Business

Erik Gibbs

Transaction batching could be coming to Coinbase

One of the supposed reasons that cryptocurrency adoption hasn’t happened at a quicker pace is due to certain limitations on how transactions are managed. The Bitcoin ecosystem is still evolving, though, and a recent update announced by Coinbase is expected to help facilitate further adoption more rapidly. Transaction batching could soon be offered by the crypto exchange.

Batch transactions were first mentioned as becoming a reality on Coinbase over a year and a half ago. However, at the end of May, no more progress had been announced. Then, the CEO of Bitrefill, Sergej Kotliar, shot off a notice to Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong accusing him of mismanaging transaction infrastructure.

Kotliar said on Twitter, “First, @Coinbase, still don’t batch their sending transactions, which eats up a significant % of mempool space to no benefit.

“CEO @brian_armstrong said in Jan 2018 in a [now-deleted] tweet that they were actively working on it.”

It took five days, but Armstrong finally replied to the tweet, stating, “Batched transactions should be coming out in a few months. Embarrassing how long it has taken, turns out there is a lot of stuff to build in a growing company.”

The issue is that, by not batching large amounts of transactions, Coinbase has to use a serious amount of Mempool, which slows down the entire network. However, whether or not Armstrong is actually working to make the improvement will only be revealed with time.

Coinbase has had to deal with bad press due to its own missteps more than a few times over its seven-year history. It was called out for slow customer support several years ago and has seen a number of key personnel abandon ship for other companies. It then decided to acquire Neutrino, a move for which the company was almost immediately lambasted. Neutrino’s founders have ties to hackers that have been used by governments to spy on their citizens, and could also have been involved, through information dissemination, in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Coinbase ultimately backed down and eliminated the Neutrino team.

If Armstrong doesn’t follow through with his public assertion, it could be another strike against Coinbase. There is already a growing community that would like to see Coinbase eliminated and who have started the “#deletecoinbase” movement, driven primarily by the Neutrino acquisition. However, it can’t afford to continue irritating those that are allowing it to survive.

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