- Lightning Labs has unveiled new features meant to improve the Lightning Network and also make Bitcoin a multi-asset network
- Bundled in Taproot Assets version 3, the upgrade enables developers to launch stablecoins on the Bitcoin blockchain
- Lightning Labs believes the new features will help “bitcoinize the dollar”
Lightning Labs has unveiled Taproot Assets v0.3 which comes with features meant to make Bitcoin a multi-asset network while also enhancing interaction with the Lightning Network. Among the features included in the upgrade is the ability for developers to launch stablecoins on Bitcoin, with Lightning Labs considering it a way to “bitcoinize the dollar.” The upgrade adds to other initiatives such as the Ordinals project and a proposal to introduce off-chain Bitcoin smart contracts, meant to level up Bitcoin with other blockchains.
No More Breaking Changes
According to Lightning Labs head of business development Ryan Gentry, the upgrade allows assets to be launched on the Bitcoin mainnet which means that the Taproot protocol “will not have any more breaking changes that would affect assets on mainnet.”
Announcing the first mainnet release of Taproot Assets 🥕, a protocol for assets on #bitcoin and Lightning.
With this release, developers can issue financial assets on-chain in a scalable manner. 💱
Today marks a new era of multi-asset bitcoin. 🌅https://t.co/2cNvZSvv8v
— Lightning Labs⚡️🍠 (@lightning) October 18, 2023
In a blog post, Gentry explained that the upgrade enables developers to issue and manage assets such as stablecoins on Bitcoin, adding that it marks the start of a “new era for Bitcoin” without compromising the network’s core values.
Gentry believes that the move will see “global currencies issued” on Bitcoin as Taproot Assets and extend the blockchain’s “global network effects” by routing transactions between Lightning Network and the Bitcoin mainnet.
2,000 Assets Launched
The post stated that the upgrade saw “nearly 2,000 assets” launched during the test period that lasted for several months.
Although most of those who commented on the news on X (formerly Twitter) congratulated Lightning Labs for the upgrade, some noted that the feature “sounds centralized” since it utilizes a “Universe server.”
With the push to make Bitcoin a multi-asset network coming from a reputable developer, the move is likely to be embraced by the community.