Liquid assets are tokens issued on the Liquid Network. Liquid assets include Liquid Bitcoin (L-BTC) and Issued Assets. While there are subtle differences in the security models for L-BTC and Issued Assets, for the most part, all assets on Liquid look and function the same.
The Liquid Network is a sidechain implementation of the Elements blockchain platform, which itself is based on the Bitcoin codebase, so any users familiar with Bitcoin will feel right at home when sending and receiving Liquid assets.
Liquid Bitcoin (L-BTC)
L-BTC is special as an asset on Liquid in that it is verifiably backed 1-to-1 with bitcoins (BTC) on the Bitcoin mainchain. L-BTC can only be issued on Liquid through the process of a peg-in, which involves sending BTC on the mainchain to a multisig wallet secured by the Liquid Federation.
Bitcoins on the mainchain can be released through the process of a peg-out, which involves destroying the L-BTC on Liquid and sending an equal quantity of mainchain BTC to a mainchain address owned by a single member of the federation.
Aside from its uses in trading, L-BTC is also needed to pay for transaction fees for any asset transfers on the Liquid sidechain.
Anyone can issue their own tokens on Liquid. These tokens are known as Issued Assets. Issued Assets can be used for various applications, including stablecoins (e.g. Tether USDt), security tokens, digital collectibles, reward points, and vouchers.
Unlike L-BTC, any obligations with regards to Issued Assets (e.g. redeemability) are the responsibility of the issuer. Although Liquid verifies and enforces the total number of units issued of each asset, users cannot verify the existence or maintenance of any underlying assets.
Liquid Asset Features
All Liquid assets share the same base features:
- Speed: Non-variable, one-minute block times, and two-block transaction finality.
- Confidentiality: Transaction amounts and asset types are hidden from third parties on the blockchain.
- Trust-minimized swaps: Exchange any two Liquid assets without the need for an intermediary using the Liquid Swap Tool.
- Bitcoin-style smart contracts: Support for battle-tested multisig and timelocks.
Issuing New Assets
Anyone can issue a new asset on Liquid, although this is recommended for advanced users only. A list of issuances registered on the Liquid Asset Registry can be found on Blockstream Explorer.
Storing Liquid Assets
Liquid assets can currently be stored on Blockstream Green (recommended for most users) and Elements Core.