At Consensus Distributed on May 12, Blockstream presented Lightnite, a Fortnite-like game that uses the Liquid Network for storing non-fungible tokens (NFT) representing game items.

While the game is developed by independent company Satoshi’s Games, Blockstream has sponsored the game by running a token giveaway

The announcement has garnered a considerable amount of criticism from Ethereum (ETH) fans, given the longstanding rivalry with the Bitcoin (BTC) “maximalists.” Non-fungible tokens are traditionally associated with Ethereum and other smart contract blockchains, and received constant criticism from Bitcoin community members as part of that association.

Benjamin DiFrancesco, an Ethereum contributor and founder of Scopelift, tweeted that this is part of a narrative shift:

“Narrative shift alert: we’re going from ‘things like NFTs are dumb and useless’ to ‘Bitcoin can do things like NFTs.”

Not all Bitcoin community members welcomed the Liquid NFTs, with notable Ethereum critic Udi Wertheimer commenting that “nobody wants NFTs.”

What is Liquid?

Lightnite’s sales pitch mentions gamers earning Bitcoin while playing the game, while Marty Bent, host of Bitcoin podcast “Tales from the Crypt,” praised the NFT initiative in a newsletter post, saying: 

“Bitcoin can support use cases that many altcoin scammers have tried to say it cannot.”

But Liquid is not Bitcoin. It is a sidechain that uses BTC through a trustful bridge maintained by the Liquid federation, which mostly includes exchanges. While it is based on the Bitcoin codebase, it goes beyond it at the same time, adding faster finality, tokenized assets and confidential transactions on-chain.

That comes at the price of decentralization. The blockchain is entirely validated by the federation, which itself decides who can become part of it. It holds custody of the BTC used for the Liquid bridge, and Blockstream maintains multisig recovery keys for emergency situations. 

This is in contrast…

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