Today, Kraken announced forthcoming features designed to bring the benefits of Bitcoin’s Lightning Network to its global exchange in the first half of 2021. Pierre Rochard, Bitcoin strategist at Kraken, sat down with Bitcoin Magazine for an exclusive interview regarding Kraken’s intentions to implement Lightning in 2021.
“Kraken is growing a lot, we are hiring a lot, we are also looking to take on new technological challenges, and also create new features that are going to create value for our users. One of those that we are announcing today is that we will be launching support for Lightning in the first half of 2021” Rochard said.
Rochard believes that Lightning will enable Kraken to greatly improve its customer experience when it comes to both depositing and withdrawing bitcoin. Today, Kraken requires three confirmations (taking about 30 minutes) to deposit and charges a flat fee of $10 for withdrawals. With Lightning, deposits are settled nearly instantaneously and fees reduced close to zero.
“In both cases, we are talking about orders of magnitude of improvement both on the speed and on the efficiency of the transfer of bitcoin and Kraken thinks this is going to open up a lot of really cool use cases.” said Rochard.
Kraken will begin its Lightning support with API access-only withdrawals, followed by user-interface access withdrawals and, finally, deposits.
Kraken is building out a dedicated Lightning team to build and manage its Lightning-related infrastructure.
Rochard is calling for folks with a deep understanding of Lightning and front-end engineering to come help build the Bitcoin ecosystem with Kraken.
When asked whether Kraken’s dedicated Lightning team will be contributing to open-source Lightning development, Rochard responded that, “Part of our thinking is that we are going to likely be one of the largest users of the Lightning Network. We are going to face unique challenges related to scaling Lightning nodes and…