Bitcoin exchange Coinbase is planning to add support for the trading of ether, the digital currency unit behind Ethereum. The exchange which has so far only been focused on Bitcoin has announced its intentions after months of preparations for the move.
A screenshot of the support page of the website leaked earlier during the day, hinting about the prospective launch of one of the most rapidly growing digital currencies in recent months. Ethereum was created by 22-year-old software engineer Vitalik Buterin. The currency differs to a large extent from Bitcoin with the support of smart contracts, which can be executed automatically between two people without their manual intervention.
With the market cap of Ethereum rapidly growing in recent months, the popularity of this protocol has been on its way to rival Bitcoin. According to data provided by coinmarketcap.com the current capitalization of digital currency which is in circulation amounts to over $1.1 billion. To put things into perspective, on the first of January 2016 the market cap of Ethereum totaled $72.1 million.
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The vote of confidence from Coinbase serves as yet another boost for the prominence of Ethereum as an alternative to Bitcoin. The currency is currently the main viable contender to replace Bitcoin at the helm of the digital currencies world.
Coinbase is expected to launch Ethereum trading on the company’s trading platform starting from next Tuesday. According to the president of the firm, Coinbase is also rebranding itself to GDAX (Global Digital Asset Exchange) to more accurately reflect the company’s goals.
Ethereum will be offered both against Bitcoin and against the U.S. dollar.