Bitcoin layer-2 infrastructure firm Lightning Labs has officially launched the mainnet of Taproot Assets, a protocol that supports the issuance of stablecoins and real-world assets on the Bitcoin and Lightning networks.
According to an official announcement, the mainnet release will support functionality on the Bitcoin blockchain, with support for Lightning expected soon. Lightning Labs adds that Taproot Assets v0.3 will give builders all they need to make Bitcoin a “multi-asset network”. It will do this while paying close attention to scalability, and without losing Bitcoin’s core values. The release states:
“We believe this new era for Bitcoin will see a myriad of global currencies issued as Taproot Assets, and the world’s foreign exchange transactions settled instantly over the Lightning Network.”
Lightning Labs’ Head of Business Development Ryan Gentry notes in the release that transactions on Taproot will use Bitcoin’s existing Liquidity and route nodes to forward these transactions on Lightning. Gentry explains that this will extend Bitcoin’s global reach.
“This is how we make Bitcoin the global routing network for the internet of money. This is how we Bitcoinize the dollar and the world’s financial assets.”
Lightning Labs Uses Taproot to Solve Developer Problems
Gentry notes that Lightning Labs has received many requests from builders who need tools to add stablecoins to their projects using Bitcoin’s infrastructure. Since the demand for stablecoins is ever-increasing and now “overwhelming”, Lightning Labs has launched a solution to this problem.
The press release states that the Bitcoin developer community has been testing Taproot for several months and has minted nearly 2,000 assets so far. It says that developers have experimented with assets like US Treasuries, corporate bonds, and gold throughout the testing process. Lightning Labs believes that Bitcoin is the “optimal platform” for this because of its decentralization, security, and global liquidity.
In July, Lightning Labs launched new tools to foster interactions between the Bitcoin network and artificial intelligence (AI) applications. One such solution is in payments, as Lightning Labs believes this is a drawback many Large Language Models (LLMs) experience. These new tools will make payments via Bitcoin and Lightning much cheaper, faster, and accessible to creators developing AI solutions. For accessibility, Lightning Labs noted that many developers are experiencing difficulty using traditional payment systems. This is because in many cases, these projects struggle with the legal recognition required to access these traditional systems.
Binance and Coinbase to Integrate Lightning Network
The Lightning Network is still enjoying increased traction as Coinbase recently announced its intention to integrate the layer-2 protocol into its infrastructure. CEO Brain Armstrong noted on X (formerly Twitter) that the company is “looking into how to best add Lightning”. However, he did not provide a timeline, only asking for patience from members of the community.
On the other hand, Binance has integrated the Lightning Network for Bitcoin. In an announcement, the world’s largest crypto exchange noted that the Lightning Network solves two of blockchain’s major problems: affordability and scalability. The network extends Bitcoin’s transaction capacity such that more people can transact simultaneously, and drastically reduces fees charged on each transaction.
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