Brian Armstrong, the CEO and founder of the leading cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, has revealed the company’s intention to incorporate the Lightning Network (LN) – a second-layer scaling protocol for Bitcoin. In response to Block CEO Jack Dorsey’s query about Coinbase’s stance on the Lightning Network and Bitcoin, Armstrong highlighted that Coinbase has been a major gateway for Bitcoin adoption.
Armstrong’s comments follow a public query by Jack Dorsey on Twitter, pressing him on Coinbase’s apparent reluctance towards embracing the Lightning Network. Dorsey probed, “Why do you continue to ignore Bitcoin and Lightning? What ‘crypto’ is a better money transmission protocol and why?” Responding, Armstrong clarified that Coinbase hadn’t overlooked Bitcoin and expressed:
“Not sure why you think we’re ignoring Bitcoin, we’ve onboarded more people to Bitcoin than probably any company in the world.”
On September 12, 2023, Armstrong further expanded on the matter, announcing that the integration of the LN into Coinbase is underway. Sharing the news on social media platform X, he praised his team’s efforts and voiced optimism about the potential of the Lightning Network to expedite and economize Bitcoin transactions. Armstrong communicated, “Bitcoin is the most important asset in crypto, and we’re excited to do our part to enable faster/cheaper bitcoin transactions. Will take some time to integrate, so please be patient.”
The Lightning Network hasn’t been without its detractors, facing criticisms for various reasons. Notably, despite being in existence for over seven years, the Lightning Network remains labeled as beta software in 2023. Skeptics doubt its scalability potential, with some establishments ceasing support for the protocol. However, staunch LN advocates argue its indispensability in broadening Bitcoin’s reach. In July 2023, the LN’s transactional capacity scaled to unprecedented heights, though it has since retreated by more than 12%.