The big news for today is that Bitcoin's Lightning Labs has announced Taro protocol that will bring stablecoin transfers to the network. The Lightning Network is a layer-two solution for Bitcoin transactions that enables instant, low-fee transactions with Bitcoin without requiring each transaction to go through Bitcoin's blockchain verification. Lightning Labs creates Lightning network features. It has already created a few products, including the Lightning Pool for Bitcoin liquidity. Taro has now been included.

The advantages of stablecoins are numerous. In comparison to traditional methods, such payments are low-cost, safe, real-time, and more competitive. It also promises to boost crypto adoption.

Stablecoins serve as a link between volatile cryptocurrencies and stable real-world assets such as fiat currency. By trading with stablecoins rather than U.S. dollars, you can keep all of your transactions within crypto exchanges, saving you from the fees you'd normally be charged on many exchanges.

If we look at the context here a little bit, we can see that the stableoins restrictions are being widely considered. President Biden signed an executive order last month directing the federal government of the United States to investigate cryptocurrencies and "produce a report on the future of money and payment systems." In addition, two U.S. congressmen introduced a bill that would require stablecoins to be backed by both U.S. dollars and government securities.

Because regulators are paying close attention, We can confirm that, unlike other cryptocurrencies, stablecoins have the potential to play an important role in the future of payments and global finance.

Taro and its bid to introduce assets such as stablecoins to the Bitcoin Network were revealed on Tuesday by Elizabeth Stark, co-founder and CEO of Lightning Labs, a Layer 2 protocol that speeds up blockchain-based transactions.

In addition to announcing the launch of Taro, Lightning Labs stated that it had raised $70 million in an equity-based Series B fundraising round headed by Valor Equity Partners and asset manager Baillie Gifford. Participants included Goldcrest Capital, Kingsway, Moore Strategic Ventures, Brevan Howard, Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev, NYDIG, and Silvergate CEO Alan Lane.

The funds would be employed to increase Lightning Lab's runway flexibility and to fuel the company's growth, according to Stark.

How does Taro work?

The Taro protocol is technically possible thanks to Bitcoin's Taproot update, which went live in November 2021. Taro—named after the taro root plant—wants to "bitcoinize the dollar" by integrating the speed of the Lightning Network with the security of bitcoin to create a potent combination.

Taro's security is built on embedded consensus, which implies that Taro transactions include Bitcoin data that must be verified on the Bitcoin blockchain.
Similar to how Lighting Network is an overlay network that leverages Bitcoin smart contracts but has its own set of rules to facilitate the immediate transfer of bitcoin (BTC), The Taro protocol defines additional rules to regulate that data.

Taro, according to Stark, increases Bitcoin functioning since Taproot included three upgrades: Schnorr signatures, Tapscript, and Merkelized Abstract Syntax Trees (MAST). Taproot improves Bitcoin's efficiency, privacy, and flexibility, but only if it is built into tools for users by developers.

Lightning Labs published the Taro technical specifications as a Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP) so that the protocol can be created with input from the broader developer community.

A key contrast between Taro and other stablecoins, such as UST on Terra, is that Taro is not a stablecoin; it is just the infrastructure that allows assets, whether stablecoins or other assets, to be transferred via Lightning.    Developers still need to build projects using Taro.

Taro will increase Bitcoin adoption by allowing those in underdeveloped nations who do not have bank accounts to send and receive money in the form of stablecoins, which are designed to keep their value relative to the U.S. dollar.

'Ocean's Eleven' Director Steven Soderbergh Gives $300,000 to Crypto-Powered Film Fund.

Steven Soderbergh, the filmmaker of "Ocean's Eleven," has teamed up with Decentralized Pictures, a crypto-powered film fund, to establish a $300,000 grant on the blockchain film finance platform.

According to IndieWire, Soderbergh's production business Extension 765 has announced the Andrews/Bernard Award on Decentralized Pictures platform, which will provide a $300,000 grant to help filmmakers finish funding for English-language feature films or shorts.

He says that the approach to funding like these would allow for "complete transparency," noting that, "There's no intermediary. The money is not passing through anybody's hands. All these people who work for scale to make this film will be able to go online with a password and look at this account as the money is delivered from the theatres."

What are decentralized pictures?

Decentralized Pictures, co-founded by members of Francis Ford Coppola's production business American Zoetrope and producer Roman Coppola, enables filmmakers to submit movie concepts by paying a submission fee in FILMCredits, the project's native token (FILM).

Those submission fees are put into a smart contract that rewards DCP community members for reviewing projects and performing other tasks to help the community.

The top-rated projects are then reviewed by DCP, with the eventual winners receiving funding from awards like Soderbergh's. A part of the earnings from successful projects is subsequently redirected to the Decentralized Pictures pool, which will be used to support future awards.

"What we're trying to create here is an evergreen, self-sustaining film fund that can support independent artists and artists from underserved, underserved and underrepresented communities," Decentralized Pictures co-founder Mike Musante.

Sky Mavis Raises $150M Round Led by Binance to Reimburse Ronin Attack Victims.

Sky Mavis, the company behind the popular play-to-earn game Axie Infinity, announced on Wednesday that it had received $150 million in a round-headed by Binance to compensate users for monies lost in the $625 million Ronin hack. A16z, Dialectic, Paradigm, and Accel were among the investors in the round. According to the game company, the next round and the balance sheets of Sky Mavis and Axie Infinity will ensure that affected users are compensated.

Last week, Axie Infinity's Ronin Network revealed a $624 million heist, bringing cryptocurrency back into the limelight. The Ronin Bridge, which allows users to send funds between the Ronin network and Ethereum, was the target of the attack. The crypto community saw the Ronin attack as proof that the future of crypto, even if it is "multichain," is unlikely to be "cross-chain."

Let's understand it better: Ronin is an Ethereum sidechain or parallel network. After recognizing that Ethereum's foundation layer was too sluggish and expensive to handle all the transactions required to power its game, Axie Infinity, Sky mavis introduced Ronin in 2020. Under the hood, bridges like Ronin's work by encrypting crypto in smart contracts on one chain, then reissuing those tokens in "wrapped" form on a destination chain. If you used the Ronin Bridge to transfer ether (ETH) from Ethereum to Ronin, for example, ETH would be locked up on Ethereum and used as 1:1 backing for wrapped ether (WETH) issued on Ronin.

Bridges have become frequent targets for hackers since they contain so much money in one location. By gaining five of the nine validator keys responsible for safeguarding the Ronin network, a centralized network, the Ronin attacker was able to carry out March's exploit. The attacker was able to fraudulently withdraw large amounts of money from the Ronin Bridge into a rogue Ethereum wallet by controlling a majority of the keys.

The Ronin attack reminds us that, despite what consumers may believe, decentralization is critical for big-money apps in terms of absolute security.