Wrapped Bitcoin, an ERC20 token with a 1:1 ratio to Bitcoin has been launched on the Ethereum blockchain. Its launch comes roughly three months since it was announced in October 2018.
Wrapped Bitcoin, abbreviated as WBTC, was developed by Bitgo, a virtual currency custody firm in conjunction with Republic Protocol and Kyber Network which are both decentralized exchanges.
According to its website, Wrapped Bitcoin:
Brings greater liquidity to the Ethereum ecosystem including decentralized exchanges (DEXs) and financial applications. Today, the majority of trading takes place on centralized exchanges with Bitcoin. WBTC changes that, bringing Bitcoin’s liquidity to DEXs and making it possible to use Bitcoin for token trades.
Wrapped Bitcoin will access the chains – Bitcoin and Ethereum – by employing atomic swaps.
This process will involve a user requesting Wrapped Bitcoin from a merchant after which the merchant will perform basic anti money laundering (AML) and know your customer (KYC) procedures. Then, the user transfers Bitcoin to the merchant and the merchant sending Wrapped Bitcoin to the user.
The merchants who are already facilitating the swaps include ETHfinex, Kyber Networks, Airswap, Gopax, Set Protocol, Prycto, Dharma, and Ren. Additionally, some exchanges will also be listing WBTC.
The WBTC website continued to note that:
With Wrapped BTC, users experience increased liquidity and participation. The Ethereum network processes transactions faster than the Bitcoin network, but Bitcoin holders don’t have to wait anymore…Decentralized applications can now leverage bitcoin payments in smart contracts for lending protocols, funds, prediction markets, and token sales.
According to a press release, all WBTC smart contracts have already passed an audit which was performed by ChainSecurity, Coinspect, and Solidified Technologies which are all independent audit companies.
Do you think Wrapped Bitcoin will successfully bridge the gap between the two leading chains?
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