Coinbase has announced that it would start supporting ERC20 technical standard in the coming months. So, Coinbase members can expect support for popular cryptocurrencies in the future. ERC20, the Ethereum token standard, is a technical standard used for smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain. Developed in 2015, ERC20 defines a common list of rules that an Ethereum token has to implement, giving developers the ability to program how new tokens will function within the Ethereum ecosystem.
This token protocol became popular with crowdfunding companies working on initial coin offering (ICO) cases. As of January 2018, there were more than 21,000 ERC20 token contracts. Among the most successful ERC20 token sales are EOS, Bancor, Quash, and Bankex, raising over $70 million each. ERC20 assets have become a popular way for teams to quickly build interoperable contracts/assets. More recently, Coinbase’ Ethereum wallet and Dapp browser Toshi added native support for ERC20.
The support for ERC20 tokens will pave way for inclusion of several popular altcoins in the future, although the company did not mention about support for any specific asset or features at this point in time.
ERC20 support and its impact on Coinbase products
Coinbase Custody – the Custody team is evaluating a set of assets to support for deposits and withdrawals. The number of assets that will be supported by Custody will be likely more than those available for trade on GDAX or Coinbase.
GDAX – will wait for additional regulatory clarify before starting to support ERC20 assets on GDAX. The support for ERC20 will enable safe recovery of customer’s ERC20 assets inadvertently sent to GDAX Ethereum addresses.
Coinbase Asset Management – any asset listed on GDAX will be added to the Coinbase Index on a market capitalization weighted basis.
Coinbase – will list assets only after they are listed on GDAX. An ERC20 asset will be added to GDAX after taking into account liquidity, price, stability, and other market health metrics. Listing on GDAX does not guarantee listing on Coinbase. Support for for ERC20 will enable safe recovery of customer’s ERC20 assets inadvertently sent to Coinbase Ethereum addresses.
Coinbase Commerce has no plans for ERC20 support at this time.