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OKEx, a leading cryptocurrency spot and derivatives exchange, is set to integrate the Lightning Network, a Layer 2 Bitcoin payments solution, in the second quarter of the year.

According to the company’s press release, published on 2 February, the addition of the Lightning network would decrease both the transaction fees and transaction times for BTC payments. OKEx said users are discouraged from interacting with Bitcoin as the average on-chain fees are too expensive and the transactions too slow.

Elizabeth Stark, the CEO and co-founder of Lightning Labs, said OKEx will help bring Bitcoin to the next billion people in the world by adopting Lightning. The CEO of OKEx, Jay Hao, echoed her statement, saying the integration will enable the exchange to offer more competitive products to its existing customers while also expanding its user base.

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First introduced in 2015, the Lightning Network is a Layer 2 scaling solution that uses smart contracts on Bitcoin’s blockchain to enable instant payments across the network. The protocol routes payments through participating nodes, facilitating a peer-to-peer system that drastically reduces transaction fees and times.

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