OKCoin becomes latest exchange to integrate Bitcoin's Lightning Network

OKCoin is in the process of integrating Bitcoin’s Lightning Network, the crypto exchange announced Friday. 

The integration, which is expected to be completed by the end of February, will give OKCoin customers the option to use the Lightning Network to deposit and withdraw funds from the exchange.

The Lighting Network integration is built for micropayments or smaller-sized transactions on the network. Currently, it costs about $10 to withdraw bitcoin on-chain, but the Lightning network integration could bring this fee down to as low as 1 cent, depending on the routing and liquidity of the network. The integration could also cut the time it takes to make withdrawals.

According to OKCoin CEO Hong Fang, the integration comes amid an increasing number of nodes on the platform as well as the rise in bitcoin prices, which has increased transaction fees. Fang said she hopes to give OKCoin customers an alternative option through the integration. 

“We always firmly believe that the direction of our industry is to go more tech-driven, use more technology solutions to enable 101 transactions, p2p transactions, more privacy, and more decentralization, us included,” she told The Block. “We want to be able to offer those more cutting edge services to our customers.”

OKCoin will join several other exchanges including Kraken, which announced it would launch support for the network later this year. 

Fang added that while she believes it will take time for the adoption of the Lightning Network to pick up, she said feels positive and constructive about building this second layer on top of bitcoin. 

“Bitcoin would not have been successful without all the stakeholders in that ecosystem contributing to it in different capacities, whether they are miners, traders, exchanges, developers. I would say the same for lightning. The more participants in the network, the more powerful it will become. We are just one of the participants,” she said.