Coinbase wants to become the Apple of the crypto industry

Coinbase wants to become the Apple of the crypto industry
Coinbase listing on Nasdaq in April 2021Coinbase
  • Coinbase announced plans to build a crypto app store.
  • Coinbase’s successful IPO earlier this year has made the company a big mover in the industry.
  • While the crypto market is witnessing substantial growth, Coinbase’s move comes at a time when the industry is at a crossroads.
Coinbase has become somewhat of a poster boy for success in the crypto industry. The company’s $100 billion debut on the US stock markets was read by many as a watershed moment for the industry, and it put the company at the pole position for crypto innovation. Now, Coinbase seems to fancy itself as the Apple of the crypto industry, announcing plans for a crypto app store.

“Apple didn’t attempt to build every app for the iPhone, it empowered developers and gave mobile users an easy way to access new innovative apps,” the company said in a blog post.

“We need to do the same in crypto. There is now tens of billions of dollars of economic activity running on DApps, and a new trend coming out every three months. We’ll work to give our users easy access to all of this from the main Coinbase product,” it added.

The post, attributed to Coinbase’s chief executive officer, Brian Armstrong, is the first time the company has announced such plans. It states that the “ crypto economy is still in its early stage” and that the economic activity in the industry will only grow from hereon.

DApps will fuel the next phase of growth for the cryptocurrency industry

Just like mobile apps became the fuel for the smartphone industry over a decade ago, Coinbase sees decentralized apps (DApps) as the fuel that will grow the already growing cryptocurrency industry.

The company could be on the right path. According to data from venture tracking firm Pitchbook, investments in the crypto industry grew to a record $17 billion in the first half of 2021.

“We need to move from shipping products that cater only to the US (or UK/EU) to shipping products that work globally,” Armstrong said in the post.

What are DApps?

DApps are also called smart contracts. They run on blockchain technology and cut out the middleman. For example, if your package delivery is late, you don’t need to quibble with customer care — a DApp will automatically initiate a refund or compensation fee as per the agreement between you and your delivery agent.

Right now, the most popular DApps are cryptocurrency exchanges and games among 3,500 use cases out there, according to State of the DApps. And, most of them are hosted using Ethereum.

Since these applications are decentralised, it means that no one person or company has control. This makes them open-source, public, and they need a crypto token — like Ethereum — to help keep the network secure.

The best thing about DApps over conventional applications is that they can’t be censored by governments and there is no such thing as ‘downtime’. With no single point to target, the government wouldn’t know who to censor. And, with multiple nodes, even if one goes down, the other will pick up the slack.

Coinbase’s move comes at a time when the industry is at a crossroads. On the one hand, the crypto industry has received acceptance from Latin American countries like El Salvador and Paraguay, but on the other, it’s facing an unprecedented crackdown in countries like China, India and more. A successful app store could go a long way in getting regulators’ approvals for the space.

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