Lightning Labs Rolls Out 'Taproot Assets,' to Make Bitcoin 'Multi-Asset' Network

Taproot Assets will give developers "the tools needed to make Bitcoin a multi-asset network, but in a scalable manner," according to Lightning Labs.

AccessTimeIconOct 18, 2023 at 4:37 p.m. UTC
Updated Oct 19, 2023 at 3:56 p.m. UTC

Bitcoin layer-2 infrastructure developer Lightning Labs has released its Taproot Assets protocol on the main network, enabling the issuance of stablecoins and other assets on Bitcoin and Lightning.

Taproot Assets will give developers "the tools needed to make Bitcoin a multi-asset network, but in a scalable manner that upholds Bitcoin's core values," Ryan Gentry, director of development at Lightning Labs, wrote in a blog post Wednesday.

"The release marks the dawn of a new era for Bitcoin," Gentry added.

Lightning Labs' aim is to see foreign exchange transactions settled over the Lightning network. The firm claims that the ability to add stablecoins to their applications is one of the major requests they get from developers.

Previous upgrades to the Bitcoin network have been controversial among some users out of the concern of congesting the network, the minting of BRC-20 tokens via the Ordinals protocol earlier this year being one example.

Gentry told CoinDesk that Taproot Assets isn’t likely to present this problem.

"The protocol only requires an issuer to make a single bitcoin transaction to mint an effectively unbounded amount of Taproot Assets, and all of the metadata describing those assets is stored off-chain, with only a cryptographic commitment to the assets stored on-chain," Gentry wrote in a direct message. "Further, transacting with Taproot Assets over the Lightning Network will happen off-chain and will not touch the blockchain at all."

UPDATE (Oct. 19, 15:30 UTC): Amends paragraph about congestion on Bitcoin network and adds quote from Gentry.

Edited by Bradley Keoun.


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Jamie Crawley

Jamie Crawley is a CoinDesk news reporter based in London.