San Francisco-based startup Blockstream has officially launched the much-awaited Liquid Network, a trading platform that promises faster and more secure settlements of digital tokens.
The New Crypto Consortium Promises Faster Settlements and More Efficient Trading
After three years in the making and more than a year after its conceptual introduction at the Blockchain Association of Canada’s Government Forum in Ottawa, bitcoin’s first sidechain called “Liquid” is now live.
Blockstream’s bitcoin scaling solution went live among its partners on September 27, 2018, but wasn’t made public until October 10, when the company announced it on their official website.
The platform connects cryptocurrency exchanges, brokers and financial institutions around the world, Bloomberg reported. Its goal is to improve liquidity, which has been a widespread issue in the market. Samson Mow, Blockstream’s chief strategy officer, told the publication that liquidity across exchanges is “definitely not there yet,” and that Liquid should be able to improve it by making it faster and easier to transfer.
According to the company’s release, the Liquid blockchain went live with the first block generated on September 27, 2018, with 23 of the cryptocurrency industry’s biggest players participated in the launch as its members. Some of the Liquid Network members include Bitfinex, BitMEX, OKCoin, and Coinone, and their goal is to users’ assets are protected through a geographically diverse network with no single point of failure, the company explained.
Blockstream Introduces New Features to Speed up Transactions
Liquid is arguably the most advanced implementation of a technology called sidechains that’s long been a holy grail for bitcoin coders. The technology allows users to swap coins from the main blockchain to its sidechain in a 1-to-1 parity, usually to tap into a feature that the primary network doesn’t provide.
Liquid’s native Liquid Bitcoin (L-BTC) asset is backed by a two-way peg to bitcoin and can be redeemed at any time, the company explained in its release. Another innovative feature Blockstream introduced to Liquid is “Issued Assets,” which bring bitcoin-like elements to traditional assets, such as tokenized fiat, digital reward points, and attested assets. That way, the company was able to eliminate the need for dedicated blockchains or wallet software.
In the Liquid Network, Blockstream’s Confidential Transaction technology ensures that the amount and asset type transferred are known only to the transacting parties, which in turn increases the privacy of both L-BTC and Issued Asset transactions.
According to the company’s website, many other features and applications are currently in the works to increase participation in the network. Some of the features that could be introduced soon include GreenAddress wallet integration, an all-new open-source Liquid Wallet client, and plans for third-party hardware wallet support from Ledger and Trezor.