (since Feburary 14th). However, it released several announcements, starting in late February, in which it revealed that its staff members were working on securing each customer’s account individually. Cryptopia’s management also noted that it was taking the appropriate measures to ensure that its trading platform is secure when it is officially back online.