Buy the rumor, sell the news
As of 20th May 2016 it is no longer rumor! Coinbase is rebranding to GDAX and is launching Ethereum trading.
Image: Coinbase API already responds to ETH queries.
This is how the rumor started - bitcoin traders looking for a reason for the recent series of dips. There has been a speculation that traders get tired of the ever sideways non-eventness of BTCUSD, are dropping their positions and move funds into ETHBTC and ETHUSD to cash in on the DAO bubble. And there was loads of long positions in BTCUSD with the expectation of the halving which is believed to drive the price up.
Either way, after a tweet with (real or fake?) screenshot from Coinbase featuring ETH appeared, people were looking to verify or deny this, and found out it is most likely real news since Coinbase API already responds to ETH queries.
You can try it yourself:
There has been a similar rumor regarding OkCoin (The Place To Get RektTM) last week. The story went also from people randomly querying the API for ETH. And while once it redirected all wrong requests to BTCUSD, ETH queries for some reson stopped doing that. At some point, a column featuring ETH balance started to show up and someone captured it on archive.is right here (scroll below the chart) http://archive.is/Kd2VN.
So, so far it is all a rumor but indeed, if you went long on ETH as the DAO pump started, you might be a rich man by now. If you didn’t, don’t catch the knife now - the volatility will be wild now. Plenty of time to ride the waves. I can imagine with OKCoin’s 20x leverage it will be a bloodbath.
Services that also announced ETH support