Coinbase (COIN) is looking to add Bitcoin's Lightning network for payments as part of a broader plan to offer more cryptocurrency payments to users around the world.
“We’re looking into how to best add Lightning. It’s non-trivial, but I think worth doing. I’m all for payments taking off in Bitcoin,” CEO Brian Armstrong said on Wednesday. “Let’s build it together,” he added in response to a tweet by Jack Dorsey, founder of financial services company Block Inc.
The Lightning Network is a second layer for bitcoin (BTC) that uses micropayment channels between software providers called nodes to speed up payments on the Bitcoin blockchain for a low cost.
These channels allow two parties to lock up on-chain funds. It decreases network congestion by conducting several transactions separately and by then bundling every transaction into one when submitting to the main blockchain.
As of Wednesday, the Lightning network’s total capacity – or the total amount of bitcoin locked for payments across all channels – is 4,686.64 bitcoin, worth just over $138 million at current prices.
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