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Bitcoin Lightning Network Developer Announces Taproot Assets Upgrade

2 mins
Updated by Ali Martinez
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In Brief

  • Taproot Assets v0.2 allows minting and moving of more Bitcoin network assets.
  • Assets will also be compatible with the Lightning Network.
  • Network congestion has eased since last week.
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Bitcoin Lightning Network (LN) developer Lightning Labs has announced Taproot Assets v0.2. The upgrade provides a more efficient method of minting assets on the blockchain following the BRC-20 network mayhem last week.

On May 17, Lightning Labs announced the latest release of the Taproot Assets Protocol, formerly known as Taro.

Taproot Assets v0.2 “provides the core set of features for developers looking to issue, send, receive, and discover assets on the Bitcoin blockchain,” it stated.

Furthermore, the protocol was designed to operate maximally off-chain. This was specifically implemented to avoid the blockchain congestion that occurred last week.

Taproot Assets to Solve Scaling Problems

The developers acknowledged that in its current form, the BTC network is not scalable:

“While the excitement around building on Bitcoin is encouraging, the fee market’s response has indicated that these protocols are not designed for scale.”

The latest release enables the minting or moving of an unbounded number of assets in a single on-chain transaction.

Users will also soon be able to integrate their assets into the Lightning Network for faster and cheaper transactions.

The upgrade leverages existing network effects and negates the need to “bootstrap a new ecosystem from scratch,” it noted. The announcement concluded that as adoption grows, it should alleviate the blockchain congestion problems.

“As developers begin to make use of Taproot Assets, it should result in far less chain congestion, leaving space to onboard the masses to Bitcoin.”

Sending and Receiving Off-Chain Taproot Asset Proofs - lightning.engineering
Sending and Receiving Off-Chain Taproot Asset Proofs – lightning.engineering

BRC-20 Memecoin Madness Abates

On May 8, Bitcoin network transactions and fees spiked to multi-year highs. Average daily transactions surged to over 600,000 and average transaction fees peaked at over $30.

A BRC-20 memecoin mining and ordinal inscription craze overloaded the network. This prevented regular users from getting their transactions through as the mempool backlog increased.

Currently, there are 245,505 unconfirmed transactions, according to Mempool Space. However, block sizes and times have returned to more acceptable levels.

BitInfoCharts data shows average daily transactions are still high at over 500,000. Average transaction fees are around $5, which is still double what they were in April.

The BRC-20 token market capitalization exceeded $1 billion last week. However, it has dropped back to $464 million at the moment, according to CoinGecko. Memecoins such as frog-themed PEPE comprised a large portion of that as degen speculators rode the PEPE pump and dump.

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Martin Young
Martin Young is a seasoned cryptocurrency journalist and editor with over 7 years of experience covering the latest news and trends in the digital asset space. He is passionate about making complex blockchain, fintech, and macroeconomics concepts understandable for mainstream audiences.   Martin has been featured in top finance, technology, and crypto publications including BeInCrypto, CoinTelegraph, NewsBTC, FX Empire, and Asia Times. His articles provide an in-depth analysis of...
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