Bitcoin Cash

Coinbase Customers Could Instigate Class Action Lawsuit Over Bitcoin Cash

The bitcoin hard fork went off without a hitch, creating bitcoin’s new alter ego, bitcoin cash. Immediately following yesterday’s fork, individuals who protected their private keys gained access to bitcoin cash. However, those who stored their coins on an exchange, left that decision to the exchange. This caused tensions to flare between Coinbase and their customers. They are now angrily requesting their share of bitcoin cash from the company. 

Also read: Panel Recommends Indian Government Take Immediate Steps to Stop Bitcoin Use

Prior to yesterday’s chain split, several exchanges publicly stated they would not be providing support for bitcoin cash. Coinbase was one of these exchanges. They provided a FAQ answer page before the split got under way. In regards to bitcoin cash, they said:

Coinbase will not support the BCC blockchain or digital currency. Any bitcoin within customers’ accounts will remain accessible on the main blockchain only. If you wish to have access to both BTC and BCC, please be sure to send your BTC off the platform by July 31.

After the split occurred, everyone who had moved their funds off of Coinbase and maintained their private keys, got awarded with an amount of bitcoin cash equivalent to their bitcoin legacy holdings.

Coinbase Customers Could Instigate Class Action Lawsuit Over Bitcoin Cash

Coinbase Customers Believe They are Entitled to Bitcoin Cash

Even though Coinbase said they will not support bitcoin cash, their customers still believe they are entitled to it. They have been posting angry and accusatory messages on Coinbase forums.

One legal scholar, Tim Wu, pointed out that Coinbase could be in serious legal trouble if they do not hand over the bitcoin cash. He tweeted, “In my opinion, @coinbase is courting serious, maybe ruinous legal trouble if it doesn’t give its users the full value of the Bitcoin fork.” He also analogized the situation to a brokerage firm not giving stock splits to their customers.

Wu believes that even Coinbase’s terms of service agreement will not save them. He implies they are obligated to do the right thing and hand over the bitcoin cash.

Coinbase Customers Legal Website Portal

There is even a website already set up for Coinbase customers to organize. It is the Coinbase Bitcoin Cash Lawsuit Portal. The site was apparently created to bring Coinbase customers together and initiate the start of legal proceedings. The site reads:

Coinbase Customers Could Instigate Class Action Lawsuit Over Bitcoin Cash

“Our ultimate aim is work with Coinbase, Inc to help them understand the user community’s concerns and take the correct and appropriate action of allowing users to trade or withdraw the Bitcoin Cash tokens that rightfully belong to them following the 8/1/2017 Bitcoin hard fork. However, Coinbase needs to understand that the community is ready and willing to pursue legal action if their BCH tokens continue to be withheld by Coinbase Inc, resulting in tangible and significant financial loss.”

Needless to say, Coinbase will have ample pressure applied to them regarding the bitcoin cash debacle, which could escalate into a burdensome and pricey legal affair.

Ethereum Split; Coinbase Has Not Commented on the Situation

Still, Coinbase may give into the pressure. This kind of situation has happened before. When Ethereum split last year into Ethereum Classic, Coinbase decided to give their customer base access to the currency. It took some time, though. A similar scenario could play out and Coinbase could finally hand over the bitcoin cash. At this time, however, it does not appear Coinbase has remarked on the situation.

Do you think Coinbase with capitulate with demands for bitcoin cash from their customers? Will a class action lawsuit take place? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Coinbase.com


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  • Common sense escapes liberals.

    Did coinbase receive the bitcoin cash but simply keep it?

    • crypo vick

      The received it and keep it for them self, what a shame! talk about trusted exchange!

      • Common sense escapes liberals.

        Now I am pissed. I thought the only deal was they would not get it so we would not get it if we left btc there. That is some shady business. Why would they think they can do this?

        • crypo vick

          I had 3.5 BTC on Gemini and the did the same so it not coinbase alone doing this!

        • crypo vick

          Decentralization, the underline force behind crypto currency have some weak links Coinbase and Gemini Exchange who are taking advantage over their customers and robbing them, for instants conbase fee are over the roof, try exchanging 1000$ in crypto and take a look at the fees, these exchanges keep ripping off their users and to make it worth the don’t want to pass down users gains “Bitcoin Cash” they have every users private keys, the collected there users Bitcoin cash, WHERE IS IT?

          • Common sense escapes liberals.

            I was under the impression they were not getting the bitcoin cash. I did listen to them and moved my btc but the principle of it is wrong. To simply keep millions of dollars in bitcoin cash that belongs to their customers is not right in any case. Warning or not.

