Coinbase integrates Lightning Network for Bitcoin transactions

Coinbase integrates Lightning Network for Bitcoin transactions


Coinbase has begun supporting the Bitcoin Lightning Network, providing users the choice between Lightning and the Bitcoin network when transferring Bitcoin (BTC).

By using the layer-2 Lightning Network, Coinbase customers can transfer Bitcoin more quickly and cheaply than transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain. To use the Lightning Network, the intended recipient sends an invoice consisting of a lengthy string of characters that Coinbase will recognize as the amount of the transfer.

Example of a Lightning Network invoice. Source: Coinbase

Transfers on Lightning are “instant,” in contrast to transfers on the Bitcoin network that may take from 10 minutes to 2 hours because of the limited number of transactions per second the Bitcoin network processes. However, “sends via Lightning to some self-custody wallets may take multiple hours or fail due to unique implementations or fee structures,” Coinbase warned on April 30.

Coinbase will charge a processing fee of 0.1% of the transfer amount for senders.

Related: Lightning devs must ‘wake up’ and fix security bugs, not please VCs — Bitcoin dev

Coinbase chose Lightning payments solution provider Lightspark as a partner for the integration. That company is headed by former PayPal president David Marcus, who called the partnership “a pivotal milestone in our shared goal of providing real solutions for Internet payments.”

Lightspark explained on its website that Coinbase is using “remote-key signing implementation — with the Lightning signing keys entirely held by Coinbase, while Lightspark hosts their Lightning node.”

Source: Jack Dorsey

Coinbase protocol specialist Viktor Bunin stated in an X post that the cryptocurrency exchange began considering Lightning in August, but he added in a statement to cryptodirectories that they had been evaluating the network for years, and:

“The key drivers in our decision were the continued growth and adoption of Lightning, maturity of the underlying technology and our goal to get onchain payments down to 1 second and costing 1 cent.”

The integration is “another huge milestone for the ecosystem,” Bunin said.

Source: Sam Wouters

Coinbase is among the world’s largest BTC exchanges. Many of its competitors have already added Lightning to their services. Binance added Lightning in July 2023, while Kraken added it in 2022, and Bitfinex in late 2019.

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