Blockstream which provides Bitcoin and blockchain products and services has recently announced the release of the Liquid Full Node binaries alongside a new block explorer that enables the user to track transactions on the Liquid sidechain. Liquid is an inter-exchange settlement network which links or exchanges and institutions from around the world in order to fasten the process of transaction of digital assets.
The Blockstream Block Explorer will allow users to view requested data from the Bitcoin blockchain and Liquid sidechain. The initial idea was to let Liquid side chain users cross check transactions as well as monitor the network activity. This gradually developed further to include Bitcoin blockchain support, which has since then been available. It offers support of SegWit and bech32 and draws data real-time from a fully updated Bitcoin Core full-node and has impendong plans to extend even further and include newer features like access joining the P2P Liquid Network by operating a full node. It comes complete with wallet support, letting users manage L-BTC and other Liquid assets.
Node operators can also take advantage of Liquid’s advanced confidentiality features. ‘Confidential Transactions’ hides transaction amounts to protect privacy, whilst still being fully verifiable. And ‘Confidential Assets’ maintains the same verifiability whilst masking asset types.
Liquid is an inter-exchange settlement network, built on and compatible with Blockstream’s Elements platform.
One part of the announcement raised some eyebrows; a questionable use of the word trustlessly.
Now any user can join the P2P Liquid Network by operating a full node, in order to trustlessly self-validate the chain just like they can with the Bitcoin network.
Bitcoin Core developer, Matt Corallo, tweeted that perhaps Blockstream was trying to redefine the word. Bitcoin developer Peter Todd, meanwhile, said that “there’s no way in hell that Blockstream should be calling Liquid trustless… It’s just a fancy bank,” he added.
Blockstream CEO Adam Back also asserted the iaaccurcy and acknowledged that it looked unsafe and noted that the trade-offs that come with using a sidechain like Liquid. While it is possible to validate transactions trustlessly (running a full node), there is no “trustless use general,” conceded Back, who listed the IOU peg and claim risk from the issuer as potential downsides.