What Are Wrapped Crypto Tokens?

But instead of paper representing a promise to pay your BTC back, inside is a live feed to a vault containing every bitcoin and outstanding wrapped bitcoin. The minting process can also be relatively costly thanks to high gas fees and can incur some slippage. Wrapped Bitcoin as our example, a tokenized version of Bitcoin on Ethereum. WBTC is an ERC-20 token that’s fp market or ic markets supposed to hold a one-to-one peg to the value of Bitcoin, allowing you to effectively use BTC on the Ethereum network. Given the overall usefulness and affordability of wrapping BTC, it’s no surprise to learn that developers are hard at work expanding on this concept. Already, you see a push to introduce wrapped Bitcoins into more complex DeFi concepts.

what is wrapped bitcoin

“However, bear in mind that they’re just one way to increase interoperability between blockchains. Projects like Polkadot continue pushing the boundaries of blockchains connecting to each other in the years to come, so expect a lot of innovation in this market! Because of this guaranteed conversion process, Wrapped Bitcoin should always be very close to the value of a standard Bitcoin. Sure, investors are betting on the survival of three projects instead of one , but there is no practical reason to bake additional market risk into the Wrapped Bitcoin.

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However, if you have a lot of Bitcoin tokens, they can’t be used on Ethereum. On top of that, transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain take much longer than those on the Ethereum blockchain. The world’s most popular cryptocurrency is still Bitcoin, but it doesn’t have the same functionality as some other tokens, such as those on the Ethereum blockchain. We may receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author’s own.

  • Like WBTC, renBTC is an ERC20 token that represents bitcoin on the Ethereum blockchain.
  • At any time, when they wish, they can get back their coins, even after “changing” them into Ethereum tokens.
  • The way Bitcoin is held determines the level of security provided.
  • SNX is the platform’s main governance token for the Synthetix Network.

The whole DeFi framework is built on the Lego blocks type of structure. And WBTC provides yet another building block—especially with the Set Protocol.TokenSetsalready has products that can automatically trade between ETH and WBTC. The goal is to be fully transparent concerning the amount of WBTC in circulation.

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As long as your preferred cryptocurrency trading platform offers Wrapped Bitcoin tokens, you should feel free to pick up this alternative instead of — or in addition to — ordinary Bitcoin tokens. If something goes wrong, you should be able to convert these tokens into Bitcoin as needed. Dollar is a fiat currency issued by a sovereign body, the United States government, through the Treasury Department — which means that you can’t use it for cryptocurrency transactions. Therefore, the crypto version of the U.S. fiat, the USDT stablecoin, is introduced, which can work on blockchain networks.

what is wrapped bitcoin

The second largest wrapped token by market capitalisation also is linked to Bitcoin – renBTC. Being fully ERC-20 compliant means that WBTC can be integrated into decentralized exchanges , lending protocols, prediction markets, and other decentralized applications . And since its value stays pegged to Bitcoin at all times, traditional Bitcoiners will no longer have to sell their stake for an unknown ERC-20 token that is prone to fluctuate. ” have also played a major role in advocacy for synthetic assets. The method of using synthetic assets for wrapping Bitcoin has been gaining considerable popularity in recent times.

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Because it’s based on the Ethereum network, it can be used to interact with the Ethereum network through smart contracts, decentralized applications and other features. The method of decentralized wrapping basically involves transfer of centralized custody to smart contracts. The Bitcoin of users remains in a network contract that cannot be modified without the approval of users. As a result, users can access a trustless and autonomous system for wrapping their Bitcoin.

Wrapped Bitcoin is not the only compatible version of Bitcoin. There are also Binance Wrapped BTC , Huobi BTC , renBTC , and Interest Bearing Bitcoin . To move them around across nine blockchain networks, Zapper Bridge should also be considered as the most convenient option. Carefully consider your needs and goals as well as market volatility before you decide to invest in wrapped bitcoin.

As its value is linked to Bitcoin, you can track BTC’s price while enjoying wBTC’s smart contract functionality. This allows BTC holders to easily take advantage of the latest DeFi opportunities. Originally developed by BitGo, Ren, and Kyber, wrapped Bitcoin is now maintained by the wBTC DAO , an organisation that includes over 30 members. However, this also means that wrapped bitcoin has centralised elements as it is managed by an organisation – albeit a DAO – while Bitcoin is a decentralised cryptocurrency. In the first half of 2022, hackers stole over $1.3B from blockchain bridges. This accounted for 69% of crypto-related hacks, according to the Chainalysis report.

Different wBTC Models

Besides Bitcoin, the list of wrapped tokens includes other assets mainly compliant with Ethereum ERC-20 and Binance Smart Chain BEP-20. Coming back to the blockchain interoperability issue, there are many blockchain products or protocols that work specifically to improve interoperability. These are sometimes called “bridges” since what they are doing is essentially creating bridges between different blockchain networks, to allow people to port digital assets across different blockchains. As a result, the interoperability between two networks drops considerably.

