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Interview: CEO of OKEx Jay Hao and the Lightning Community Group on Platform’s Adoption of Bitcoin Layer-2 Scalability Resolution

05/12/2021

The main world crypto change and derivatives buying and selling platform OKEx just lately introduced assist for Bitcoin’s scalability answer, Lightning Community. Relating to the brand new growth, we had the chance to work together with Jay Hao, CEO of OKEx and the Lightning Community (LN) group. We requested them few questions and that is what they needed to say.

Q: Is it true that OKEx goes to undertake the Bitcoin Lightning Community? How is it going to work in OKEx’s context?

Jay Hao (OKEx): Sure! We started our integration journey with the assistance of Lightning Labs in January and just lately accomplished the combination of the Lightning Community. Which means that OKEx will grow to be a collaborating node within the community and customers on the OKEx change will have the ability to choose the Lightning Community possibility after they need to deposit or withdraw Bitcoin for cheaper and quicker transactions.

Q: What are the foreseeable advantages of Lightning Community for OKEx in addition to its userbase?

Jay Hao (OKEx): For OKEx, we’re thrilled to have the ability to assist the event of the Bitcoin ecosystem by partnering with Lightning Labs and growing the variety of collaborating nodes within the Lightning Community. This partnership highlights our deep dedication to the continued development of the house and, for our customers, it gives them with the advantages of significantly lowered transaction instances and costs – they will ship and obtain BTC virtually immediately and at next-to-no value.

LN: OKEx’s Lightning Community integration brings an enormous UX improve to bitcoin for his or her customers. Deposits and withdrawals over Lightning are virtually immediate and practically free, particularly in comparison with on-chain transactions. On-chain bitcoin is the slowest asset shifting across the crypto monetary system, however Lightning makes it the quickest, opening up new use circumstances like inter-exchange arbitrage and immediately topping up margin in periods of excessive volatility. We’re excited for OKEx’s customers to expertise the advantages of bitcoin over Lightning.

Q: Are you able to give us some insights into your complete means of collaborating with OKEx to implement Lightning Community?

LN: OKEx made it straightforward! Our open-source code and documentation at docs.lightning.engineering simplifies the onboarding course of and makes it straightforward for anybody to combine Lightning. OKEx utilized our publicly accessible sources and our group was accessible to reply inquiries to assist the method. One other nice useful resource for implementation is the LND Developer Slack, the place our group and your complete neighborhood is obtainable to reply questions and assist newcomers onboard to Lightning.

Q: The current Bitcoin bull run drove lots of people in the direction of crypto buying and selling platforms leading to a surge in site visitors and buying and selling volumes. How is OKEx dealing with it? Will the implementation of Lightning Community make any distinction if an identical situation repeats sooner or later?

Jay Hao (OKEx): It’s true, we now have seen a big increment in our person base from throughout the globe. Within the APAC area alone, buying and selling quantity shot up 3x from September 2020 till now. We’re frequently upgrading our infrastructure to make sure a easy onboarding expertise for brand spanking new prospects and a seamless buying and selling expertise for current prospects. Integrating the Lightning Community will permit all of them to acquire cheaper and quick transactions. That is simply one of many methods through which we goal to make OKEx their platform of selection.

Q: The place does the event of Lightning Community stand in the mean time? What are the long run plans to additional enhance Bitcoin’s L2 answer?

LN: The Lightning Community is pretty secure at this level. As node operators have discovered how finest to handle their liquidity, cost success charges are persevering with to develop and end-user adoption is growing. OKEx becoming a member of the community is a large vote of confidence, and we anticipate their customers to be impressed by how briskly and low-cost bitcoin transactions will be. Future enhancements shall be targeted on UX with options like Atomic Multipath Funds (AMP) that permit for static invoices, and on optimizations enabling larger throughput to be used circumstances like streaming funds and high-frequency buying and selling.

Q: Will it’s doable so that you can let our readers know what number of exchanges and buying and selling platforms are presently utilizing Lightning Community?

LN: There are over 15 exchanges presently utilizing the Lightning Community, tracked on this neighborhood repository. Bitrefill just lately introduced that in Q1 they started receiving funds over the Lightning Community from 105 completely different nations! So utilization may be very widespread.

Q: What are the steps taken by your group to additional popularize the Lightning Community?

LN: Nearly all of our work is behind the scenes, constructing the infrastructure that Lightning-enabled corporations like OKEx rely upon. When end-users are uncovered to the dramatically improved expertise of Lightning funds over on-chain funds, Lightning speaks for itself. We do shine a highlight on the rising Lightning neighborhood in our month-to-month publication, and host biweekly voice chat rooms on Clubhouse and on Discord for those who need to be taught immediately from our group.

Q: What are your ideas about the way forward for Bitcoin as the worth continues to rise? Will it ever grow to be a layman’s foreign money, or will it simply find yourself reinforcing its place as an funding instrument?

Jay Hao (OKEx): We’re nonetheless within the early days of adoption and, as every new wave of adopters onboards, we see elevated volatility, which results in many analysts and naysayers to level to Bitcoin’s inefficiency as a medium of change. Furthermore, because the cryptocurrency appreciates in worth, it’s pure that its attractiveness as a retailer of worth will increase. Nevertheless, I do consider that Bitcoin has the potential to grow to be a dominant type of cash. I don’t assume that it will likely be the one one however, with the elevated enchancment and adoption of applied sciences just like the Lightning Community making it simpler and quicker to make use of, and as extra individuals switch over to utilizing Bitcoin, there may be an ever-increasing case for it to grow to be a layman’s foreign money. OKEx is proud to play a component in serving to to take BTC to the remainder of the world.

LN: As beforehand talked about, Bitrefill just lately introduced that they obtained funds over Lightning from 105 completely different nations in Q1 of 2021. Bluewallet is seeing 500+% annual person development of their cellular Lightning pockets product in nations like Brazil, Nigeria, Argentina, and Israel. Strike launched in El Salvador a number of weeks in the past with their cellular Lightning pockets focused at remittances and instantly turned probably the most downloaded general app within the nation. They permit end-users to pay Lightning invoices from their fiat-denominated balances in order that the person spends {dollars} however the receiver earns bitcoin.

Bitcoin is a foreign money for everybody! It’s already serving a extensively distributed group of customers. Whereas hodling remains to be the dominant use case for bitcoin, it’s rather more than only a digital rock, particularly when lifted into the Lightning Community. As extra individuals worldwide change to the Bitcoin normal, we anticipate this pattern to proceed.

Q: Something you want to add?

Jay Hao (OKEx): It’s our perception that the cryptocurrency trade can solely develop via collaboration. By working collectively, trade contributors might help obtain the aim of advancing cryptocurrency globally and empowering people to attain monetary freedom. We couldn’t be happier to have the ability to take this subsequent step ahead with such an revolutionary companion in Lightning Labs.

LN: We’re on a mission to advertise monetary freedom by bringing bitcoin to the subsequent billion individuals with the Lightning Community. Each new node strengthens Lightning’s community impact, particularly when the brand new node has as many customers as OKEx. We’re thrilled that OKEx has upgraded their bitcoin UX for customers, permitting them to switch worth immediately and cheaply with the identical safety assurances as on-chain bitcoin.