Lightning Network supporters may soon have another exchange to call home as the largest CEX (centralized exchange) in North America, Coinbase, announced it was looking into integrating the second layer protocol. The decision was met with encouragement from the crypto community as there have been steady calls for Coinbase to make the move to the Lightning network over the last few months.
One interaction involved then Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey. In a post, he asked Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong why he “continues to ignore” the Lightning Network as the best option. He also questioned what crypto serves a better purpose as currency than Bitcoin.
It turns out that the people's request didn't fall on deaf ears. Armstrong responded that Coinbase wasn't ignoring the world's first coin before stating that Coinbase has “onboarded more people to Bitcoin than anyone.” He then spoke on the need for an “open” internet currency that was agnostic to governments and states.
Coinbase users may soon be able to leverage the second layer protocol to improve their trading experience. According to company documentation, the Lightning Network will help to reduce costs associated with deposits and withdrawals. Notably, LN transactions cost only a fraction of Bitcoin mainnet transactions.
Armstrong isn't alone in his belief that the Lightning Network can make Coinbase better. The main engineer for the network integration, Viktor Bunin, has expressed optimism about the maneuver. He has already publicly told the community that the research and approval of the integration will take some time and that “patience” would be needed to ensure the security and functionality of the new options.
Coinbase's decision to mull over the integration of the Lightning Network comes on the heels of several other massive CEXs including Bitfinex, River Financial, OKX, Kraken, and CoinCorner making the same move.
Binance, the world's largest exchange in terms of trading volume, completed its Lightning Network integration last month with great success. Users are now enjoying massive savings and fewer delays when depositing and withdrawing their Bitcoin.
If the Coinbase integration is similar to Binance's move, it will include an easy-to-use Lightning Network option directly in the main interface. Simplicity is one of Coinbase's strong points, and with executives speaking of making the process as simple as possible, the Lightning Network is the answer.
The Lightning Network's unique structure reduces transaction times and fees considerably. As such, it adds a huge competitive advantage for Bitcoin traders whenever it's integrated into a platform. Now that both Binance and Coinbase will support the technology, it's likely more exchanges will need to follow suit to remain competitive.
Bitcoin for Daily Use
One recurring theme that Coinbase shares with other exchanges is that there is a strong movement to integrate tools to support daily Bitcoin use on a large scale. The Lightning Network is the perfect solution for this problem. It has already been proven as it is now legal tender in El Salvador.
Coinbase – Walk Towards the Light
Coinbase will have to pick up the pace to ensure it doesn't fall behind in the race to provide exchange clients with more flexibility and efficiency. The sheer size of the exchange will provide a huge boost for the Lightning Network and help to further Bitcoin adoption by making transactions more reasonable.