In this edition of ICON Weekly, we’ll discuss ICON’s Rosetta integration, and its potential impact on a future ICX listing on Coinbase.

“When Coinbase?”

This question has plagued the ICON subreddit and Telegram channel since the dawn of time. Now that ICON’s Rosetta integration is in the final stages of development, it’s finally possible for ICX to be listed on Coinbase.

Rosetta was developed by Coinbase as a middleware for interacting with different blockchains using a standardized API format. For example, in order to get the data for the latest block on ICON, you’d make a JSON-RPC request to an ICON node using the icx_getLastBlock method.

On another blockchain, let’s say Ethereum, the method for the JSON-RPC request is eth_getBlockByNumber. Furthermore, the JSON data returned by icx_getLastBlock and eth_getBlockByNumber may not be formatted in the same way, which means Coinbase would have to build a custom parsing engine for every supported asset. This isn’t necessarily a problem if you’re only supporting a few assets, but it can quickly become a real issue as you scale up the number of supported assets.

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Rosetta standardizes API calls across blockchains, so that a request to /block on ICON’s Rosetta integration and Ethereum’s Rosetta integration will return block data in a standardized format. This makes it easier for Coinbase to list and manage assets because they don’t need to maintain backend systems for each blockchain. Instead, they can use a standardized middleware that’s developed and maintained by the core teams behind listed assets.

In other words, not only does Rosetta make it easier for Coinbase to manage their internal systems, it also helps Coinbase optimize their manpower by offloading Rosetta integrations to third party developers. Lastly, since Rosetta actively helps Coinbase optimize their resources, it’s safe to say that assets with a valid Rosetta integration are more likely to be listed on Coinbase.

As for ICON’s Rosetta integration, it’s currently in the final phases of development. The ICON developers have finished the “reference implementation of Rosetta”, and it will be pushed to the Rosetta team for review following the upgrade to icon-service 1.8.0 later this week.

Does this mean ICX will be listed on Coinbase?

Not exactly. While Rosetta is most likely a necessary component of a Coinbase listing, it’s not a guarantee. At this time, Coinbase listings are conducted via the Asset Hub. Unfortunately, the Asset Hub landing page doesn’t include any information on listing requirement. However, we do have Coinbase’s “Digital Asset Framework” from 2017 to refer to, and from my perspective, ICON passes with flying colors.

Personally, I think the future looks bright for an ICX listing on Coinbase.