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Announcing SegWit support on Coinbase

02/23/2018

We’re excited to announce support for Bitcoin Segregated Witness (SegWit) transactions on Coinbase. Over the next week, we will be gradually enabling SegWit compatible Bitcoin sends and receives for all customers. To learn more, visit our SegWit FAQ page.

What is SegWit?

A SegWit compatible Bitcoin address

For those unfamiliar with SegWit, this upgrade helps reduce the size of Bitcoin transactions. This improves the overall transaction capacity of the Bitcoin network and should also help reduce the fees customers pay on bitcoin transactions. You can read more about SegWit here.

A common piece of feedback from customers is transaction fees for sending Bitcoin on Coinbase are too high. While transaction fees in Bitcoin have recently decreased, we’re committed to providing customers with options that can help reduce fees. That’s why we’re excited to enable SegWit compatible Bitcoin sends and receives.

While SegWit should help reduce fees, once we begin rolling out this change, if you incorrectly send Bitcoin Cash (BCH) to a Bitcoin (BTC) address, your funds will not be recoverable. Sending the incorrect digital assets to a deposit address will result in permanent loss. While we hope that customers are extra careful when sending Bitcoin Cash, we will be adding the below screens to all of our Bitcoin receive flows.

A reminder for customers to not send BCH to BTC addresses

Additionally, we’ve updated our send screen to make it clearer that transaction fees go to miners — not Coinbase. In fact, in many cases, Coinbase supplements customer paid miner fees to ensure transactions are confirmed as quickly as possible.

Looking forward — transaction batching, improved UTXO management and Lightning Network

SegWit is an important step in scaling the Bitcoin network. We are continuing to invest in our Bitcoin infrastructure and we will be working on implementing additional Bitcoin scalability improvements like transaction batching and improved UTXO management. We hope this will all result in lower fees for customers and more capacity on the Bitcoin network.

Finally, we remain excited about the potential that SegWit unlocks. New technologies which require SegWit, like the Lightning Network, have the potential to significantly increase the usefulness of Bitcoin as a payment network and benefit customers. We currently have a dedicated full-time software engineer working on open source contributions to the Lightning Network.

If you are interested in working on Bitcoin infrastructure or open source digital currency protocols like Lightning, we are hiring in San Francisco, New York and London.


Announcing SegWit support on Coinbase was originally published in The Coinbase Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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