Specter Solutions has integrated the Liquid Bitcoin sidechain network into its desktop and hardware wallet solutions and added support for Blockstream's hardware wallet Jade, according to a release sent to Bitcoin Magazine. The integration will enable Specter users to transact in the Liquid Network with Jade and Specter hardware wallets.
"At Blockstream, we believe self-custody is a fundamental element of Bitcoin," said Samson Mow, Chief Strategy Officer at Blockstream. "Running a node, whether it is Bitcoin itself or a layer-2 solution like Liquid or Lightning, unlocks the full potential of the asset and the ability to self-bank. We look forward to continuing our work with Specter to help make running a node more accessible and enjoyable for the everyday Bitcoiner."
Liquid is a federated sidechain of Bitcoin, meaning it is a separate blockchain network, different from Lightning which runs on top of the Bitcoin blockchain as a layer-2 solution. Blockstream created Liquid to empower traders and exchanges with faster and confidential transactions and the ability to issue digital assets at the expense of a few tradeoffs.
Liquid allows bitcoin to flow between the Liquid and Bitcoin networks with a two-way peg. Bitcoin used in the Liquid network is referred to as L-BTC, and its verifiably equivalent amount of BTC is managed and secured by the network's members, called functionaries.
However, functionaries can be interpreted as requiring trust in third parties because although full nodes can ensure functionaries' correct behavior by verifying transactions and peg-ins, only functionaries have the power to secure the network.
The uprising of different options for users to interact with and leverage the Bitcoin network is a net positive, but the tradeoffs are essential to understand. Liquid is a meaningful tool for a particular set of use cases, primarily for exchanges and high-frequency traders. Still, everyday users might be put off by the introduction of trust and permission into pegging in and out of a BTC IOU — which goes against some principles of Bitcoin.