OKEx has announced that it’s going to integrate the Bitcoin Lightning Network — a move that it believes will reduce transaction fees substantially.
The crypto exchange says it’s one of the first major exchanges to support this Layer 2 scaling solution, adding that the integration will be complete by March.
According to OKEx, the Lightning Network uses smart contracts on Bitcoin’s blockchain to ensure payments across the network are instantaneous.
Figures from the trading platform suggest that the average Bitcoin on-chain fee currently stands at more than $10 — and transactions take up to 30 minutes to complete.
By contrast, OKEx says Lightning enables Bitcoin to be sent and received “in near real time at next to no cost.”
As part of the announcement, OKEx will become a participant node — and the exchange’s users will be able to select the Lightning Network option whenever they are making deposits and withdrawals. The company’s CEO, Jay Hao, said:
“We are always looking for new ways of decreasing user transaction fees and times. By integrating Layer 2 payment protocols like the Lightning Network, we can offer more competitive products to our users and, at the same time, openly demonstrate our support for the Bitcoin network by increasing the number of participant nodes in the Lightning Network.”
Lightning Labs co-founder Elizabeth Stark was equally enthusiastic — and said OKEx’s integration “will help bring Bitcoin to the next billion people around the world.”
The integration could prove significant, as scalability concerns are often cited as one of the biggest hurdles holding the crypto industry back from mainstream adoption.
Bitcoin’s Layer 1 network can only handle about five transactions per second on average — hundreds of times less than the likes of Visa.
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