Coinbase to Support ERC20 Technical Standards “In the Coming Months”


One of the world’s most popular cryptocurrency vendors, Coinbase Inc., is planning on adding Ethereum-based tokens to its milieu of crypto assets.

The company made its plans public in a blog post today, March 26, 2018, indicating that it will integrate the ERC20 technical standards into all of its platforms.

“We’re excited to announce our intention to support the Ethereum ERC20 technical standard for Coinbase in the coming months. This paves the way for supporting ERC20 assets across Coinbase products in the future,” the blog post reads.

The post continues to say that the company will not disclose “support for any specific assets or features at this time,” stressing that the announcement complies with company guidelines for new asset listings. This process involves a legal and risk assessment by an asset selection committee; review and approval by the Coinbase executive team; a public announcement of the new listing prior to integration; and a technical implementation of the asset followed by another public announcement of the complete integration.

Coinbase released this formal approval and integration process after coming under fire for insider trading when it abruptly listed Bitcoin Cash on December 19, 2017. Since this headache, Coinbase has actively hushed any hearsay for new listings, such as its recent denial of rumors involving an integration of Ripple.

Treading carefully into uncharted territory, the team “will wait for additional regulatory clarity before [they] decide which ERC20 assets to support.” When the air is cleared, the elect ERC20 tokens will first come to GDAX, Coinbase’s centralized exchange extension. Only once an asset is listed on GDAX and the Coinbase team evaluates factors “such as liquidity, price stability and other market health metrics” will they consider adding it to Coinbase, according to the post. Additionally, any asset added to GDAX will automatically be weighted into The Coinbase Index Fund.

Besides offering a wider asset offering to its customer base, Coinbase “believes that support for ERC20 will also give [it] a path to enabling the safe recovery [of] customer ERC20 assets inadvertently sent to Coinbase Ethereum addresses.”

Toshi, an Ethereum wallet and dApp browser owned by Coinbase, added support for ERC20 tokens and ERC721 assets in late February of this year. A February 28 blog post reveals the specifications of this development. Unlike their close kin, the ERC20 token, ERC721 assets (or collectibles, as the post calls them) are unique, non-fungible assets.

These collectibles carry individual properties that are specific to each ERC721 token, and their value is independent of any other asset registered under the same token address. CryptoKitties are a prime example, where one CryptoKitty may be worth 0.3 ETH while another may be worth 5 ETH.

At the time of this article, Coinbase has not offered any information to suggest that it will offer support for ERC721 assets on any of its other platforms.



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