Coinbase seeks to make Bitcoin payments instant, almost free

CEO Brian Armstrong envisions a new era for Bitcoin payments

In a world where digital currency is gaining prominence, Coinbase, a prominent cryptocurrency exchange, is taking significant steps toward making crypto payments instantaneous and free. This ambition is not just about technological advancement but the company’s commitment to making a lasting impact on the global payments system.

“We’re looking into how to best add Lightning Network. It’s non-trivial, but I think worth doing. I’m all for payments taking off in Bitcoin,”

Brian Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase.

Addressing the challenge with Lightning Network

Armstrong acknowledges that integrating Lightning Network, a second layer for Bitcoin (BTC) that uses micropayment channels between software providers called nodes to speed up payments on the Bitcoin blockchain for a low cost, into Coinbase is not a simple task. However, he believes it’s an essential move for Bitcoin’s growth as a payments platform.

Coinbase’s dedication to Bitcoin

Despite criticisms, Armstrong emphasizes that Coinbase has been a leading force in introducing people to Bitcoin, debunking any notion of the company ignoring the pioneering cryptocurrency.

Building together for the future

The Coinbase CEO calls for collaboration across the industry to make crypto payments fast and virtually costless, emphasizing the joint effort needed to reach this goal.

Magic threshold for crypto payments

Armstrong outlines the target of reducing the average payment cost to under 1 cent and the confirmation time to under 1 second. This threshold could lead to a significant shift in payment methods toward cryptocurrency.

Today’s potential and tomorrow’s promise

While acknowledging that crypto has not yet fully delivered on its promise to enhance global payments, Armstrong remains optimistic about its potential. He likens payments to water, stating that they will follow the path of least resistance, indicating a bright future for crypto payments.


  • Lightning Network integration
  • Average payment cost: under 1 cent
  • Average confirmation time: under 1 second
  • Focus on layer 2 integration
  • Improved UX/onboarding


Coinbase’s ambition to make crypto payments instant is more than a technological milestone; it’s a step towards democratizing global financial systems. In aligning with principles that embrace long-term societal benefits, this vision may act as a beacon, guiding the future of global transactions.


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