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Coinbase confirmation requirement changes for Bitcoin and Litecoin

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Coinbase confirmation requirement change for Bitcoin and Litecoin

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Transactions on Coinbase are now subject to new confirmation requirements. Bitcoin, Litecoin among other top proof-of-work currencies will be subject to change in their network confirmations confirmed the San Francisco cryptocurrency exchange.

According to a blogpost published on November 9, Bitcoin, Litecoin, Zcash and Ethereum Classic will see a change in the requirements to confirm transactions within the Coinbase ecosystem. The change was made in order to “improve customer experience,” and “security posture,” added the exchange.

Source: Coinbase, Medium

Previously Bitcoin required 6 network confirmations for a transaction to be verified, the new change brings down the count to 3. Ethereum Classic saw its confirmation count drop from 5,676 to 3,527 as did ZEC, from 18 to 12. Litecoin was the only currency that had an increase in its network confirmations from 6 to 12.

The earlier confirmation requirements for most of the aforementioned cryptocurrencies were decided in 2018, when Coinbase failed to have a “consistent approach that informed each currency’s requirement,” the exchange admitted. This lead to,

“This resulted in a situation where some assets may have had an overly conservative confirmation requirement, and some assets where the confirmation requirement may have been too low.”

Coinbase added that it was “safe,” to decrease the requirements for BTC, ZEC and ETC allowing customer deposits in these digital currencies to be confirmed quicker than previously. On the other hand, Litecoin’s confirmation count was increased to 12 as it decreased the risk of a 51 percent attack.

In order for a transaction to move from “Pending,” to “Confirmed,” it has to be confirmed by network confirmations, which varies depending on the digital currency. The confirmation will let customers know that a transaction cannot be reversed and the funds, in question can be withdrawn if required.

Since the exchange runs its own nodes in communication with the rest of the cryptocurrency’s network, when a transaction is commenced, Coinbase can broadcast it to the network for transaction confirmation. However, the exchange’s nodes may “lose sync,” with the network albeit for a short period of time, not lasting more than an hour, after which it will eventually go through and will be confirmed by the exchange.

Usual causes of a transaction being “Unconfirmed,” on Coinbase can be sending a relatively small amount and not paying the required fees, in the case of double-spend of same quantity and kind of coin [however, Coinbase attests that this should not occur under “normal conditions”], spending unconfirmed coins [which are “Pending,” in the sender’s account] and during cases of high volume on the network.


Aakash is a full-time cryptocurrency journalist at AMBCrypto covering primarily the US market. A graduate in Finance and Economics, his writing is centered around regulation and institutional investment within the cryptocurrency space. He is also an aspiring triathlete.
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