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Coinbase suspends ETH, ERC20 withdrawals

The Coinbase public listing week is off to a rocky start. The company announced today it was temporarily disabling withdrawals for Ethereum-based tokens ERC20 and ETH today, less than 24 hours after Coinbase (NASDAQ: COIN) shares hit the market.

The decision appears to have been made following issues with Ethereum’s ‘Berlin’ network upgrade, which took place yesterday. According to Coinbase Support, the upgrade has caused enough issues for Coinbase to need to suspend withdrawals of ETH and ERC20 entirely.

The upgrade, named for the city in which Ethereum’s first DevCon was hosted, incorporates four proposals concerning the “gas” cost associated with certain transactions as well as enabling new transaction types. The upgrade was originally meant to take place mid-2020, but ironically the decision was made to postpone deployment over concerns over centralisation.

The timing is not great for either Coinbase digital currency exchange or Ethereum. Downtime of any kind for one of the more recognizable digital assets is a bad look for Coinbase so soon after going public, especially since shares ended their first day 14% lower than their opening price. For this to happen at the same time as excitement over the Ethereum upgrade has caused enjoying a sharp run-up in price over recent weeks is also unfortunate.

The issue was first announced 4:52 PDT, according to Coinbase’s support page and was still being worked on at the time of writing.

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