Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong announced that the exchange will begin supporting the Lightning Network (LN), a major endorsement for Bitcoin to date, but also for Litecoin, which is backwards-compatible with BTC.

Being a layer-two (L2) technology, Bitcoin LN payments dramatically improve payment speeds, and are viewed as a realistic trade-off for affordable Bitcoin payments. In early August, the company announced that it was looking into Lightning Network support. On Wednesday, Armstrong said on X that its review was finished and that Coinbase has “made the decision to integrate Lightning”.

Armstrong praised Bitcoin too, calling it “the most important asset in crypto”. When discussing the Lightning review in August, he said “I’m all for payments taking off in Bitcoin”.

Lightning technology

The L2 technology is associated with the Bitcoin blockchain, but it is not strictly Bitcoin (by definition). Unbeknownst to most, the first LN transaction also took place on the Litecoin network, not Bitcoin. Since micropayments on the Bitcoin blockchain are not cost-effective, the LN network provides a more efficient and faster processing method.

While being a useful technology, some misconceptions about the trade-offs still persist in regards to the Lightning Network, as noted by LTCUnderground on X.

The Lightning Network’s use-case potentially shines in a world that’s transitioning from a fiat monetary regime to one that’s governed by various money-over-internet-protocols (MOIP), Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum being the most popular.

While the distinctions between L1 and L2 technology cannot be understated, the decision to integrate the Lightning Network could catalyse further adoption of Layer 2 technology among other exchanges.

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