Coinbase, a bitcoin exchange and wallet, have announced that they will stop supporting their “tipping button”, although, as they claim, it was a popular service. They explained this move by their desire to show support and encouragement to ChangeTip, a competing provider of tipping functionality.


The Coinbase tipping service had been launched a month before the new ChangeTip “Love” button appeared in the bitcoin space. Two months ago, Charlee Lee, Coinbase’s engineering manager, characterised the Coinbase tipping button as easier for content providers and users as opposed to ChangeTip’s more complicated service:


“ChangeTip’s strength is peer-to-peer tipping, whereas Coinbase tip button’s strength is user to content provider tipping. Coinbase made it super easy for a content provider to add a tip button to their content. And tipping for users is just one click, so if they enjoyed the content, one click and they are done.”


Lee also advised ChangeTip to improve their button and to use Coinbase’s wallet API to leverage Coinbase to store user funds.


The Coinbase tip button will no longer be supported from April 1st. The company's blogpost explains that Coinbase does not want to compete with ChangeTip,  calling it an excellent startup, and encourages customers to use their tipping service instead of the Coinbase button.


“ChangeTip has gotten some even better traction, and done a great job at pushing the tipping ecosystem forward. … ChangeTip is an excellent example of a company which uses our APIs, and we’d like to support them instead of competing with them. Our goal is to have a thriving ecosystem of many companies in the bitcoin space building innovative applications like this,” the post reads.


ChangeTip have recently completely reworked their website interface to make it more user-friendly, according to CEO Nick Sullivan. Users on Reddit have speculated that Coinbase is probably going to integrate ChangeTip in their existing infrastructure or that we should expect a large Coinbase investment or buyout of the service. This, however, would be an issue for a regulated exchange which Coinbase is trying to become in the US