Coinbase Rolls Out Bitcoin’s Lightning Network

The integration comes thanks to a partnership with Lightspark.

By: Pedro Solimano Loading...

Coinbase Rolls Out Bitcoin’s Lightning Network

Coinbase rolled out support for Bitcoin’s Lightning Network today.

A blog post by Coinbase said that using the Lightning Network reduces the cost of sending BTC more than 20 times less the average 2% credit card charges, and an even larger fraction of the $30 paid by users on wire transfers.

“I’m thrilled to announce that Lightning is now live on Coinbase,” posted Viktor Bunin today, protocol specialist for Coinbase. “I could not be more proud of the team for shipping it so quickly. Growing Bitcoin adoption increases economic freedom in the world. This is my personal life mission and the mission for all of us at Coinbase.”

The integration was made possible thanks to a partnership with Lightspark, a private firm focused on enterprise-grade Lightning payments. It was founded by David Marcus, a former Facebook executive who led the now-defunct cryptocurrency project Diem.

According to CoinGecko, Coinbase is the fifth largest crypto exchange by 24-hour volume, and remains the largest platform to buy and sell digital assets in the United States.

Integrating the Lightning Network could help to see a massive influx of users to the protocol, along with Coinbase becoming one of Lightning Network’s top liquidity providers, creating a virtuous circle of additional users and additional capital flowing through channels.

According to Bunin, the crypto exchange began looking into adding support for the Lightning Network in August 2023, and made the final decision to add it into the company’s tech stack in September.

The Lightning Network is a Bitcoin Layer 2 that allows for users to send units of Bitcoin (known as satoshis) instantly and at near-zero cost. It was originally touted as the savior to Bitcoin’s scaling issues, but adoption has remained slow–due to concerns with usability, and the general sentiment that Bitcoin continues to be in a store-of-value phase.

Coinbase’s integration could help to buck the trend.