Global cryptocurrency exchange OKEx is moving to cheaper and faster Bitcoin (BTC) transactions with upcoming Lightning Network integration.

According to an announcement released on Tuesday, OKEx’s Bitcoin Lightning Network will be integrated “in the next quarter,” making OKEx a member of the Lightning Network.

The integration will allow OKEx users to select the Lightning Network option when depositing and withdrawing BTC, and aims to reduce transaction fees and time.

The Lightning Network is a comprehensive second-step solution and payment protocol based on the top of the Bitcoin blockchain. The protocol was proposed by Joseph Bonn and Tadeusz Dreya in 2015 in an effort to solve the scalability issue with Bitcoin. According to cryptocurrency analysis website BitInfoCharts, the average bitcoin transaction fee exceeded $ 15 on Monday.

Since the lightning network itself is not a blockchain, but rather a secondary level, the solution has been used primarily for small or even small transactions. To solve this problem, Lightning Labs introduced so-called “Wumbo” channels in August 2020 to allow nodes to service larger transactions while reducing network fees. The word Wumbo, which appears to mean “large,” is a nod to an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants. These channels are so named because they exceed the 0.1677 BTC ($ 5,800) limit.

OKEx isn’t the only cryptocurrency exchange platform experimenting with Bitcoin Lightning Network. In July 2019, European cryptocurrency exchange Bitstamp created the Lightning Network Node to expand the network’s capabilities. Another global exchange, Bitfinex, reportedly became the first cryptocurrency exchange to allow fast payments in December 2019. In September 2020, Bitfinex announced support for the Wumbo Lightning Network channels to allow customers to deposit and withdraw large amounts of Bitcoin.

As Lightning Labs expands the Lightning Network’s features, more and more crypto exchange platforms have switched to protocol integration in recent months. In December 2020, Kraken, a major US cryptocurrency exchange, announced that it would also integrate the Bitcoin Lightning network in 2021. OKCoin also recently announced its plans to merge the network in the first quarter of 2021.

Source: CoinTelegraph