Coinbase to integrate Bitcoin Lightning Network in bid to drive adoption

After more than a month of public deliberations, Coinbase has finally decided to integrate Bitcoin’s Lightning Network onto its exchange platform.

CEO Brian Armstrong said Tuesday that his publicly-listed company would do its part to advance “faster / cheaper” transactions, made possible by the technology’s design.

“Bitcoin is the most important asset in crypto,” Armstrong said in a post on X, formerly Twitter. A timeframe for the integration was not provided. Coinbase declined Blockworks’ request for comment.

Following in the footsteps of Jack Dorsey’s Cash App and David Marcus’ Lightspark, the development on Tuesday adds yet another step in the slow march toward the adoption of bitcoin payments — a core concept initially intended for the 14-year-old crypto.

The Lightning Network is a layer-2 solution built on top of the Bitcoin blockchain that aims to enable fast and scalable transactions. 

In essence, Lightning allows two parties to open a payment channel between them, bypassing the need to record every single transaction on the Bitcoin blockchain.

Read more: Binance boosts Bitcoin Lightning Network with promised integration

It was originally conceived to address some of the scalability issues inherent in Bitcoin’s design, such as high fees and slow transaction times during periods of higher network activity.

Early last month, Armstrong flagged that his company would begin exploring how to best add Lightning, calling the idea “non-trivial” but “worth doing.”

“Not sure why you think we’re ignoring Bitcoin — we’ve onboarded more people to Bitcoin than probably any company in the world,” the CEO said at the time in response to public questions from Dorsey.

“I’m all for payments taking off in bitcoin,” Armstrong said last month.

Dorsey’s Block subsidiary, Cash App, announced additional Lightning support for Bitcoin in October of last year following initial integration eight months earlier.

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