Bitcoin service company Coinbase has announced the launch of Instant Exchange, so now Bitcoin can be turn into cash, instantly.

“Coinbase has long offered merchants the ability to automatically convert received bitcoin into their local currency, and now Instant Exchange is available to anyone with a local currency wallet.” The company said officially,

Which, is good for Coinbase wallet holders, but nothing new. They are finally catching up to organizations such as BitPay, and GoCoin, who's entire business model is based on this very concept.

The volatility of bitcoins price, is what worries merchants when accepting bitcoin as a payment. It is a payment method to them. [They] want local currency and they want it instantly, and that's what these company's provide. Little do they know, of course, that they could actually earn another 10% to 20% on those funds, but professional traders are well aware, and the volatility is what makes the digital currency attractive to many traders.

They's also copied another idea with an "Instant Exhange Sent and Instant Exchange Receive", like the service offered by Romit, so now people can send money from one place to another so long as you have a Coinbase wallet, and Coinbase has all of your information, such as your identification, bank account information, addresses, phone numbers, name of your first born child, blood type, etc...

To be fair, companies based in the United States, such as Romit, also require these items, but no more than Western Union or MoneyGram. The Coinbase requirements are more like going to the Doctors office for a full physical exam.

NOTE: Although these new services are being built to avoid bitcoin volatility, the digital currency has been been showing signs of stability.


It is [no] secret that Coinbase has millions of venture capital investment money, $75 million with their last round (and there have been four rounds), so it makes sense to put some of it in an account somewhere to support these transactions, which essentially is all they are doing.

If you have a Coinbase account, then you don't need the Blockchain, and you don't really need Bitcoin, you just need Coinbase, and you need to tell them to send money from one person to another. [This] is really no different than Google Wallet, Netspend (Flashpay), PayPal, Green Dot, and countless other companies and product brands offering this service. It's not new to Bitcoin companies either, many companies store internally and can make instant transfers [between its account holders].

There's nothing groundbreaking here, if anything, Coinbase has taken a step away from it's core reason of existence, and is just a step away from being Green Dot, but it is certainly useful for its [customers]. I am sure storing bitcoin is likely coming into play somewhere to avoid more regulatory requirements, it's just not apparent given the information provided.

The Big Question

One pattern of concern, and one that has been steadily increasing over time, is that Coinbase has all the signs of becoming more like a traditional financial institution or even worse, PayPal.

Does this mean Coinbase is going to take [that] plunge? The one where it becomes another PayPal clone, and the one where if it doesn't like the way you smell, it locks up your funds for 6 months? Which is a common complaint among merchants world wide.

Currently, "PayPal is the Devil". They own this label, and it's unlikely they are going to be dethroned any time soon, but Coinbase, is just a few steps from away from becoming a very similar company. It has already been reported that they have been hounding customers for additional intrusive information and closing accounts outright.

Don't take my word for it, Google "PayPal is the Devil", or better yet, click here, and let me google it for you. 

Part of the allure of Bitcoin to begin with is to self-bank, being free of this type of scrutiny, and be able to spend and save privately. To avoid the very thing Coinbase may be heading towards becoming.

It's not regulation

Yes, there is a level of annoyance that can be [pinned on] regulation, but regulation does not require the type of shady operation that PayPal practices, and what Coinbase is in danger of adopting. That is clearly, self-serving greed.

This is just something to think about, we are not trying to take anything away from the new Coinbase features, they are commendable. We hope the offerings will be beneficial to its customer base, and we'll  be taking a look as well.

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