Coinbase and Bitfinex, the world’s largest cryptocurrency investment platforms, announced treir adopting support for Segregated Witness (SegWit) protocols for bitcoin (BTC) traded on their exchanges.
Earlier, Coinbase announced its plans to implement SegWit for Bitcoin in 2018 with a view to make Bitcoin transactions cheaper and faster. The engineering team was working on final testing of Segwit which has recently been finished.
Our engineering team has finished testing of SegWit for Bitcoin on Coinbase.
We will be starting a phased launch to customers over the next few days and are targeting a 100% launch to all customers by mid next week.
— Coinbase (@coinbase) February 20, 2018
Bitfinex is also delighted to announce support for bitcoin deposit and withdrawals using P2SH Segregated Witness (SegWit) addresses.
Paolo Ardoino, Bitfinex CTO, said: “As a premier exchange, Bitfinex is committed to improving its market-leading offering for our loyal and discerning customers. SegWit provides not only an immediate benefit for users, but also a foundation for future Bitcoin development.” He added: “By supporting SegWit addresses, Bitfinex is tackling three of the biggest crypto-enthusiast concerns: transaction fees, transaction speed, and total network capacity. We are delighted that through this implementation we can provide our customers with bitcoin withdrawal fees that are up to 20 percent lower, as well as faster-than-ever transaction speeds.”
Bitfinex regularly processes more than $1 billion in daily trading volume, making it one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges. Now its users are provided with SegWit-enabled bitcoin wallets which can be used to send and receive BTC. To begin, users will need to generate a new deposit address from their Bitcoin deposit page to receive a SegWit-enabled address, which will start with 3.
Recently, Bitfinex opened an ING account after having lost its Wells Fargo relationship last year. Harold Reusken, a spokesman for Amsterdam-based ING, confirmed that Bitfinex is a customer of the bank. However, he didn’t give any further comments.
Segregated Witness, or SegWit, is the process of increasing block size limits by separating signature data from transactional data in bitcoin transactions. The formal title “Segregated Witness (Consensus layer)” had Bitcoin Improvement Proposal number BIP141. The purpose was to solve malleability.
SegWit was also intended to mitigate a blockchain size limitation problem that reduces Bitcoin transaction speed. It does this by splitting the transaction into two segments, removing the unlocking signature (“witness” data) from the original portion and appending it as a separate structure at the end.
Advantages of using SegWit addresses are evident. This “soft fork” allowed for protocol upgrades to the software. SegWit reduces the size of transactions and attacks the threat of rising transaction fees on two fronts.
It should be borne in mind that SegWit has been implemented for Bitcoin only, and not Bitcoin Cash. If you send Bitcoin Cash, this will be lost, so please take care in checking your actions prior to proceeding.