Lightning Labs, the Bitcoin infrastructure technology firm behind the Lightning Network, has announced the launch of Taro, a new protocol on top of the Bitcoin (BTC) network.
The announcement was made by Lightning Labs CEO Elizabeth Stark and Olaoluwa Osuntokun, the firm's CTO. With the Taro protocol, Lightning Network users may now be able to issue and transfer assets, including stablecoins such as Tether (USDT) over the Bitcoin blockchain. Assets issued are placed on transactions executed over the Lightning Network, with support for liquidity on issued assets coming later within the year.
The Taro protocol is designed to expand on the Lightning Network's capabilities by providing support for multiple asset types, including stablecoins, as well as cross-chain atomic swaps, which would enable users to trade crypto assets between different blockchains without the need for a centralized exchange. The Taro protocol follows developments from the activation of the Taproot upgrade for Bitcoin Core, which was implemented in November 2021. With Taproot, the Bitcoin blockchain's security, privacy, and mean transaction throughput was effectively enhanced, while also opening a slew of functionalities such as on-chain smart contract execution.
As a second-layer Bitcoin payments technology, the Lightning Network enables an advancement of the Bitcoin blockchain, providing new potentials for the network, including near-instant transaction functionalities on a global scale. As Bitcoin becomes a global means of monetization and approaches a maturing phase of adoption, its stability and security has drawn users and investors across a diverse range of demographics, from individual investors and enthusiasts to large-scale firms and financial institutions.
"One of our core tenets at Lightning Labs is solving real problems for real people, and we’ve talked to myriad community members in emerging markets who’ve told us what a big difference stablecoins on bitcoin and Lightning would make in their economies," explains Lightning Labs.
Notably, Lightning Labs has also recently secured $70 million in funding with the closure of its Series B funding round. The round was led by Valor Equity Partners, with participation from Baillie Gifford, Robinhood's CEO Vlad Tenev, and Goldcrest Capital, among others.
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