Gemini bitcoin exchange upgrades wallet with full support of SegWit

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Gemini, the US bitcoin exchange headqaurtered in New York, confirmed today that it has introduced support for Segregated Witness (SegWit) addresses and transaction batching. Current clients and customers have already noticed SegWit addresses — which begin with bc1 — can now be used for bitcoin deposits and withdrawals.

Both of these improvements required end-to-end integration through Gemini’s online and offline signing systems. Updates to Gemini’s wallet infrastructure that handles bitcoin transactions was performed last month. The upgrades deliver major improvements to customers. This launch of the new wallet infrstructure was the conclusion of a year-long effort to support new cryptocurrencies, improve customer experience, and adopt best practices for network usage.

The first Gemini wallet, which was deployed in 2014, was built for market conditions back then. As the market evolved, so did the wallet’s needs: the company needed software capable of supporting a fee market, multiple networks, and multiple cryptocurrencies.

For this, the Gemini team pursued new tools and partnered with Chris Stewart, the developer of bitcoin-s, to add support for each of its to be implemented cryptocurrencies. In 2018, Gemini launched support for Zcash, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash using a more robust, modernized crypto wallet infrastructure.

Gemini is one of the first major exchange companies to launch full support of SegWit. Introduced back in 2017, SegWit allows digital signature information to be stored separately (or segregated) from its transaction data. Without signatures, bitcoin transactions take up around 30–40% less size, thus taking up less “block space” on the network and reducing the transaction fee. As block space is limited, any decrease in transaction size allows for more transactions per block and greater overall throughput in the network.

“We believe SegWit will become the standard, and in doing so, will create extensive benefits for all participants on the Bitcoin network. 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.”

Brian KimJohnson, Gemini Software Engineer



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