Coinbase adding support for ERC-20 tokens could be the bull signal we are waiting for

Coinbase’s native Ethereum app, Toshi wallet, has recently come out with an important announcement regarding the project. The development team has apparently been working hard and as a result the platform introduced support for Ethereum testnets and custom ERC-20 tokens. One of questions that arose from this is: What does this development mean for ERC standard’s future on Coinbase?

Before we answer it, let’s review what the actual effects of this latest development are. Toshi wallet now supports Kovan, Rinkeby and Ropsten test networks. Past wallet installments used to run a separate developer client for the Ropsten but have decided to merge it into the main platform for increased convenience. While the wallet also automatically shows the most popular ERC 20 tokens on the market, users now have the option to manually add tokens that haven’t been added into the Toshi database yet.

Toshi wallet is an open source browser, messaging app and a dApp browser developed by a group of San Francisco crypto enthusiasts that also had their hands in the development of Coinbase. It has so far focused on storing and managing ERC 20 and ERC 721 token standard, with plans to expand their enterprise further into other popular cryptocurrencies. However, considering its Coinbase roots, Toshi fans and owners have asked that the platform expands their portfolio beyond the Ethereum standard. It is likely that other coins which are currently available for purchase on the San Francisco-based exchange, like Bitcoin and Litecoin, will be added to Toshi soon enough.

For now, Toshi’s focus remains on the ERC 20 and ERC 761 tokens but they have announced plans to expand in the future. Just as a reminder, both standards present smart contract-based tokens with the distinction that ERC 20 represents fungible (each unit is the same as other units) tradable goods, while ERC 761 tokens represents non-fungible (each token has unique characteristics) tradable goods. Coins like EOS and Tron (pre-mainnet) were perfect examples of the ERC 20 standard; Cryptokitties are a great example of ERC 761.


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This announcement comes on the back of Coinbase confirming its intention to add ERC 20 and ERC 761 tokens to its portfolio in the future. The official statement of Coinbase released on June 12, read:

“We have previously announced our intention to support the ERC20 technical standard and Bitcoin forks. We will announce the intention to add specific assets within those categories prior to final engineering integration. This is consistent with our public process for adding new assets.”

With Toshi fully operational, some see it as the testing grounds to fully include Ethereum standard on the Coinbase platform. For now Coinbase remains reluctant to expand, possibly from fear of SEC ruling that ETH and its subtokens will be treated as securities. Recent words from William Hinman, Director of Corporate Finance at the SEC, suggest this fear might be groundless after all:

“And putting aside the fundraising that accompanied the creation of Ether, based on my understanding of the present state of Ether, the Ethereum network and its decentralized structure, current offers and sales of Ether are not securities transactions. And, as with Bitcoin, applying the disclosure regime of the federal securities laws to current transactions in Ether would seem to add little value.”

The legal future of the token standard seems bright from where we stand; we will have to wait and see if Coinbase feels the same way, but all the signs imply that it will.

To sum it up…

legally and technology-wise, Coinbase is ready to add support for ERC tokens, it is now a matter of management decision which ones and when will be the new coins added to the most popular crypto platform. The market is ripe to make an upturn, it just needs a small spark to instigate the run.

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Dobrica Blagojevic
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