The Coinbase cryptocurrency exchange tweeted Monday, Feb. 5, that they will soon implement the Segregated Witness (SegWit) scalability upgrade for Bitcoin addresses, which will help reduce transaction times and fees for sending and receiving Bitcoin (BTC).
Although they are in the final stages of testing for their SegWit implementation, Coinbase reminded customers that they prioritize security and performance over new features by linking to their Dec. 2017 blog post on the topic.
Our engineering team has begun the final testing phase of SegWit for Bitcoin on Coinbase.
SegWit compatible Bitcoin sends/receives will be available for customers in the next few weeks.
We previously wrote about SegWit on our blog: https://t.co/3YPQPkYy4C
— Coinbase (@coinbase) February 5, 2018
Coinbase had first announced the decision to add the SegWit upgrade in early December 2017. The upgrade, introduced by the Bitcoin Core development team in August 2017, deals with the scalability problem of Bitcoin by reducing the size of transactions.
By moving the “witness” signature data to the end of every transaction, it solves Bitcoin’s malleability issue which is conducive to second-layer solutions like the Lightning Network.
Popular crypto wallets Trezor and Ledger had upgraded to SegWit shortly after its August release.
Slow transaction times and network congestion have plagued Bitcoin traders in the recent months, with some Blockchain-based businesses moving away from BTC due to increasingly high transaction fees.
The North American Bitcoin Conference had to stop accepting cryptocurrency payments leading up to the conference earlier in January, citing that the “network congestion and manual processing” would make it impossible to make print deadlines.
Software engineer and cypherpunk Jameson Lopp in mid-January had blamed cryptocurrencies services like Coinbase, Blockchain, and Gemini for causing network congestion by “using block space inefficiently”:
It's not a new revelation that a significant cause of bitcoin network congestion is from popular services such as @blockchain, @coinbase, and @gemini who are using block space inefficiently. If you don't want to contribute to the problem, don't use them. https://t.co/f1AO2ePRMw
— Jameson Lopp (@lopp) January 12, 2018
Coinbase customers had started a petition a month ago for the SegWit upgrade to become a priority for Coinbase, getting eventually over 12,000 signatures. With Coinbase’s Feb. 5 tweet, the petition added an update:
“Coinbase has finally heard us and are currently prioritizing SegWit implementation over new features! […] Here’s to a brighter future for Bitcoin :)”