On Wednesday (February 20th), Coinbase announced Bitcoin Cash (BCH) support for “Coinbase Wallet”, its highly popular “user-controlled cryptocurrency wallet” app for iOS and Android.
Coinbase.com (“Coinbase Consumer”) is “a digital currency brokerage.” It “can also act as a custodian, storing your digital currency for you after you purchase it.” In contrast, Coinbase Wallet is “a user-custodied digital currency wallet and DApp browser,” which means that “with Wallet, the private keys (that represent ownership of the cryptocurrency) are stored directly on your device and not with a centralized exchange like Coinbase Consumer.” A Coinbase Consumer account is not needed if you want to use Coinbase Wallet, and you can download it from anywhere.
Coinbase Wallet is a mobile app that initially only supported Ethereum (ETH) and Ethereum tokens (ERC20 and ERC721). On 26 November 2018, support for Ethereum Classic (ETC) was added. On February 5th, support was Bitcoin (BTC) was announced. And starting today, it supports storing, sending, and receiving Bitcoin Cash (BCH).
According to the blog post by Coinbase Wallet Product Lead Siddharth Coelho-Prabhu, this update “will roll out to all users on iOS and Android over the next few weeks.” BCH support is “activated by default — all you need to do is tap ‘Receive’ on the main wallet tab and select Bitcoin Cash to send BCH to your Coinbase Wallet.”
He also points out that “Coinbase Wallet supports both newer CashAddr address formats, as well as Legacy addresses for backwards compatibility in all applications,” and that Coinbase Wallet also supports “the Bitcoin Cash Testnet to aid developers and power users” (to switch to the testnet, you need to go to the “Advanced Settings” section of the “Settings” tab). And finally, the team plans to “add support for the JSON Payment Protocol in the future.”
On February 12th, Coinbase announced that Coinbase Wallet had been enhanced such that it was now for users to backup an encrypted copy of their private keys to the cloud (iCloud in the case of iOS users and Google Drive in the case of Android users). Although this feature sounds like it would be of benefit to many of Coinbase’s users, it has been met with controversy.
Featured Image Courtesy of Coinbase