This is a transcribed excerpt from the “Bitcoin Magazine Podcast,” hosted by P and Q. In this episode, they’re joined by Lightning Lab’s Head of Business Development, Ryan Gentry, to talk about how the company is building the ability to use stablecoins. on the Lightning network with its new Taro protocol.
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Q: I want to talk about stablecoins with you and have this conversation of: Are they necessary within the Bitcoin ecosystem and why or why not?
Ryan Gentry: That’s a great question, and it’s the one that really drove our decision to focus on Taro this year.
Rewinding to Bitcoin 2021 when we got news of El Salvador’s bitcoin legal tender law, we got Jack Maller’s amazing presentation. This started this massive wave of adoption by emerging markets of Lightning, Lightning apps and Lightning wallets everywhere from Brazil to Argentina to El Salvador to Nigeria to Ghana to South Africa to Vietnam to all over the world
I think the most interesting part of my job is that I get to work with Bitcoin entrepreneurs and Bitcoin developers all over the world who are trying to get Lightning adopted. Talking to them last year, as they were getting tons of new registrations, tons of new adoptions, we were very excited.
As the year came to a close, we kept hearing one thing repeated from these emerging market entrepreneurs that was like, “Okay, this has been the best year ever, great adoption, numbers up and the right and now I have successfully acquired all Bitcoiners, as in Chiang Mai, Vietnam.” Neutron Pay: “We have all the Bitcoiners. We’ve acquired them all. They’re all using our app. It’s great. That’s great. The next level of users we want to acquire, they want the dollar.”
It was something that we heard all over the world, from South America to Africa to Southeast Asia, was that there is this next group of users that we want to bring into the Bitcoin ecosystem, but using bitcoins for daily payments was a little too much. a lot and they really wanted to use the dollar.
Of course, being at Lightning Labs, you are by definition a Bitcoin Maximalist. I think everyone on the team is very bullish on bitcoin. We wouldn’t build a payments protocol on top of Bitcoin if we weren’t bullish on bitcoin as an asset. But we kept listening to these real people in the world, trying to solve real problems and trying to increase adoption of their applications that really need the dollar.
I think this is just one of those things where if we can provide the same Lightning experience, we can bring more users into the Lightning Network, we can help all the startups that are pushing the Bitcoin infrastructure and bringing users together and trying to educate. users on why bitcoin is important, if we can give them this tool that allows them to reach the next 50,000 users, 100,000 users, millions of users, I think that’s an absolute win. I think it’s a huge boom for the ecosystem and it just follows user demand, which I think is very important.
One of the side benefits of this that I don’t think is talked about much is because Taro runs on Bitcoin rails, because it requires a full Bitcoin node, because it also requires a Lightning node, if we give the market what it wants in stablecoins, we’re getting the benefit as these new companies adopt the spread of Bitcoin infrastructure and the spread of Bitcoin nodes and the spread of Lightning nodes and Lightning channels to all these places that maybe they wouldn’t necessarily adopt if it was just bitcoin.
I think this is an underrated point, just the spread of the Bitcoin infrastructure. Because if we are right about which bitcoin is the asset, over time the demand for the dollar will decrease anyway and this Bitcoin infrastructure will be available for users to switch their demand from USD to BTC. I think this is a moment that we’re all really excited about and pushing for, but there’s just that bridge in the middle where we have to give the people what they want.