Cardano (ADA)–When the news of Coinbase “exploring” five new cryptocurrencies broke two weeks ago, it was clear that two coins were in the front-running for addition to the exchange: Stellar Lumens XLM and Cardano’s ADA.
In that time, Stellar nearly doubled in price, jumping 77% in value from 0.18 USD to a relative high of 0.31 USD. While the price of XLM has since fallen to 0.28 USD, Cardano has yet to see the same extent of price movement. It gives the appearance that the market is acting on the assumption that Stellar is the most likely candidate for being the first new currency listed on Coinbase.
However, Cardano has a strong case as well. While there is a chance the exchange is looking to add multiple currencies, perhaps in an effort to stave off the inevitable price run that will accompany the initial listing, it seems unlikely given how disastrous the Bitcoin Cash addition was handled. Not only did BCH create erratic pricing on GDAX (since relabeled Coinbase Pro), that saw investors burned when the price leapt from 2800 USD to 3900 USD, and back again in the span of an hour, Coinbase will bide its time rather than attempting the ambitious project of simultaneous listing.
Which leaves us with the question: will Stellar or Cardano be listed first on Coinbase?
There is a significant amount of overlap in some of the more appealing features of both XLM and ADA to be in the front-running for listing on Coinbase. For one, both currencies offer high supply, low price-per-coin cryptos that will stand in stark contrast to the rest of Coinbase’s current selection. The reason XRP grabbed so much price traction at the beginning of the year, when the coin was being tied to the U.S.-based exchange as a possible addition, is because of the attractive investment opportunity it offered for Coinbase’s 13 million customers.
Both ADA and XLM occupy a top ten position by market capitalization–and have for most of the year–lending a high profile addition that Coinbase customers are sure to recognize. In addition, they are high supply coins, with 26 billion and 19 billion circulating supply for Cardano and Stellar, respectively. In that regard, both currencies offer a significant advantage to Coinbase customers, in that they have psychologically attractive price points compared to the current offering. While investors may be enthusiastic to put money into projects like Cardano and Stellar, which have gained substantial traction in the industry through partnerships, it gives the average Coinbase investor access to a cheap coin for the first time in recent memory. Particularly to the more casual investors, or those who have less interest in price speculation and would like to play around with owning a bag of coins, ADA and XLM hitting Coinbase will provide a level of novelty that the exchange has lacked over the previous year.
Cardano also comes with the presence of long-time industry figure Charles Hoskinson. Given the relationship with Litecoin creator Charlie Lee, who worked for Coinbase, and the conglomeration of industry-figures (focused via Vitalik Buterin) backing Ethereum, Coinbase has shown a predilection for listing coins that have the support of major industry leaders. While Stellar was founded by Jed McCaleb, who created both Mt. Gox and Ripple, Hoskinson has had his hand in a number of projects as well. He was a co-founder of Ethereum in 2014 before leaving the team to found IOHK. His vision spawned from the Ethereum departure led to the creation of Cardano and the ADA currency. He has grabbed the attention of research groups and academics interested in the technology of cryptocurrency, as evidenced by the team’s recent trip to Google’s London office.
In addition to the attractive price features of the coin, Cardano would pair nicely with Ethereum as a cryptocurrency that offers more than just transaction potential. Coinbase has outlined its criteria for pursuing new projects, which falls heavy on promoting decentralization and best practices in the cryptospace. Cardano offers innovation, as well as having the team and focus to be a good ambassador for the positive aspects of cryptocurrency. While it seems likely that the exchange is eyeing both XLM and ADA for addition to its service, it would be a mistake to overlook the potential of Cardano and what it could offer through a high-profile listing on Coinbase.