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March 17, 2017

Abrupt Termination of Coinbase Support

Coinbase just announced they are terminating public payment pages. Here is the spring cleaning announcement.

The TL;DR: Coinbase proofs on Keybase won't work anymore. It was our least popular identity type, so it's not the end of the world. We're stripping Coinbase from the Keybase clients.

What is/was a Coinbase Payment Page?

Coinbase users could make a page like this, for receiving bitcoin:

The basic idea: I could tell you I'm Coinbase user bitcoyne and you could visit to send me money. With Keybase crypto, you could think of me as Twitter user @malgorithms and land on my Coinbase page without worrying about the details.

Why are they retiring it?

It seems from their post:

  • it failed to get traction
  • they have simpler ways of sending money, using their mobile app. By email address, for example.

What to expect on Keybase

Effective immediately:

  • it's no longer possible to make new Coinbase proofs
  • we have removed Coinbase links from profiles (~11,000)

Technically, Coinbase claims are still in people's signature chains (we can't edit them out), it's just that Keybase clients will start to ignore them. The next release of our desktop client and our upcoming mobile app will simply not support Coinbase.

So, starting now, you can think of a Coinbase link in a signature chain as an empty link. If you once "followed" or "tracked" someone on Keybase because you knew their Coinbase name, you'll still be following the same person, since you're tracking their keys and other proofs. But the Keybase app will no longer check or care about the Coinbase portion of their profile.

Sending someone money?

Keybase continues to support signing both Bitcoin and Zcash addresses into your profile. This achieves the same goal: start with someone you know (say on Twitter, Reddit, HN, or Facebook) and safely send money. The Keybase app takes care of all the crypto.

And of course you can pass encrypted addresses around using Keybase chat:

Download the latest Keybase app

This whole thing will push our mobile app release back a day or two. We're getting there!

This is a post on the Keybase blog.