Lightning Labs Aims to Bitcoinize the Dollar With Taro’s Alpha Release


Lightning Labs, the firm behind the Lightning Network, announced the release of the alpha release of the Taro daemon that will enable Bitcoin devs to mint, send, and receive assets on the blockchain.

Taro, the Taproot-powered protocol, was first unveiled by the firm in April to issue a high volume of assets that can be transferred over Bitcoin instantly with low-fee transactions. The release is touted as the first step in the process of “Bitcoinizing the dollar” by allowing the issuance of assets, like stablecoins, on Bitcoin while simultaneously enabling users to transact those assets on Lightning.

New Lightning Capabilities

Lightning Labs revealed that additional enhanced features will be implemented to the Taro daemon, including universe functionality to enable users and asset issuers to offer proofs about asset provenance and supply issuance. Functionality to allow easy interaction with Taro asset data will also be added.

Upon the completion of on-chain functionality, the firm plans to work towards integrating the Taro protocol into LN, thereby ushering Taro assets to the second-layer payment protocol.

The company stated,

“We’re releasing this initial version of the daemon to continue to solicit feedback from the community and build this open source protocol in public. Given the alpha, testnet-only nature of the daemon, we encourage developers to explore how Taro will fit into their products, understanding that it will continue to be revised and improved as we progress to a mainnet release.”

Going forward, Taro plans to enable applications such as Strike, Ibex Mercado, Paxful, Breez, and Bitnob to provide their users access to Bitcoin- and Lightning-native stablecoins. Devs can build USD-denominated and BTC-denominated balances (or other assets) in the same wallets for users wanting to send value across LN.

Lightning Network Trajectory

The Total Value Locked (TVL) in the Lightning Network fell below $100 million following the turbulent price action of Bitcoin. As per data from DeFiLlama, the figures maintained an upward trajectory since the beginning of the year, eventually posting a 2022-high of more than $172 million in April.

However, the subsequent market crash hampered the TVL momentum, which led to a drop near $70 million just two months later. Despite the mild recovery, TVL stood at $95.13 million as of September 29th.

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