Coinbase Adds Message-Based Crypto Payments to Its Decentralized Wallet

The new feature comes at a time of growing positive sentiment in the crypto market after over a year of pain for industry participants.

AccessTimeIconDec 6, 2023 at 4:24 p.m. UTC
Updated Jan 26, 2024 at 3:48 p.m. UTC
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Crypto exchange Coinbase (COIN) has updated its decentralized wallet, adding a low-cost way for users to instantly send money to each other through messaging apps as it seeks to broaden the adoption of cryptocurrencies by adding features that seem to emulate payments giant Paypal.

The new feature lets customers send links to other Coinbase wallet owners in 170 countries through apps like iMessage, WhatsApp, Telegram and social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok or simply email, allowing them to send or receive funds, the company said in a blog post.

The enhancement deflects user focus from cryptocurrencies mainly as investment vehicles to their use as a method of payment in a move that may expand crypto adoption across a wider population, especially those looking to transfer funds internationally without incurring delays, bank fees and other associated costs. Coinbase isn't alone. Earlier this year, the @wallet bot on Telegram added USDT, allowing users to exchange the world's largest stablecoin by market cap by message.

After a tumultuous 12 months for the Nasdaq-traded crypto exchange – driven by the crypto winter and a U.S. struggling economy – the company's stock price has increased almost 300% year to date as the crypto market picks up.

The added functionality also comes as many other companies, specifically big players in the traditional financial world, are pushing to gain exposure to the crypto ecosystem. In about a month, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is expected to approve or deny spot-bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) from various applicants, including BlackRock, Fidelity, Franklin and others.

Edited by Sheldon Reback.


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Helene Braun

Helene is a New York-based reporter covering Wall Street, the rise of the spot bitcoin ETFs and crypto exchanges. She is also the co-host of CoinDesk's Markets Daily show. Helene is a graduate of New York University's business and economic reporting program and has appeared on CBS News, YahooFinance and Nasdaq TradeTalks. She holds BTC and ETH.

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