Coinbase 'Yellow Pages', A Public Database of Customer Names, On-Chain Addresses, Coming in 2024

Coinbase 'Yellow Pages', A Public Database of Customer Names, On-Chain Addresses, Coming in 2024

Coinbase announced a major new public resource it describes as the "Blockchain Yellow Pages" in a release earlier today. The Blockchain Yellow Pages is a public searchable database of all current and former customers' names and businesses as well as their associated on-chain addresses across dozens of digital assets including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Solana.

The release emphasizes the power and importance of network effects and the value this new resource will provide to the Coinbase community. The release date for Blockchain Yellow Pages was not revealed in the release but the company said it plans to launch sometime in 2024.

A spokesman for Coinbase told The Bugle that the decision to make Blockchain Yellow Pages public, as opposed to being exclusive to Coinbase customers was, in part, to attract customers of other platforms to Coinbase to benefit from the exchange's network effect as well as its proprietary layer 2s, the Coinbase wallet, and custodial network which helps users save on things like transaction fees.

"Remember less than a generation ago the Yellow Pages would be delivered to your house or business and you could use it to look up anyone or any business in your area? If you needed lawn care or to speak with another parent at your child's school, you could find them in the Yellow Pages, call them, and collaborate. This resource increased communication, cooperation, and productivity exponentially. We expect Blockchain Yellow Pages to have a similar impact but at a global scale." the spokesman said.

Not everyone is excited about Blockchain Yellow pages. Many have concerns about the violation of privacy and say it affects customer safety. Coinbase downplayed these concerns stating that blockchains are public and transparent. None of the information they are sharing is information that someone couldn't find by using publicly available information. Still, critics say this is effectively Coinbase doxing their customers and making it easier for nefarious actors to link their public identities to their on-chain activity, making them vulnerable to hackers, thieves, and greedy ex wives looking for alimony. Coinbase's response to these concerns was summarized by their statement, "If you are concerned about these scenarios, use p2p solutions without KYC. It's that simple."

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