Cryptocurrency exchange OKCoin has announced that it will be integrating Bitcoin’s Lightning Network to enable faster and cheaper transfers for users by running a Lightning node that can route transactions to other nodes in the network. It expects the integration to be complete in three to four weeks.
In a release shared with Bitcoin Magazine, OKCoin said that this would reduce bitcoin transaction fees from about $10 to about 1 cent and reduce deposit and withdrawal times from 10 to 60 minutes to a matter of seconds.
“The Lightning Network, like Bitcoin, requires a network of nodes and adoption of the technology to perform to the best of its capabilities,” Hong Fang, OKCoin’s CEO, said in the release. “As part of our analysis of the technology, we assessed the strength and quality of the nodes and now feel the network is strong enough to participate as an exchange with a high volume of withdrawals and deposits a day.”
In addition to the efficiency benefits to be realized by users, OKCoin indicated that the decision was motivated by its desire to foster Bitcoin development.
“We have been a bitcoin exchange since 2013 and while we are excited about DeFi and other assets, we know bitcoin is the foundation of the entire industry,” the release stated. “Bitcoin’s network is often congested and has high transaction fees, particularly during bull markets. This eliminates that issue and opens up the possibility of micropayments for Bitcoin commerce.”
OKCoin also noted the privacy-preserving benefits that off-chain Lightning payments can bring for its users and highlighted the smaller, sat-denominated transactions that the Lightning Network enables.
“We hope other blockchain companies follow suit and lift the whole industry up by speeding up bitcoin payments,” Fang said.