Bitfinex Supports Wumbo Channels to Expand Lightning Network Capacity

Bitfinex Supports Wumbo Channels to Expand Lightning Network Capacity

September 22, 2020

Bitfinex, the crypto exchange and sister company of Tether coin, is pushing further for mainstream adoption of the Lightning Network, which was introduced earlier in 2018 to solve Bitcoin’s scalability problem.

Bitfinex today said in a blog post it has adopted support for Wumbo channels, which allows users to deposit and withdraw more money into Lightning Network channels than before, as well as send larger transactions.

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“With two lightning nodes, Bitfinex has a combined public capacity of over 100 BTC. These nodes provide the network with two highly reliable payment routing services with low fees,” the exchange said.

The upgraded Lightning Network integration now allows for bigger transactions and higher volumes, which helps decrease fees that build up with having to open many small channels.

Wumbo channels remove the limit of the total bitcoins that can be held in a channel, which is currently capped at 0.167 BTC, worth about $1,740. It also expands the size of each single payment which currently has its upper limit at less than $500. As such, it simply allows the user to go beyond the aforementioned limits and find other nodes to connect to.

Wumbo feature is opt-in

The Lightning Network was first proposed by Thaddeus Dryja and Joseph Poon to create a layer on top of the original blockchain, in order to increase transaction speed while significantly reduce costs. In its early days, Lightning developers intentionally added the limitations to protect users from pouring too much money into the nascent network.

“The Wumbo channels will give our users the ability to deposit and withdraw large amounts of Bitcoin quickly and cheaply, thus allowing them to take advantage of trading opportunities. They will also enable retailers and service providers to build new, innovative applications and sell high-value goods and services over the Lightning Network as they help to reduce the requirements to open and close multiple channels,” Bitfinex explains.

Bitfinex has been one of the first major exchanges to offer Lightning Network support back in December 2019. At the time, Bitfinex said it also works to launch its stablecoin Tether and gold-backed stablecoin Tether Gold onto the network.

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