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US-based crypto exchange Coinbase has taken a major step forward in the digital payments space by introducing support for the Bitcoin Lightning Network. This allows users to make instant and cheaper Bitcoin transfers. 

According to Tuesday’s announcement, the integration of Lightning Network into Coinbase aligns with the company’s goal of creating a “global payment system that is affordable and fast for its users.” 

Previously, Bitcoin transfers on Coinbase were processed on-chain, which often took a “significant” amount of time, ranging from 10 minutes to 2 hours, and was more expensive.

In contrast, the Lightning Network, which operates as a layer on top of the Bitcoin blockchain, enables fast off-chain Bitcoin transfers at a fraction of the cost.

The exchange further pointed out that the Lightning Network has experienced steady growth since its inception in 2017, generating increased demand from Coinbase’s customer base. 

With this latest integration, Coinbase users can perform instant Bitcoin transactions directly from their Coinbase accounts via the Lightning Network, including sending, receiving, and making payments. Coinbase stated on the matter:

Bitcoin is one of the most important assets in crypto and since our inception, we’ve continued to support the Bitcoin ecosystem through our exchange and numerous investments through Coinbase Ventures. Adding support for Lightning furthers the growth of the crypto ecosystem by increasing everyday utility for millions of Coinbase customers.

Regional Limitations Apply Coinbase’s partner company, Lightspark, was pleased with the launch, emphasizing the role of the Lightning Network in enabling Coinbase customers to instantly send, receive, and transact with Bitcoin directly from their Coinbase accounts powered by Lightspark. 

It is important to note that Coinbase’s Lightning Network integration may not be available in all regions, and the cost comparison between Lightning Network and the traditional Bitcoin network may not apply universally to all transfers. The announcement concluded by stating the following:

Coinbase is excited to continue revolutionizing the traditional payments system with crypto. Faster and cheaper access to money is critical to bridging gaps in accessing financial tools, especially for underbanked and unbanked communities. These blockchain-based innovations will unlock capital that is caught up in unnecessary fees and settlement delays, allowing consumers and businesses to do more with their money.

The daily chart shows that BTC’s price is trending downward. Source: BTCUSD on TradingView.com As of the time of writing, BTC has been undergoing a significant downturn following its peak of $67,300 within the past week. It has declined to the $60,700 mark, signifying a substantial decrease in price over broader timeframes. 

Over the past seven days, BTC has experienced an 8% decline, while the past thirty days have seen a drop of over 13%. However, it is important to note that despite these recent fluctuations, the leading cryptocurrency has maintained an impressive year-to-date increase of 107%.

Featured image from Shutterstock, chart from TradingView.com

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Ronaldo Marquez Ronaldo is a seasoned crypto enthusiast with over four years of experience in the field. He is passionate about exploring the vast and dynamic world of decentralized finance (DeFi) and its practical applications for achieving economic sovereignty. Ronaldo is constantly seeking to expand his knowledge and expertise in the DeFi space, as he believes it holds tremendous potential for transforming the traditional financial landscape.

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