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Lightning Labs teases new Taproot protocol for Bitcoin-based assets Lightning Labs teases new Taproot protocol for Bitcoin-based assets

Lightning Labs teases new Taproot protocol for Bitcoin-based assets

The Taproot Assets protocol leverages layer 2 technology to bring low cost, scalable asset support to Bitcoin.

Lightning Labs teases new Taproot protocol for Bitcoin-based assets

Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

Lightning Labs announced that the latest version of the Bitcoin Taproot Assets protocol is currently in the testnet phase โ€” enabling multi-asset support via the Lightning Network.

The company said the protocol had been a year in the making, initially launching under Taro. A firm date for mainnet release was not given, only that the final product will be “coming soon.”

The Taproot Assets protocol

A Taproot Assets guide further detailed information on the protocol โ€” which intends to foster greater Bitcoin use by adding quick, cheap, and scalable asset issuance capabilities to the network.

“Taproot Assets (formerly Taro) is a new Taproot-powered protocol for issuing assets on the bitcoin blockchain that can be transferred over the Lightning Network for instant, high volume, low fee transactions.”

As indicated by the name, Taproot Assets utilizes improvements to the Bitcoin protocol that came with the November 2021 Taproot soft fork.

In brief, developers can embed arbitrary asset metadata directly within the block space via each satoshi โ€” the same technique employed by the Ordinals protocol for Bitcoin non-fungibles and BRC-20 tokens.

However, unlike Ordinals, Taproot Assets works with the layer 2 Lightning Network to offer improved privacy and scalability. In other words, asset minting occurs on the mainchain, but owners have the option to move assets off-chain.

“Assets issued on Taproot Assets can be deposited into Lightning Network channels, where nodes can offer atomic conversions from Bitcoin to Taproot Assets.”

Developers were invited to download the Taproot Assets v0.2 daemon, with Lightning Labs encouraging a thorough test of its features.

Bitcoin Ordinals controversy

The Ordinals protocol has sown division among the Bitcoin community.

Advocates โ€” including MicroStrategy Chair Michael Saylor โ€” argue that it is a catalyst for adoption that will usher in a new era of application development on the chain. In contrast, critics highlight concerns over escalating fees, network congestion, and the lack of useful BRC-20 tokens.

However, with Taproot Assets leveraging layer 2 technology, thus addressing high fees and network congestion, could this be a turning point for critics who wish to keep Bitcoin purely as a monetary network?