Blockstream’s Liquid Network Project Finally Goes Live

Blockstream, a blockchain technology company has recently announced the launch of the Liquid Network, the company’s revolutionary take on the concept of bitcoin sidechains. This project is expected to supersede the limitations of the regular bitcoin blockchain by being able to withstand heavy transaction volumes that are often experienced by brokers, exchanges and other cryptocurrency services experience. At launch, the Liquid Network already had over 20 exchanges including Xapo, BitMEX, and Bitfinex on boards which indicates how eager industry stakeholders are about solutions to the problems associated with volume transfers on the bitcoin blockchain.

What It Does

The primary purpose of the Liquid Network will be improving transaction speeds as well as efficiency on the bitcoin blockchain while at the same time facilitating a more ‘liquid’ movement of bitcoin between exchanges. In addition to the primary objectives, the Liquid Network will also introduce such features and functions as confidential transactions, issued assets, and a new token.

Liquid Network’s new token, L-BTC, is pegged to the price of bitcoin and its holders can readily trade it for BTC. Issued assets, on the other hand, will be Liquid Networks way of tokenizing fiat currencies, securities, and even gold and treating them as Bitcoin equivalents.

According to a blog post written by Blockstream, the Liquid Network went live om September, a few days prior to the announcement. The post further outlines the company’s plans to add more features in the future – these will include integration of the GreenAddress Wallet as well as third-party hardware wallet support from Trezor and Ledger.

How Does It Compare to The Lightning Network?

Both the Lightning Network and the Liquid Network are sidechains of the bitcoin blockchain, i.e., they allow for transactions to be performed off of bitcoin’s main blockchain thus allowing service providers to avoid the inconveniences of the bitcoin network. However, unlike the Liquid Network, the Lightning Network is primarily intended to cater for smaller transactions since it relies on the power of nodes with relatively limited capacities, perhaps one of the reasons why its adoption has been hampered.

“Liquid allows parties to send funds to any destination, without the need to establish channels ahead of time. Funds in Lightning are ‘hot’ (private keys are online), whereas you can store Liquid Bitcoin in both hot or cold wallets. Liquid also has the ability to have Lightning added as a second layer as well, so we view these two technologies as complementary and both important for the ecosystem,” Blockstream’s CSO, Samson Mow explained.

Blockstream’s short-term goal is to build out the features of the Liquid Network so as to ease its introduction, and subsequently, wider adoption in the wider crypto community. In the long term, the company is aiming to have bitcoin as the epicenter of more sidechains that will facilitate the seamless and interconnected exchange of the crypto industry’s many assets.


Lightning Network’s New Use Cases Could Be Big Boost for BTC

Bitcoin has continued to trade on a rather narrow range, reflecting on the overall mood of the market following the weekend consolidation. Fortunately, things are about to get more interesting following a recent Lightning Network breakthrough that is definitely going to give bitcoin proponents some renewed optimism in regards to mainstream commercial adoption of bitcoin or cryptocurrencies in general.

The growth and widespread adoption of the Lightning Network has been going quite well and with more developments being unraveled, it is expected to be a major catalyst to spearhead the adoption of bitcoin.

Ricardo Reis, a cryptocurrency and tech enthusiast from Brazil has recently been all the buzz in the crypto circles after he created a new use case for the Lightning Network that allows users to buy Coca-Cola bottles (or any other items) from vending machines.

How It Works

In a 42-second video titled “Coke vending machine that accepts Bitcoin payments through Lightning Network,” the computer programmer demonstrates how easy it is to pay for certain items using the new infrastructure layer. Reis used a handful of off-the-shelf materials such as a water pump, a Raspberry Pi, some wood, a touch screen, and some programming skill to build a handmade automated vending machine that accepts bitcoin payments for Coca-Cola bottles. The modified machine uses the Lightning Network to process the bitcoin transactions.

As seen from the video, the bitcoin users would be required to scan a QR code which then requests a bitcoin payment that is then issued by the customer using their BTC wallet. Once the payment is received by the modified vending machine, it dispenses the Coca-Cola bottle while at also paying a negligible amount in transaction fees to the Lightning Network which supports the service.

Could This Be It?

As much as this new modified bitcoin-Lightning Network vending machine is without a doubt a novel demonstration of how both technologies can be easily integrated into thousands of different services, it also acts as a more practical and serious demonstration of the open source nature of the blockchain. Both of these factors are what will drive the cryptocurrency revolution that we are all waiting for.

Unfortunately, the vending machine is just a proof-of-concept and is still at its earliest stages – in fact, of course, it still has no affiliation to the actual Coca-Cola company.  The Lighting Network and the payment solutions it supports are still in their in their early stages of development but such innovation as the one that we have discussed above will be a great move forward for the entire cryptocurrency market.