Yesterday, Blockstream announced the official launch of their long-awaited Liquid Network, a federated peg that leverages Bitcoin's security to give a consortium of motivated users the ability to do many, dynamic things without putting the main chain at risk. As our boy Lucas points out, the launch of Liquid (and RSK, which Lucas doesn't mention but was launched earlier this year and unfortunately was not covered in this rag) opens the floodgates of potential innovation that altcoins have attempted to lay claim to and use as their only leverage against Bitcoin for the last 5+ years.
Liquid is launching with a group of 23 member exchanges and companies (most of which I have never heard of, admittedly) who will maintain the federated peg and now have the ability to do cool things like send and fully settle bitcoin transactions between members within two minutes. This is huge for exchanges as they are constantly working with each other to help alleviate liquidity problems and often have to deal with the very inconvenient truth of 10 minute block times and network fees. On top of this, members will be able to create and issue assets using L-BTC (Liquid Bitcoin) and utilize Confidential Transactions. These features will allow members to issue tokens, create rewards programs and other things as well as make transactions in complete privacy. Huge come up for Bitcoin's overall utility as Blockstream has proven that Bitcoin can be leveraged to do almost EVERYTHING any major altcoin project has proclaimed it can do.
Even if you believe Blockstream is a Bilderberg-backed evil corporation that is dead set on controlling Bitcoin's development and eventually enslaving the human race via the corn, there is no denying that they have made Bitcoin stronger with this launch. If only for the fact that they have proved that an important use case that has been talked about for a while actually works. Blockstream, RSK, and Lightning have forged the path forward for building more intricate applications ONTOP of Bitcoin, leveraging its security while being flexible enough to allow developers to build more complex apps.
I doubt this will be the end of altcoins, but I'm not going to lie freaks, this feels good. After years of preaching the idea of keeping Bitcoin slow, stupid, simple and secure at the protocol level while pushing all the complexity to second layers and sidechains, the vision finally seems to be coming together. Hopefully, the examples of the companies listed above inspire hordes of new developers to realize that building on Bitcoin is possible and, most likely, more secure.
How the hell do giraffes exist?