Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, has completed its integration of the Bitcoin Lightning Network.

In a July 17 announcement, the crypto exchange said that deposits and withdrawals for users through Lightning had been enabled. Users would need to select the “BTC-Lightning” as their network when depositing or withdrawing Bitcoin from the trading platform.

Binance confirmed the integration was underway last month after users noticed the presence of Lightning nodes in its infrastructure. However, the exchange first disclosed that it planned to enable Lightning withdrawals in May, following a significant amount of congestion on the Bitcoin network that forced Binance to temporarily close BTC withdrawals.

At the time, there were around 488,000 unconfirmed Bitcoin transactions in the mempool – a level that was notably higher than the norm during the 2021 crypto bull run. The network congestion also significantly drove up the average transaction fees on Bitcoin and was largely attributed to the emergence of the BRC-20 token standard created on the Bitcoin Ordinals protocol. 

The Lightning Network is a Layer 2 protocol built on Bitcoin by Lightning Labs and aims to address the network’s scalability, speed and privacy of transactions. The solution reduces fees and congestion on the network by enabling micropayment channels and conducting transactions off-chain.

Earlier this month, Lightning Labs released a new set of tools to enable AI interfaces like ChatGPT to send, receive and hold Bitcoin.

Several crypto exchanges including Bitfinex, OKX and Kraken have already implemented Lightning. In April, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong said that it was something the exchange planned to integrate, but did not specify a timeline.