Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong, chief executive at one of the world’s largest crypto asset exchanges, broke his longstanding silence on Bitcoin today, offering rare words of enthusiasm for the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market value.
In a post on X, Armstrong announced that Coinbase is moving to enable user access to the Bitcoin Lightning Network, a layer-two scaling solution that allows Bitcoin to be used for faster consumer payments and deferred settlement, with the company formally dedicating engineer Viktor Bunin to the effort.
He stated, “Bitcoin is the most important asset in crypto, and we’re excited to do our part to enable faster [and] cheaper Bitcoin transactions.”
The move to integrate the Lightning Network into Coinbase’s platform underscores the growing significance of the Lightning Network, a scaling solution that Armstrong originally opposed. Armstrong was a notable backer of movements to increase the Bitcoin block size, often voicing his dissatisfaction to Bitcoin Core developers.
Still, Armstrong’s acknowledgment of Bitcoin as the “most important” asset in crypto is a significant endorsement of the leading cryptocurrency’s role in the industry.
Despite the proliferation of thousands of cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin remains the flagship digital asset, often referred to as “digital gold” for its store of value properties and widespread adoption.
The decision to integrate the Lightning Network aligns with Coinbase’s commitment to improving the usability of Bitcoin for its users. By reducing transaction fees and speeding up transaction confirmation times, Coinbase aims to enhance the overall Bitcoin experience for its millions of customers.
However, Armstrong cautioned that the integration would take some time to complete, urging users to be patient. Already, major US exchanges like Kraken have integrated Lightning, helping users save on fees during times of network congestion.
The crypto community has largely welcomed this development, as it is expected to significantly improve the practicality of Bitcoin as a medium of exchange. The Lightning Network’s growth has been steadily increasing, with more nodes and channels being added to the network, enhancing its scalability and usability.
This move may set a precedent for other major cryptocurrency exchanges to follow suit, further cementing Bitcoin’s status within the industry.