February 11, 2016 – Coinbase CEO, Brian Armstrong, Announced that Coinbase will be Switching to Bitcoin Classic as it’s primary node implementation today, urging Coinbase users to switch as well to increase adoption — a move that is generating controversy on social media and within the bitcoin community. Regardless of mixed opinions on the matter, Coinbase’s Transition means overall increased adoption of Bitcoin Classic at a crucial time in the block size debate.
Armstrong’s Announcement Topic of Contention
In the discussion on Twitter that followed the announcement, Armstrong also stated that Coinbase will not be using Bitcoin Classic as it’s sole means of block confirmation:
“we run many node types, including [Bitcoin Classic], good idea to clarify!”
He goes on to make it clear that regardless of Coinbase adoption, users’ BTC will be valid on all implementations – a rare but much-needed statement of fact in the turbid waters of the current block size infighting among the Bitcoin community. Regardless, the response to the announcement leans toward the negative from Twitter and Coinbase users.
Bitcoin Classic Adoption has been growing steadily since the release of its second beta, with 12.9% of the current nodes using Classic at the time of writing. Coinbase is a large bitcoin exchange with a lot of users — and therefore sway over node adoption. This node transition could push those numbers into the territory of a drawn out branch competition with Bitcoin Core, or while less likely, tip it into the majority of running full nodes.
Armstrong’s announcement of transition makes the possibility of a blocksize increase either coming into the majority or pressured into the Core codebase much more real. For adopters, this is considered a good thing, but among users who have interests in Bitcoin core or want to see more drastic changes to increase scaling without sacrificing decentralization, it most definitely is not. It will be interesting to see what the switch means for Coinbase’s market share as well as the effect it will no doubt have on the block size debate.
What do you think the future holds for Bitcoin Classic and Coinbase? Let us know in the comments!
Images courtesy of Coinbase