          • crypo vick

            thank you very much, the same way i see it, Just couldn’t get my offline wallet on time! there is no trust anymore! i understand if the exchange got hack that something else, but when an exchange trying to stool you asset its another thing!

          • Common sense escapes liberals.

            I am more pissed off by them playing games now than I was when I realized they were stealing our bch coins. Fricking January??? WTH is with that? It will take those buttholles 5 months to simply give people their bch tokens? That is horse shit IMHO. Man I am not happy. I need to find a new exchange to cash out my btc and ltc through. I liked the no fee for maker orders but this deal is making me distrust the shit out of them. I bet others are getting worried as well.

    • Ralph Pohl

      Most likely

    • No_Rep

      No, of course not. And they have explicitly said so. They are a regulated exchange, not theives.

  • Liberty88

    Coinbase may have a problem – but customers who left their funds on the exchange have a bigger problem. If they’re going to be stupid enough to leave their money on the exchange then they may have consequences coming to them.

    THEY. WERE. WARNED!

    • HearNoMore

      You failed to mention that customers were having 12+ hour delays on their withdraws

      • Liberty88

        There’s no need to withdraw if you just transfer from Bitcoin to Litecoin via Shapeshift.

        • HearNoMore

          Yes, but coinbase customers were trying to withdraw BTC from them and they were delaying the withdraws beyond 12+ hours. Some people didn’t get to withdraw their coins prior to their cutoff time. So transferring it to altcoins didn’t matter tbh

          • Liberty88

            Yes I understand, it is frustrating, but you can’t wait until the last minute when everybody and their brother is trying to get through a narrow door.

          • HearNoMore

            agreed 100%

          • Russell Spears

            With freedom comes great responsibility

      • Common sense escapes liberals.

        Because of the long btc delays I sold btc for ltc and then moved ltc to a friendly exchange and bought my btc back. The ltc transferred in about 5-10 minutes. I lost a little on trading fees but at least it worked.

    • Ken King

      big difference between stupidity and ignorance. It is hard to get information in this new crypto world about effects of what we do or don’t do. Nothing I read about the Hard fork stated that it would mean that you would get an equal number of new coins to BTC. Everything simply stated a new altcoin would be created and that many exchanges wouldn’t support it

      • William Wanklyn

        Don’t know which rag you’ve been reading, or how you missed the ETH/ETC split. It’s not rocket science. A hard fork creates two chains, both of which record your coins.

        • Ken King

          How about the fact that I have only been doing this for a few months now. Absorbing all I can, but I wasn’t around for that split. I had heard of bitcoin a couple of years ago, but only started looking into it in recent months and started buying a couple of months ago. Finding any direct information on how it all works together is not easy, even with google, Everything stated that the chain would fork off but nothing in this fork that i saw stated you had a record in both. It isn’t rocket science as you say, but don’t need to be condescending, there are a lot of people that are just trying to figure out how it all works, and comprehensive information on how it all flows is impossible to come by

          • William Wanklyn

            Sorry, Ben, didn’t mean to offend. I believe bitcoin and its ilk are good things for humanity, but they do require some education and attention. There are aspects which mean that you and only you are responsible for your own actions.

            For instance, all payments are final, there are no take backs, or credit card companies to unwind mistaken or fraudulent transactions.

            Your private keys are your ownership tickets. If lost, your coins are lost. No one else can find them for you. If your keys are stolen, your coins go with them.

            So, my advice is to read up the wikis and do not keep your coins on any exchange. Hardware wallets are good.

          • No_Rep

            Ken, you are completely correct. The exchange is a fiduciary, and has the obligation so long as you have an account to act in your best interests.

          • Russell Spears

            Not supporting every shitcoin is in the interests of customers

        • Locodoco

          Indeed if people are dumb enough to not understand basic stuff like that about blockchain technology it’s their own damn fault. I hope Coinbase doesn’t give anything to these ignorant dumb people.

    • Bitcoin bloggr

      So whats the consequences, oh smart one, for those who were “stupid enough to leave” it “on the exchange”?

      • Common sense escapes liberals.

        Those that were dumb enough to leave it on the exchange will cry and stomp their feet now acting like they got done wrong through no fault of their own.

        • Bitcoin bloggr

          On the contrary, those who left it on the exchange is going to get the equivalent or a little less of bitcoin cash. Nonetheless, getting bitcoin cash. What are u “smart ones” who withdrew going to get?

