The short answer is no. You cannot buy Ethereum Classic on Coinbase.
Coinbase does not support Ethereum Classic.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise. Coinbase has never supported Ethereum Classic.
In fact, Coinbase was one of the first exchanges to list Ethereum (ETH) after its launch in 2015.
Coinbase has been clear that it has no plans to support Ethereum Classic. In a blog post published in August 2016, Coinbase stated:
“We have no plans to support Ethereum Classic (ETC) on our platform. We believe that ETH is the only version of Ethereum that has a strong chance of surviving and becoming the dominant blockchain platform for smart contracts.”
Since then, Coinbase has only reaffirmed its position. In January 2018, when Ethereum Classic was created following the fork of Ethereum, Coinbase again stated that it had no plans to support ETC.
NOTE: WARNING: It is not currently possible to buy Ethereum Classic on Coinbase. Purchasing Ethereum Classic is only possible through a decentralized exchange, such as IDEX or EtherDelta. Use of these exchanges can be risky and may involve the loss of funds, so please exercise caution when considering any purchase of Ethereum Classic.
So why doesn’t Coinbase support Ethereum Classic?
There are a few reasons. First, as mentioned above, Coinbase believes that ETH is the only version of Ethereum with a strong chance of surviving and becoming the dominant blockchain platform for smart contracts.
This is because ETH has the support of the majority of the Ethereum community, including major organizations like the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance.
Second, Coinbase has concerns about the security of ETC. In its blog post from August 2016, Coinbase specifically cited security concerns as one of the reasons why it does not plan to support ETC:
“We believe that ETH provides a much more secure chain with robust tooling and a large and supportive community… Our primary focus is on building an exchange for ETH and other digital assets… We may add support for other assets that we think are safe and meet our standards for listing… but our goal is to remain focused on building an exchange for ETH and other digital assets.”
These concerns appear to be well-founded. In January 2018, just days after ETC was created, a major security vulnerability was discovered in the ETC network that could have allowed attackers to print an unlimited number of ETC coins.
This vulnerability was quickly patched, but it highlights the risks associated with investing in ETC.
So if you want to buy ETC, you’ll need to look elsewhere. Currently, there are a few exchanges that do support ETC trading, including Binance, Kraken, and Bitfinex.