Crypto Exchange Gemini Upgrades Wallet With Full SegWit Support

Announcements, News | April 18, 2019 By:

Gemini, a New York-based crypto exchange founded by the Winklevoss twins, has added full support for Segregated Witness (SegWit) to its wallet infrastructure.

SegWit is one of the well-known protocol upgrades of bitcoin that was activated in 2017. The main purpose of the protocol was to fix a bug that was discovered in the bitcoin code – Transaction Malleability – which allowed users to alter small details that changed the transaction ID, thereby blocking the development of the second-layer protocol and other features. SegWit fixed the bug by separating the witness from the list of inputs. The witness contains data required to check transaction validity but is not required to determine transaction effects.

In a blog post, Gemini said that it has upgraded its wallet infrastructure that handles bitcoin transactions. The upgraded wallet includes support for SegWit addresses and transaction batching. According to Gemini, SegWit addresses, which begin with bc1, can now be used for bitcoin deposits and withdrawals

“Some other bitcoin exchanges and custodians have offered partial SegWit support (withdrawals and legacy P2SH-style addresses) since early 2018, but Gemini is the first major exchange to launch full support of SegWit, complete with native SegWit deposit addresses,” the company said. “We think it’s the right time to make this change, though there will still be some growing pains. Notably, while some block explorers are capable of tracking native SegWit addresses, the support varies widely from one solution to another.”

As SegWit’s use, support, and adoption grows, Gemini believes that it will help reduce fees, wait times, and network congestion.

“We believe SegWit will become the standard, and in doing so, will create extensive benefits for all participants on the bitcoin network,” Gemini said. “Given the level of community adoption — and ecosystem support — we now recommend that all Gemini customers move to using SegWit addresses. After extensive testing and development, we know that launching SegWit support is the right decision for our customers at the right time.”