Coinbase adds ERC20 standards, future support all Eth-based tokens
While no new coin listings have been announced, Coinbase's ERC20 support helps quicker additions later.
Coinbase has announced support for ERC20 technical standards, which may suggest much quicker additions of new coins in the future.
"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, though we aren't announcing support for any specific assets or features at this time," it announced in a blog post.
ERC20 is a technical standard for tokens on the Ethereum system. Just like trains all need to be the same width to run on the same tracks, cryptocurrencies need to meet certain technical criteria to run on the Ethereum blockchain tracks.
The ERC20 standard ensures much easier compatibility on a wide range of wallets and exchanges, and a degree of interoperability between tokens.
Coinbase wants to add more assets, coming soon
Coinbase is distinguished as one of the world's largest cryptocurrency exchanges, but it only offers a very narrow range of tokens, so far consisting of only Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash. While no new digital assets have been announced for Coinbase yet, there's been a lot of speculation around future additions.
It's clear beyond any doubt that Coinbase is hungry for more assets, but is currently holding off for fear of inadvertently listing a token that's later found to be a security.
"Part of the reason we trade only those four assets is that each has been determined by regulators to be a virtual currency and therefore not a security. We are studiously avoiding listing tokens that could be determined to be securities because we are not currently licensed to trade securities and cannot take the risk of inadvertently trading an asset that is later found to be a security," explained Coinbase legal head Mike Lempres to the US House Committee on Financial Services.
With the cryptocurrency regulation situation in the USA set to clear up in the near future, Coinbase seems like it's just sitting and waiting for the moment it can start adding more coins, and has built in ERC20 support in the meantime.
"Coinbase will only list assets after they are listed on GDAX. After evaluating factors such as liquidity, price stability, and other market health metrics, we may choose to add any ERC20 asset added to GDAX to the Coinbase platform. It’s also worth repeating that GDAX will likely have more assets listed on the platform than the Coinbase platform, i.e. listing on GDAX does not guarantee listing on Coinbase," Coinbase explains.
"The GDAX team will wait for additional regulatory clarity before we decide which ERC20 assets to support on GDAX."
"Per the index methodology, any asset listed on GDAX will be added to the Coinbase Index on a market capitalization weighted basis."
Disclosure: At the time of writing the author holds ETH, IOTA, ICX, VEN, XLM, BTC, NANO
- Economist: Stablecoins are doomed to be either too fragile or unscalable
- Coinbase going public: A new way to get broad crypto exposure?
- This week’s big altcoin moves have been cooking since June
- IOTA launches Pollen update: End of an era, start of another
- 5 curious findings from a new government cryptocurrency survey