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Marathon Builds ALYS – New Bitcoin Sidechain For Institutions

Published March 22, 2024 2:24 PM
James Morales
Published March 22, 2024 2:24 PM
By James Morales
Verified by Peter Henn

Key Takeaways

  • Marathon Digital has incubated a new Bitcoin sidechain, ALYS.
  • Designed as a tokenization solution for institutions, ALYS is the first chain in the Anduro multichain network.
  • Te new sidechain will leverage Bitcoin’s brand recognition to appeal to institutional decision-makers.

Marathon Digital has teamed up with Build on Bitcoin (BOB) to launch a new tokenization-oriented Bitcoin sidechain for institutions.

Using Marathon’s Layer 2 solution Anduro, the new platform, ALYS, combines Ethereum compatibility with the security of Bitcoin’s Proof-of-Work consensus mechanism.

Not Just Another Bitcoin Sidechain

While ALYS is not the first Bitcoin sidechain, its developers hope it will be the start of a new ecosystem based on Anduro.

Marathon is also working on a second chain, Coordinate, expected to launch as a Bitcoin Ordinals scaling solution in the coming months. In future, the project anticipates third-party developers building their own Anduro chains too.

Explaining the approach in an interview with CCN, Anduro product lead Jullian Duran emphasized that “you’re not a multichain network if you don’t go to market multichain”. He added:

“We didn’t want to just release a single chain and everybody think “oh, they’re building another sidechain and it’s exactly like Liquid or Rootstock.” I want, from the get-gom everybody to understand that we want a multi-chain Layer 2 network where every kind of sidechain is accepted.”

The goal, he continued, is to create a network of blockchains that all use Bitcoin as a consensus layer while remaining “experimental with the application side of things”. 

Bitcoin’s Institutional Appeal

ALYS is launching as Bitcoin experiences a surge of institutional interest after a prolonged crypto winter kept many corporations away.

Duran said the success of spot bitcoin Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) proves that large institutions want to adopt Bitcoin. However, he argued “the ecosystem doesn’t exist at a level where they can use it beyond a store of value.”

As a tokenization platform that uses Bitcoin for its underlying security, ALYS creates a new institutional use case for the world’s most prominent blockchain. 

Leveraging Bitcoin Brand Recognition

While there are dozens of existing real-world asset tokenization solutions spanning every major blockchain, the world’s largest financial institutions have been slow to adopt the technology.

“Polygon and Avalanche are known within the blockchain community, but beyond that, these are names of shapes or geological phenomena […] If you pitch that, you’re already confusing the audience. ” Duran observed.

The goal with ALYS, he continued, is to leverage broad recognition of Bitcoin. He aims to build a solution “palpable to every single decision-maker on the planet,” even those who have little knowledge of crypto.


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