    • Monte_Cristo

      You are a moron Liberty. Poloniex did not clarify the issue prior to the split, deliberately resorting to ambiguous statements to lead their customers to inaction so that they can steal more BCC from them. Not to mention countless withdrawals are not even completing on that exchange, even if you wanted to withdraw, and clients are waiting sometimes for months to get their coins back with transactions stuck on pending / processing.

    • Common sense escapes liberals.

      I would not call it stupid so much as naive. Many folks have no clue what it is they are investing in and it is not any exchanges duty to educate them.

      Can anyone imagine going after a stock exchange because they purchased a stock that collapsed. I can just hear the laughing now. … “I WANT MY MONEY BACK. I DIDN’T KNOW THAT STOCK SUCKED.”. I think not. Pleading ignorance is not a good excuse.

      Coinbase did tell everyone to get their btc off the exchange if they wanted to participate in the bch part of the fork. None of these folks were caught off gaurd and are only crying now because bch went so high so fast. Funny thing is that if everyone had of gotten their bch, the shit never would have gone so high. It likely would have been sub penny.

  • jwymanm

    People were given ample notice and Bitcoin Cash won’t be worth toilet paper once these people receive anything if it goes through. I don’t understand why people keep attacking this market. It will turn back on all of you once regulation and other crap starts steamrolling through this currently very profitable (if done right) scene.

    • Common sense escapes liberals.

      I hear you. Many times I have worried about this as well. The damned feds come in like nazi storm troopers and take everything. They spend the next forever making you fight to get it back.

      That being said, I agree that coinbase told us all no support for bch. I even listened and moved my btc to an exchange that did ive me bch. I had to trade my btc to ltc and then transfered the ltc. Then I sold the ltc back to btc on the friendly exchange. It cost me some fees but I am ahead in the end.

      My issue is that they gave me the impression they were not participating in any way. I am only troubled that they have received the bch and are keeping it.

  • John Amatulli

    Unless Coinbase utilizes the currency addresses that belong to clients on the new chain I THINK they are safe. They sent out at least two emails to clients telling them that they would not be using any forked chain. They told everyone who wanted to move off to do it before a certain time (don’t recall exactly but something like 12:00pm July 31) and that they would not allow transfers after that time.

    Seems like they probably covered there asses from a legal perspective unless they did assess the fork. I would think that would be pretty obvious because the record for that same address would be on the new chain. Those funds should still be present on the new chain at those matching addresses. Seems to me that if those addresses are ever used on the new chain Coinbase will be vulnerable but until then they are safe.

    • John Amatulli

      The delay problem is another issue. There may be a point for that reason. Seems to me that people who were delayed are easily validated and settlement should be fairly simple.

    • Ken King

      The problem I have with it is that they said they wouldn’t support it, but they never said that the fork meant that I would get an equal number of BCH to BTC I had. I thought just keeping it there and keeping it safe would be fine. I didn’t know there was actually incentive to move it off and get free BCH

      • William Wanklyn

        Haven’t there been enough warnings to everybody to KEEP YOUR COINS OFF THE EXCHANGE.
        Doesn’t matter which exchange. Do your business then move off the exchange.

        • Ken King

          those discussions were primarily about the smaller exchanges that weren’t as trustworthy, or so it appeared. If I had coins in a separate wallet, how would they have been duplicated? new coins just appear as BHC? You have to be aware, not everyone is at the same level of understanding of everything going on, there is a learning curve as this is a whole new process to understand all the pieces of

          • Common sense escapes liberals.

            I am not real bright about crypto either but in my case it makes me more sceptical. I look for bad guys behind every keystroke. LOL

        • Common sense escapes liberals.

          Yes, it is pretty common knowledge that coins sitting on any exchange are at risk. I wonder at times how many people pay proper attention to this little detail.

      • Common sense escapes liberals.

        I feel for you to some extent but then again it is your responsibility to know what it is you invest in. They did warn you to move it. If bch had not gone up so much many people would not be mad. I get it. In the end though it is not the exchanges duty to educate you on your investments. Stock exchanges are no different. You buy a stock that goes to zero, it is on you.

  • crypo vick

    Gemini Exchange did the same the collected my bitcoin cash and never pass it down to me, I had 3.5 BTC on the exchange during the fork and was not credit Bitcoin Cash, this is a rip off, the stated on their website “Beginning at 6:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, July 31, 2017 (22:00 UTC), Gemini will temporarily disable all bitcoin withdrawals and crediting of deposits in advance of any Bitcoin hard and/or soft forks.”

  • Dr. Bubó

    Coinbase is the worst exchange ever. Their only purpose is bully and piss off their own customers.

