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Our process for adding new assets to Coinbase & GDAX (March 2018 update)

By Author


, March 16, 2018

, 3 min read time

We’ve received feedback from customers that they want more assets on Coinbase. Building on our previous post, we want to share additional information about how we manage the process of adding new assets to our platform. By sharing this information, we hope to provide transparency into our process and increase customer trust.

Our current process for adding new assets to Coinbase:

  1. An internal asset selection committee uses our Digital Asset Framework to make an initial recommendation of which new asset to add to GDAX. As part of this process, the committee will conduct a legal and risk assessment of the proposed asset.

  2. If the asset passes by the legal and risk review, the recommended asset is presented to the Coinbase executive team for approval.

  3. If approved by the executive team, the asset selection committee promptly announces which new asset will be added to our platform. This decision is announced both internally and to the public via our blog and Twitter.

  4. The engineering team begins the technical integration needed to support the new asset. Customers can expect to see public-facing APIs and other signs that the asset is being added.

  5. An announcement is made via our blog and Twitter when we begin final testing of the technical integration.

  6. An announcement is made via our blog and Twitter when the integration is complete and we are ready to allow deposits of the asset. We will always allow at least 24 hours of deposits before opening an order book for a new asset.

  7. After evaluating factors such as liquidity, price stability, and other market health metrics, the internal asset selection committee may choose to add the asset to the Coinbase platform.

We’ve assembled some frequently asked questions by customers:

Have you made any decisions for adding new assets?

No. As of March 16, 2018, we have not made any decisions for adding new assets. The internal asset selection committee has been assessing assets using our Digital Asset Framework, but no assets have been recommended to the Coinbase executive team.

What criteria does Coinbase use when considering new assets to add?

The GDAX Digital Asset Framework highlights our criteria for supporting new assets.

Will Coinbase list all the top assets by market capitalization?

No. We will only consider assets that pass our Digital Asset Framework.

Will all assets listed on GDAX also be listed on Coinbase?

Not necessarily. We currently believe that over the next few years, GDAX will likely have more assets listed on the platform than the Coinbase platform. However, all assets listed on GDAX will be part of the Coinbase Index and Coinbase Index Fund.

Are there trading and confidentiality restrictions for members of the asset selection committee?

Yes. These individuals are subject to additional confidentiality and trading restrictions beyond the standard employee confidentiality and trading policy, including heightened disclosure and pre-clearance obligations. Committee members, like all other employees, are prohibited from trading on the basis of material non-public information.

Does this process apply to forked or airdropped assets?

Yes, but with the variation that we may offer a forked or airdropped asset in withdrawal-only mode, e.g. similar to how we allowed customers to withdraw Ethereum Classic (ETC).

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