Vietnamese Bitcoin exchange VBTC has integrated the Lightning Network.
In an announcement on Sunday, Vietnam’s oldest (and reportedly only Bitcoin-exclusive) exchange revealed that Lightning Network withdrawals are now open to its users. VBTC CEO Dominik Weil told CoinDesk that deposits will be available later this year.
According to an article by BitcoinVN News, the media arm of BitcoinVN, a parent company which also owns VBTC, Lightning Network withdrawals are priced at 1,000 satoshis plus 0.2% of the withdrawn amount. Normal bitcoin withdrawals have a fee of 100,000 satoshis (0.001).
Weil said that the decision was inspired in part by the high fees that a bull market brings to bitcoin, as well as pressure from the local Bitcoin community, which has already embraced Lightning to an extensive degree.
“The [Vietnamese Bitcoin] community has built an increasing interest into toying around and utilizing the Lightning Network. There are now about a dozen business in Saigon/Vietnam set up to accept Lightning payments via Neutronpay; Asia’s first Lightning ATM was launched back last fall in Saigon by one of our community members in Saigon. The calls for an exchange to start being able [to support Lightning] directly has been growing over the time. So we had to deliver.”
The news comes a few days after the exchange adopted SegWit native batched transactions as well, which will allow it to batch client withdrawals together in SegWit transactions to reduce on-chain fees.
VBTC’s adoption makes it one of the first exchanges to go live with the burgeoning technology. It also adds to a growing list of exchanges that have pledged (or launched) support for Lightning this year as the technology continues to spread across the globe to exchanges in various parts of the world.
The Bitfinex and River Financial exchanges came into 2021 with full Lightning Network support, and U.S.-based Kraken Exchange announced at the end of 2020 it would launch support sometime in 2021.
Lightning Labs CEO Elizabeth Stark, whose company designs the leading Lightning Network software implementation, told BitcoinVN News that VBTC’s integration adds more charge to an already electric network effect.
“We believe bitcoin has so much potential for billions of people around the world, and VBTC’s Lightning integration is a big step in bringing it to Asia and beyond,” she said. “As more exchanges join the Lightning Network, more people will be able to transact instantly, across the world, with low fees. Network effects in action.”
Update: Jan. 25, 2020, 18:04 UTC: This article was updated to include additional comments from VBTC CEO Dominik Weil.