BitMEX Bitcoin Derivatives Platform Adds Segwit Withdrawals Author: Ali Raza Last Updated: 12 December 2019 BitMEX has recently made an announcement regarding new additions to one of the largest Bitcoin derivative-based exchange platforms there is. BitMEX will now introduce support for Bitcoin Bech32 addresses, better known as SegWit addresses. Adding Smart Solutions With this new update, BitMEX’s announcement claims that it will save on transaction fees and contribute to a less bloated Bitcoin blockchain network. Bech32 Bitcoin addresses make use of a Segregated Witness (SegWit) address format that was explained in the Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP) number 0173. SegWit technology was already implemented back in 2017. However, several cryptocurrency platforms have been dragging their feet to capitalize on the new technology. Bech32 Ease of Use The Bech32 address format always starts with the alphanumeric characters of “bc1” and provides protection against accidental typing errors. The format also helps with addressing transaction malleability. Segwit helps the Bitcoin blockchain further by increasing the maximum block size limit. This effectively increases the transaction capacity while simultaneously reducing fees. Bitmex claims that doing a typical transaction from a Bech32 address has the potential of saving the sender anything from 17% to a whopping 37% in fees. BitMEX already makes use of Pay to Script Hash (P2SH) addresses for deposits, something they will continue to do due to the exchange’s multi-signature wallet solution. Even so, the company has made it clear that it was in the process of developing the SegWit solution for its wallets as well. Upgrading an exchange to SegWit addresses is commonly seen as highly desirable within the majority of the Bitcoin community. The beneficial effects stretch further than the lesser transaction fees, adding to the Bitcoin network’s overall “health.” Another major cryptocurrency exchange that has implemented SegWit on its platform is Bitfinex. Bitfinex enabled it on both their deposits and withdrawals. A Growing Support The number of SegWit transactions that are being done on the blockchain network has recently surpassed the 50% mark. That percentage is only increasing, most likely due to the massive crypto exchanges testing and implementing SegWit support to their various platforms. Transactionfee.info states that the percentages of transactions that make use of SegWit addresses have been as high as 58% back in the start of October. As it stands now, the current percentage reads at 56% As more and more large crypto exchanges start to implement support for SegWit for its distinct advantages of speed and lesser transaction fees, it’s only a matter of time before SegWit is entirely accepted in the Bitcoin network.