Sidechains Bring ICOs, Confidential Transaction to Bitcoin

First, it was the news of an anticipated sidechain with a smart contract feature finally coming to the Bitcoin network. The RSK sidechain is expected to make initial coin offerings (ICOs) possible on the Bitcoin blockchain before the end of the year. Now, the Liquid Network is live as the world’s first production Bitcoin sidechain that facilitates faster transactions between businesses and individuals while enabling extended functionality.

The Liquid Network launches as the world’s first production Bitcoin sidechain that facilitates faster and confidential transactions (Credit Blockstream)

Like the RSK platform which has been in development since 2016, the Blockstream’s Liquid Network was first announced in 2015. Some of Liquid Network’s features include its native Liquid Bitcoin (L-BTC) asset for Bitcoin transfer between members in two minutes. It helps remove the need for dedicated blockchains or wallet software to bring Bitcoin-like features to traditional assets like tokenized fiat and attested assets (e.g. gold coins). It also enables the Blockstream’s Confidential Transaction technology that makes the amount and asset type transferred known only to the transacting parties.

Somewhat likened to the Lightning Network, Liquid differs as it can transfer large amounts of Bitcoin between participants and its transactions are not subject to delay due to the lack of cooperation of other parties. It will fundamentally change how traders and market makers move their Bitcoin holdings instantly within the network. Whereas with Lightning, the current maximum channel capacity is limited by the protocol to around 0.168 BTC and transfers can experience delays if a payment has to go through parties that are not on-line.

South Korean blockchain startup Temco, will use RSK sidechain to launch its ICO to raise $19 mln in November for its target supply chain management industry. For Liquid Network, it’s had some of the crypto industry’s top players participate in the launch of its blockchain with the first block generated on September 27. These Liquid members include Bitbank, Bitfinex, BitMEX, Coinone, OKCoin, Unocoin, Xapo and Zaif.

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