    • crypo vick

      agreed 100%

  • I’d really like to know what these exchanges are doing with their BCC/BCH or whatever ticker we’re giving it. I have a hard time believing that these exchanges are just ignoring it @ $200 to $700 USD per coin. That’s a hell of a pay day for these exchanges if they’re keeping it for themselves. On top of that, this would be a highly unethical business practices. Just saying…. If these guys cashed in, that’s just not cool and technically could even be criminal almost bordering on theft.

    • Monte_Cristo

      It is theft beyond a doubt. The real irony is most users of Poloniex are even willing to overlook this absolute breach of ethics to help out those insolvent losers so at least they can get their funds away from that scam exchange safely… It’s such a pity for the whole crypto space that Polo, which used to be the greatest and most trusted exchange, is now resorting to criminal practices to keep their operations afloat…

    • Common sense escapes liberals.

      This right here is the big question I have as well. Are they getting the bitcoin cash tokens and if they are, they damned well better be giving them to who they rightfully belong.

      If these exchanges thought they were going to make a tip by keeping their customers coins we do have a problem. If it is that they never thought bch would be worth dealing with or even a reality, that is fine. Now that they know it is real, hand it over to it’s owners.

  • Imagine a stock split in which twice as many shares are created, but the old shares maintain their value & new shares are worth +$6B USD in one day – value which appears out of thin air.

    A stock split and a hard fork have very little in common. Everyone knows that stock splits do not create new value – they simply divide the existing value by a larger number of shares. Not at all what happened with BTC and BCC. BCC just APPEARED. Yesterday. It did not come OUT OF the value of BTC.

    • William Wanklyn

      Same can be said of a stock split, and is the reason why stock splits take place. They increase the accessibility of the stock and increase the overall marketcap over time. BCC did not “just appear”. It is the other half of the split. It was always there.

  • Brady Möritz

    sue? but how? how do you sue someone within the blockchain? haw haw.

  • Matthew Roth

    It’s fine if they don’t want to support BCC for political reasons, but the problem is they own millions in BCC whether they like it or not. This is very real money that belongs to the customers, for them to sell it and just keep the money in their pocket is absolutely terrible. They could at least sell and distribute USD to their users’ accounts.

    In all fairness, the users were warned very clearly. But even that just doesn’t excuse taking a multi-million dollar bonus.

    My exchange, Gemini, is being eerily quiet.

    • Common sense escapes liberals.

      Well said. I agree completely. I suppose it is the same with Gemeni as far as getting bch they are simply keeping.

      It was pretty short sighted of coinbase to make a political statement like this. Maybe they thought they could stave off the fork by refusing to acknowledge the chain.

  • crypo vick

    Coinbase, Poloniex and Gemini is holding multi millions of dollars in Bitcash coin, with no intention of rightfully passing it down to their customers, exchanges such as Nova, cryptopia, bittrex had done the right thing and pass it down to their customers , its a shame that the most presumably trusted is actually the least trusted, Funny when you try to create an account with them there is some much verification to ensure you don’t lose your funds, but instead there are the ones that stole from you.

    • Monte_Cristo

      This is a scam of Bernie Madoff proportions, it’s a shame that crypto currencies are still not mainstream enough that outright thievery like this can still go under the radar. This is a far dirtier and more ethically corrupt crime than say illicit arms or drug trade…

      • Common sense escapes liberals.

        LOL… not really the same thing. But your strong feelings about it are pretty obvious.

        • Monte_Cristo

          Even Coinbase reversed its position, and the entire crypto community seems to think it’s outright theft to not award BCC, but ok you can continue prevaricating for no intelligent reason…

          • crypo vick

            point well taken

          • Common sense escapes liberals.

            Funny you try to use big words but the ignorance shows right through. This is NOT what Madoff did. Something about people like you sickens me. You were told to get your btc out over a month ago but yet you sat there with your thumb up your ass and then cry like a baby when the whole situation was of your own doing. Hows that for reality? This right here is some intelligent reasoning but I am pretty sure you think when you mess your own diaper mommy will change it. Grow up already.

          • Monte_Cristo

            Common sense, you need help man, you are ridiculously offended because you perceive yourself as somehow intellectually inferior in this discussion, but your foolish anger is misdirected because I guarantee you I’m not the cause for your lack of intellect.

