Brian Armstrong on Bitcoin Lightning: Is Coinbase Late to the Game?

Despite claims it is not ignoring Lightning, Coinbase is one of the few major exchanges that doesn’t offer the service.

Brian Armstrong inside of a lightning bubble with coins in the sky.
Created by Kornelija Poderskytė from DailyCoin
  • Coinbase’s CEO Brian Armstrong announces the company’s intention to integrate Bitcoin’s Lightning Network.
  • Several exchanges, including Bitfinex, Kraken, and OKCoin, have already integrated the Lightning Network.
  • Coinbase’s delays in Lightning integration prompted criticism from Bitcoin supporters. 

Coinbase, a leading crypto exchange, is considering the integration of Bitcoin’s Lightning Network. This announcement comes after CEO Brian Armstrong unveiled its plans for offering free and instantaneous global crypto payments.  

Still. Coinbase’s timing has prompted criticism from Bitcoin supporters. With several other platforms already offering the technology, questions arise about whether the exchange is late to the game. 

Coinbase Mulls Lightning Network Integration

On Wednesday, August 2, 2023, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong revealed the exchange’s plans to offer payments with Bitcoin’s Lightning Network. The CEO said the exchange seeks the best way to integrate Bitcoin’s Layer-2 scaling solution for payments. 


These comments came in response to accusations that Coinbase had ignored Bitcoin’s Layer-2 technology. Jack Dorsey, the co-founder of Block Inc. and a Bitcoin maximalist, asked why Coinbase was ignoring Lightning. 

In response to the accusations, Armstrong emphasized that Coinbase had onboarded more people to Bitcoin than any other firm. He also revealed that the exchange is “looking into how to add Lightning best. It’s non-trivial, but I think worth doing. I’m all for payments taking off in Bitcoin.” 

The discussion started on July 26, when Coinbase unveiled its ambitious plan to offer instant and free crypto payments worldwide. These plans prompted criticism from Bitcoin and Solana supporters, claiming their respective technologies best meet that goal. 


Lightning Network, a Layer-2 scaling solution, promises quicker and cheaper Bitcoin transactions. Instead of registering transactions on the Bitcoin Network, the Lightning Network uses channels that don’t reach finality until closed. This enables it to circumvent gas fees. 

While Coinbase CEO claims the exchange is not ignoring Lightning, critics claim that the service aligns perfectly with the exchange’s stated goals of offering cheap crypto payments. At the same time, critics also point to other platforms that have already integrated the solution. For instance, Bitfinex, Kraken, OKCoin, and Binance offer Lightning payments.  

On the Flipside

  • Despite perceived benefits, Bitcoin Lightning Network is growing more slowly than anticipated. 
  • Bitcoin’s Lightning Network helps reduce congestion on the Bitcoin network. This helps alleviate the issues arising from the growth of Bitcoin ordinals

Why This Matters

Given the exchange’s size and influence in the crypto space, Coinbase’s potential integration of the Lightning Network is a significant development. As one of the largest crypto exchanges globally, its integration could boost Lightning’s adoption. 

Read more about Bitcoin Lightning and its benefits: 

Here’s Why Binance Is Integrating the Bitcoin Lightning Network

Read more about Binance’s plans for Dubai: 

Binance Expands in Crypto-Friendly Dubai Amid Global Regulatory Scrutiny

This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs pose a considerable risk of loss.

David Marsanic

David Marsanic is a journalist for DailyCoin who covers the intersection of crypto, traditional finance, and government. He focuses on institutionalized crypto entities like major cryptocurrency exchanges and Solana, breaking down complex topics into easy-to-understand writing. David's prior experience as a business journalist at various crypto and traditional news sites has enabled him to maintain a critical approach to news while adhering to high journalistic integrity standards.