Taproot Assets launches on Bitcoin, introducing tokenized asset capabilities to the network

Lighting Labs has announced the mainnet alpha of the Taproot Assets daemon, providing the network with the capacity to hold tokenized assets.

This release offers a comprehensive developer experience for issuing, managing, and exploring stablecoins and other assets on the Bitcoin (BTC) blockchain, according to a post by the director of business development at Lightning Labs, Ryan Gentry.

The launch of Taproot Assets on the Bitcoin mainnet is expected to facilitate the issuance of a wide range of global currencies as Taproot Assets. These transactions will be settled instantly over the Lightning Network, routing Taproot Assets transactions through the existing Bitcoin liquidity.

The protocol’s design enables routing nodes to forward transactions without recognizing them as Taproot Assets, thereby extending Bitcoin’s global network effects while strengthening the blockchain’s robust security foundation. Developers are exploring placing other potential real-world assets on-chain, like gold, US Treasuries, and corporate bonds.

The v0.3 protocol of the Taproot Assets presents a complete set of tools for developers who are keen to start issuing, managing, and exploring mainnet assets on-chain. It introduces several new functionalities and improvements in scalability, security, and developer experience.

Multi-asset platform
The stated goal of Taproot Assets is to transform the Lightning Network into a multi-asset platform. Critical steps towards this goal have already been completed, including running unannounced Taproot channels in production with lnd v0.17 and the publication of the draft specification for Taproot Asset Protocol channels as a Bitcoin Lightning Improvement Proposal (bLIP).

Lightning Labs teased Taproot Assets in May of 2023, calling it “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.”

The protocol’s promise to enable users to send and receive their chosen currency over the Lightning Network, using Bitcoin liquidity as a global routing currency and Medium of Exchange, has the potential to redefine—or at least significantly disrupt—the process of global monetary transactions.