Lightning Labs teases protocol for minting RWAs, stablecoins on Bitcoin

Developers now have “the complete set of tools to start issuing, managing and exploring mainnet assets on-chain,” says business development director


sukrit3d/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks


Are stablecoins and other real-world assets coming to Bitcoin? A new release from Lightning Labs may enable just that. 

Lightning Network developers Lightning Labs announced on Wednesday the “mainnet alpha” release of Taproot Assets, a protocol for minting non-native assets to Bitcoin, and eventually to the Lightning Network. 

In a blog post from Lightning Labs, business development director Ryan Gentry wrote that developers now have “the complete set of tools to start issuing, managing and exploring mainnet assets on-chain.”

The blog post emphasized stablecoins in particular as a promising design space, pointing to recent research that shows stablecoin projects are, in aggregate, now among the largest holders of US Treasurys in the world. 

Additionally, the blog cited a recent Blockworks article, noting that stablecoins are an ideal alternative to local currencies in emerging economies

“Over 2 billion people live under double or triple digit inflation in their local currencies, making a stablecoin’s price stability relative to the dollar even more attractive. We believe that Taproot Assets bringing stablecoins to bitcoin wallets will only accelerate the process of bringing bitcoin (BTC) to those billions of people,” he wrote. 

Developers have reportedly begun experimenting with “gold, US Treasurys, corporate bonds with programmatic coupon payments and more.”

The launch of the protocol comes amid a surge of activity in Bitcoin development. The 2021 “Taproot” upgrade to the network — the first since 2017 — significantly expanded the theoretical capabilities of the chain from a development perspective. 

Since then, native NFTs from developer Casey Rodamor – also referred to as Ordinals – have led to a surge in transactions and interest in Bitcoin blockspace. 

Likewise, in October a research paper proposed “BitVM,” a protocol that would leverage Taproot to enable the creation of a zero-knowledge light client for Bitcoin that would theoretically be Turing complete. 

Don’t miss the next big story – join our free daily newsletter.


Upcoming Events

Hilton Metropole | 225 Edgware Rd, London

MON - WED, MARCH 18 - 20, 2024

Crypto’s premier institutional conference returns to London in March 2024. The DAS: London Experience:  Attend expert-led panel discussions and fireside chats  Hear the latest developments regarding the crypto and digital asset regulatory environment directly from policymakers and experts   Grow your network […]

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research



Akash is a general-purpose compute platform with GPUs, storage, LLM training or inference, and validator hosting through its two-sided marketplace.


The SEC could allow half a dozen or more such funds to launch at once, Ark Invest CEO says


2023 saw a decline in a16z crypto funding, but the behemoth VC firm teased what it’s excited for next year


“Iran Unchained” launched a new version of its grant platform to make donations to activists easier


The stablecoin marks the first time a regulated European bank has made a euro-pegged stablecoin available on a crypto exchange


Build it and they will come, perhaps, but making crypto easier to use is turning out to be just as important


Amid moves by Itau Unibanco and Nubank, the country could serve as “a proof of concept” for TradFi-crypto integrations, industry research exec says