Lightning Labs launches rebranded ‘Taro’ amid Bitcoin’s BRC-20 bottleneck

Lightning Labs launches rebranded ‘Taro’ amid Bitcoin’s BRC-20 bottleneck


Bitcoin (BTC) users have been given a possibly more efficient way to mint new assets on the blockchain after an updated edition of the recently-rebranded Taproot Assets Protocol was released by Lightning Labs.

In a May 16 blog post, Lightning Network infrastructure firm Lighting Labs criticized the current methods by which assets are inscribed on the Bitcoin blockchain, calling them “particularly inefficient” and pointed to cumbersome protocols that write asset metadata “directly into block space.”

The Taproot Assets Protocol is designed to operate “maximally off-chain” in order to avoid the network congestion that has become an unfortunate characteristic of the Bitcoin network since the inception of the BRC-20 token standard by anonymous developer “Domo” on March 8.

Lightning Labs said Protocol users could soon integrate BRC-20 assets into the Lightning Network, with wallets, exchanges and merchants ported, over instead of needing to “bootstrap a new ecosystem” from scratch.

Domo has previously said the Taproot Assets Protocol is a far “better solution” for minting new assets on Bitcoin when compared to the pre-existing methods like JavaScript Object Notation (JSON), as it allows for users to easily transfer to the Lightning network for “fast and cheap transactions.”

The overwhelming majority of BRC-20 tokens created thus far utilize Ordinal inscriptions of JSON data to deploy token contracts, mint tokens and transfer them.

This method has drawn widespread criticism from developers, who claim the process costs four times as much in transaction fees compared to just using binary.

The Taproot Assets Protocol is the rebranded version of the original “Taro” protocol. Lightning Labs was forced to change the name of the software following what it called a “frivolous” trademark infringement suit filed against them by blockchain development firm Tari Labs on Dec. 8 last year.

Related: Ordinals and BRC-20 will disappear in a matter of months, says JAN3 CEO

The total value of BRC-20 tokens briefly surpassed the $1 billion mark on May 9 but has since shrunk back down to $500 million, a drop of nearly 50%.

The total number of BRC-20 tokens ranked by market cap. Source: BRC-20

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