Sparkswap, a US-based startup, announced on Monday the launch of the public beta of its decentralized exchange built on Bitcoin‘s Lightning Network.
The decentralized exchange allows users to trade cryptocurrencies without the risk of theft as a result of hacks, by ensuring users retain full control of their assets. Indeed, a study by security firm CipherTrace found that $927 million of cryptocurrency was lost to hacks in the first three quarters of 2018 alone.
What separates Sparkswap from other decentralized exchanges, however, is that users will be able to trade across blockchains. Such exchanges are typically restricted to one chain, such as EtherDelta on Ethereum.
In a blog post on Monday, founder Trey Griffith revealed:
“For the first time, non-custodial trading will be truly competitive with the custodial exchanges. By taking advantage of the Lightning Network, traders on Sparkswap do not have to sacrifice execution and settlement speed to keep custody of their assets. And by supporting Bitcoin natively, Sparkswap can address the most liquid trading pairs.”
Sparkswap intends to leverage Bitcoin’s Lightning Network to perform Atomic Swaps — peer-to-peer trades between wallets — and allow users to trade across multiple blockchains trustlessly. In fact, the startup boasts the first ever mainnet Lightning Network Atomic Swap on January 2, 2019.
For the public beta, launched today, trading will be limited to BTC/LTC, but Sparkswap plans to expand to many more cryptocurrency pairs as development progresses.
The company raised $3.5 million in a recent round of funding from firms including Initialized Capital, Pantera Capital, Foundation Capital and Y Combinator.