sparkswap: Trade across blockchains without custody risk

I’m excited to publicly share what my team and I have been working on for the past few months: sparkswap.

sparkswap is a new way to trade cryptocurrencies without depositing your assets with a third party or trusting any sort of intermediary. You can trade between different blockchains (currently Bitcoin and Litecoin, with others coming soon), with trades settling in about a second — a transaction time comparable to some of the leading centralized cryptocurrency exchanges.

In an industry that, at times, seems to value hype and whitepapers over delivered, working software, we’ve opted for the latter. Our software is in a pre-alpha state, but we’ve successfully used it to execute BTC/LTC trades on the Bitcoin and Litecoin testnets.

With sparkswap, you no longer have to choose between fast settlement, liquid trading pairs, and maintaining control of your assets. Your assets are no longer exposed to theft or loss by exchanges, either from bad actors or local governments.

sparkswap makes this possible by settling trades peer-to-peer using trustless, atomic cross-chain swaps over the Lightning Network. To our knowledge, we’re the first working application of this technology beyond some initial demonstrations. Below is a video demonstrating a testnet trade.

Two users, Alice¹ and Bob² use sparkswap to trade BTC and LTC over the Lightning Network

We still have plenty of work to do to take this technology to mainnet and live trading, but we’re ready for people to start trying out the swaps themselves so we can improve the technology as a community.

We’ll write some more over the coming weeks about how sparkswap works and the motivation behind some of the choices we’ve made, but until then, join us on Discord or check out our developer docs.

P.S. if you want to try integrating sparkswap into your trading infrastructure, let us know, as we’d like to be helpful if we can.

[1] Alice’s channel opening transactions: BTC, LTC
[2] Bob’s channel opening transactions: BTC, LTC