Two hours from publishing, Coinbase suddenly announced immediate listing of Bitcoin Cash (Bcash) to their trading platform. The announcement was met with community outrage on charges of potential insider trading as well as questions on Segwit “delays”. It has also become increasingly likely that Coinbase delays with Segwit integration may have been an intentional move leading up to the altcoin listing. There have been a number of accusations of insider trading on twitter. Crypto trader and influencer “I am Nomad” has filed a report to the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission in light of the suspicious market movements prior to the announcement.
hey @coinbase , @GDAX and @brian_armstrong by being part of a product index for @CMEGroup you agreed to certain rules. Since bch news was clearly leaked around 2:30pm CST to certain parties. this qualifies as insider trading. Hope you enjoy the incoming complaints.
— I am Nomad (@IamNomad) December 20, 2017
Quite a few influential twitter characters have also suggested that a boycott of coinbase may be in order.
This was #Coinbase Roadmap published 4 days ago. this was totally a misleading practice. No announcement, fake roadmap. You just lost a shit ton of trust. Time to change exchanger. pic.twitter.com/6GapqvYJr1
— Andrea Disperati (@Andrea_Dispe) December 20, 2017
Project lead at OpenBazaar and crypto-agnostic Brian Hoffman believes the abnormal price movements leading up to the announcement is “obvious” insider trading.
Insider trading of crypto is so obvious. BCH skyrockets…hours later @coinbase rolls it out
— brian hoffman (@brianchoffman) December 20, 2017
If it becomes clear that Segwit delays were intentional in the lead up to the Bcash listing the market manipulation charges levied against Coinbase may become more severe. In an interview with Bloomberg, CEO Brian Armstrong stated that Segwit integration was not a “top five” request of the userbase, despite the fact that Coinbase faces regular downtime which Segwit would help alleviate.
The commonly cited excuse up until now has been technical difficulties due to the size of Coinbase’s operation. The response is that other large exchanges such as Bitstamp have had no difficulty integrating Segwit immediately.
However, Bitcoin-based operations around the world were able to integrate Segwit seamlessly and swiftly despite having significantly smaller teams. Regardless of the scale of Coinbase’s operations, it’s clear that “technical difficulties” is not the primary reason behind the exchange dragging its feet on Segwit.
In fact, it’s plausible to believe that there was no intention to integrate Segwit until Bcash was listed as part of some behind-closed-doors handshake deal to promote the newly listed altcoin.
BCH/USD shot up within minutes following announcement, with a similar opposite movement for BTC/USD. After corrections from the immediate reaction, Bitcoin appears to have strong support above $16500 after a dip from just below $18000, and Bcash is hovering around $3500 after a move from ~$2000. With outages on exchanges and a lack of liquidity, take the prices listed here with a pinch of salt.
The near-term has been quite bullish for Bcash, most likely due to pumping from Roger Ver and Bitmain, it’s likely that the release of previously locked Bcash from Coinbase accounts will serve a major correction.