The Ripple and XRP community is trying to figure out if a new page on Coinbase.com is an elaborate April Fools’ Day joke.
The new web page on the leading US crypto exchange describes how users can now send money from one Coinbase account to another with no extra fees by using XRP or USD Coin (USDC) as a bridge currency.
“You can now send money to any user with a Coinbase account around the world using XRP or USDC. By using cryptocurrencies that are optimized for cross-border transmission, you can send and receive money virtually instantly by sending those cryptocurrencies and having the recipient convert them into local currency. There’s zero fee for sending to other Coinbase users and a nominal on-chain network fee for sending outside of Coinbase.
Coinbase is careful to point out that the platform has not launched a money remittance service, and lists three stipulations.
1. This is not a money remittance; rather, it is a cryptocurrency transaction with conversion into local currency after receipt.
2. Network fees charged on transfers to non-Coinbase accounts; purchases and sales of XRP are subject to a Coinbase fee.
3. In countries where Coinbase does not support the local currency, recipients need to transfer their XRP/USDC to an exchange that supports exchanges from XRP/USDC to local currency.
When reading the fine print, Coinbase essentially describes the fact that Coinbase users can send XRP and USDC to one another and then convert the digit assets to their local currency.
“Anyone around the world can receive XRP or USDC by opening a Coinbase account or by using compatible wallet software (like Coinbase Wallet). Once a recipient accesses their XRP/USDC, they can convert that XRP or USDC to their local currency in the 40+ countries where Coinbase has banking support. If the recipient is in a country that does not yet have Coinbase banking support, they can always transfer the XRP/USDC to a local exchange that supports conversions from XRP/USDC to local currency. You can access a list of exchanges that support USDC here.”
The page notes that users could do the same exact thing with Bitcoin and other coins on its platform, but says XRP is likely a cheaper option.
“Can I send other cryptocurrencies abroad, like Bitcoin?
Yes, you can. In fact, you can send any cryptocurrency supported by Coinbase to another Coinbase user or to an account outside of Coinbase. XRP and USDC may be better suited for smaller international money transfers due to their faster processing and lower transaction fees. USDC also has the added advantage of being exchangeable for one US dollar, rather than being volatile in price like other cryptocurrencies.”
Clicking the “Get Started” button on the page simply directs users to log in, and then sends them to the main Coinbase dashboard. So far, Coinbase has not referenced the new page on its blog or Twitter page.