Bitcoin sidechain "Liquid" goes live

posted 6 days ago
3 years in the making, bitcoin's first sidechain "Liquid" is now live. Launched by Blockstream, Liquid is arguably the most advanced implementation of a technology called sidechains that's long been a holy grail for Bitcoin coders (though what's being launched today may be a watered-down version of the original "trustless" vision). Still, that doesn't dilute the capabilities of what the company, founded by bitcoin's top open-source coders in 2014, has created. Built off of the live blockchain, Liquid will now be used to carry large volumes of transactions at a higher speed for several of bitcoin's largest companies.

Today is a milestone as the network is finally opening up for all of Blockstream's partners to use on Bitcoin's main network, that is, for real transactions. Blockstream COO Samson Mow said "This will bolster the bitcoin ecosystem because you can trade more securely and rapidly... It's ready for commercial use. At this point, it's just a matter of getting exchanges to integrate... It will potentially be transacting billions of dollars worth of bitcoin a day."

On a more technical level, an exchange converts its bitcoin into "LBTC" – the liquid bitcoin token – which is pegged to actual Bitcoin. Once sent there, exchanges can move money around securely and much more quickly than on the main bitcoin chain. On top of that, in the coming weeks, Blockstream will be releasing a wallet specifically made for Liquid transactions. Plus, the company's bitcoin wallet GreenAddress already supports Liquid. Hardware wallet providers Ledger and Trezor have unveiled plans to adopt the technology also.
Tags: blockchain, bitcoin, news