            There is a reason why people want to keep BTC deposits on the exchanges, so that they can start trading right away as soon as BCC is offered. Many exchanges still don’t accept BCC deposits to this day, and even Poloniex now has agreed to credit its customer base their rightful BCC coins, not to mention they had left their own position deliberately ambiguous so that clients would not withdraw from their accounts. If you still need further education, go pester other people, and don’t forget to take your pills… Good luck.

      • crypo vick

        Exchange like these are damaging crypto, people hear stories like these and dont want to get involved at all, killing the growth of the market and also for this instant messing up Bitcoin Cash growth by locking up all these coins. these exchange is not trusted and should not be used.

  • TomWaitsDisciple

    Coinbase, at the least, should have waived all fees as well as hired additional personnel to deal with their numerous login/authentication issues and help those whom had BTC in a vault as opposed to wallet.
    It isn’t the cow and the calf, either. It’s like owning a stake in a restaurant and it decided to divide it’s space to turn part of it into a bar and give it another name…then tell you, you only get proceeds from this now smaller restaurant and the earnings from the bar don’t belong to you EVEN THOUGH you paid for everything to create the bar in the first place including employee’s salaries.

    • Common sense escapes liberals.

      I am on coinbase and have not used the vault. Were their extra problems getting vault held coins?

      Because of the long transfer delays I sold my btc to ltc and then moved my ltc. Took maybe ten minutes to transfer it. Then on the other end I sold the ltc back to btc so I would get the bch from them. It cost me quite a bit in fees so I did not do it with all my funds. That part makes me mad but I never dreamed bch would get so high.

      In the end I am whole but the situation should never have happened. Coinbase should never have acted like a child in the first place. I don’t believe them when they cry about their system not being able to handle it all. That was a bullshit excuse. Now they hold millions of dollars in other peoples coins and need to make it right somehow.

      • TomWaitsDisciple

        Vault takes 2 extra days if all the authentication works perfectly.

    • Russell Spears

      Big lesson…. think before you invest in Bitcoin… Coinbase does good work for the community. it is not going to be there to hold your hand!

      • TomWaitsDisciple

        If it did what is in its agreement I’d be fine with it. It cancelled one of my orders for no reason whatsoever at one point (although, later asked if I wanted it reinstated a few weeks later)…

  • Toptal BS. Coinbase customers had plenty of advanced notice if they were paying any attention to what was going on. Snooze and you lose. I told a friend who had 12 BTC on CB what to do and instead of listening to me he cashed it in and sat on the sidelines. No pity here.

    • Common sense escapes liberals.

      I feel very much the same. But if coin base has the bch and are simply holding out, giving warnings about it does not matter. They were not completely honest in the way they did this. They should have said they would be keeping any bch that resulted from the fork. Instead they made it sound like it would be one or the other like there was a risk in loosing your btc through the fork. That fear they instilled did cause many to take the safe way out and sell their btc or just sit on it so they would not lose it in the fork.

  • Bitcoin bloggr

    Thought this “bitcoin community” was supposed to be helpful to one another whether your veteran or new to this technology. I am shocked at how condescending some comments are especially to the new folks.

    • Common sense escapes liberals.

      Are we looking at two different blogs? I don’t see any ill spirited posts. People perceive issues in different ways. I don’t let it make me mad if someone sees it different than me.

  • No_Rep

    > Do you think Coinbase with capitulate with demands for bitcoin cash from their customers?

    Yes.

    > Will a class action lawsuit take place?

    No.

  • linny

    January? LMAO. Can’t say I didn’t see something of this sort coming from a mile away.

    • Common sense escapes liberals.

      By then it will probably be worth sub penny.

  • Common sense escapes liberals.

    Great idea. Then the lawyers can steal 40% right off the top of any bch people actually receive. Unless you are doing this to help the community?

  • Common sense escapes liberals.

    Great idea. Then the lawyers can steal 40% right off the top of any bch people actually receive.

  • Russell Spears

    Coinbase no doubt was actingin good faith, they should not be forced into making every shitcoin available on their exchange.

    The real problem is that crypto is a new space and we all have to be thinking harder about all the implications. They gave warning, but for many they thought it would not be worth their time.

    Why do they have to get hit on by all sides: Fighting government and customers… smh

    Just be better prepared guys: We are all learning.

    • Common sense escapes liberals.

      Very smart thinking. You are right. Folks are crying about their own mess. I bet most of the ding dongs crying about it only had a couple anyway. They don’t care if the whole thing goes to shit. Just as long as they get a free bch. Selfish irresponsible behavior like this seems to be the new way for many in the under 30 age group.

  • Russell Spears

    I doubt this guy wants to help anyone, not the least of which is justice. They should make that lawyer as a spamer