Is wrapped BTC centralized?

The benefit of wrapping bitcoin is that this process is a centralized, trusted approach that may be, and often is, compliant with financial regulations. Once wBTC is created, it functions just like any other ERC-20 token.

It is estimated that a record 1% of Bitcoin’s circulating supply of 18.73 million is now used in DeFi through wrapped Bitcoin tokens. The DAO comprises 17 members from the DeFi space who will hold a multi-sig (multi-signature) contract to add or remove wBTC merchants and custodians. When it was launched in January 2019, the first wrapped Bitcoin protocol was intended to bring Bitcoin potential and liquidity to the Ethereum network along with the flexibility of an ERC-20 token. Governing members of the WBTC DAO decide on major upgrades and changes to the protocol as well as who can assume the roles of the merchants and custodians who manage the system. Custodian — The institution that holds the asset and also holds the keys to mint tokens.

Wrapped Bitcoin

This owes mainly to the type of algorithm that is securing them. Bitcoin and – until the new version launches in late 2022 – Ethereum both rely on the Proof of Work algorithm to secure their networks. The sector that is dedicated to solving this type of problem of inter-blockchain communication is sometimes referred to blockchain interoperability. This difference and independence of blockchain networks are crucial to ensure that they are all able to preserve their own independence and reliability. However, it also creates a lot of difficulties when trying to communicate information to each other. This resulting wrapped token can then be freely transacted on the new network while leaving the original token untouched.

Consequently, BTC lacks full smart contract capabilities in its true form. This vast network includes exclusive wallets, Dapps, DEXs, games, and smart contracts. Wrapped Bitcoin users can even gain access to DeFi lending and borrowing networks without actually giving up or trading their Bitcoin directly.

By using this type of financing, investor lenders can still get some returns even in bear markets when the value of the asset drops. A wrapped Bitcoin is a significant addition to the cryptocurrency world. While the value of the wBTC is the same as the original Bitcoin, the functional aspect is accrued enormously and increases the possibility of employing Bitcoin for other use cases like DeFi.

Is Wrapped Bitcoin a good investment?

The wrapped framework makes it easy to represent any cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin on Ethereum blockchain, thereby harnessing all Ethereum capabilities. WBTC DAO member — Contract changes and addition/removal of custodians and merchants are controlled by a multi-signature contract. Institutions are the holders of the keys to the multi-sig contract as part of the WBTC DAO. The WBTC DAO however, also allows for member institutions who are neither custodian nor merchant. Wrapped tokens is a multi-institutional asset tokenization framework that adheres to the centralized approach. However, instead of relying entirely on a single institution, it relies on a consortium of institutions performing different roles in the network. First you need to add some ETH to your MetaMask wallet in order to pay for transactions on the Ethereum network.

How do you unwrap a crypto token?

Click on the wallet icon in the top-right corner of the screen. Click on the three dots next to your WETH. Click the “Unwrap” option. After your request has been processed, click the “Confirm” button to swap it into your Metamask wallet.

You’ve now equipped yourself with a key vault that only you can access, a secure login, a wallet to view your tokens, and a way to exchange tokens or access the decentralized web. Think of it as a way of managing your money, how are bitcoin, cryptocurrencies or cryptoassets digital assets, unique art and identity as you use various decentralized finance applications. Wrapped Bitcoin is an ERC-20 token on the Ethereum blockchain. It hopes to improve both the usability and scalability of Bitcoin.

  • According to researchers, there are now over $1.1 Billion in wBTC in use globally.
  • The need for such a token arose with the growth of DeFi, which is now worth billions of dollars going into lending, options, derivatives, and other types of financial applications.
  • The centralized strategy for wrapping Bitcoin focuses on choosing an organization that would maintain the value of the assets.
  • For these reasons, you can expect to see more wBTC enter the market in the coming weeks.
  • Bitcoin holders could use WBTC to become a part of the decentralized finance ecosystem.
  • This material is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any securities, currencies, commodities, cryptocurrencies or other financial instruments.

They have different functionalities and basic differences in their algorithms. WBTC holders who are comfortable taking on more risk can deposit WBTC in liquidity pools to earn fees and liquidity mining rewards . Recently launched protocols, such as Curve Finance and Harvest, for example, accept WBTC for its liquidity pools. While yield farming is much riskier than bitcoins market cap crosses $1 trillion as etfs start trading simply lending tokens, the expected APYs are also much higher. “A large chunk of the DeFi ecosystem are based on the Ethereum network rather than the Bitcoin blockchain. This can be extremely frustrating for Bitcoin owners, as this means it’s near impossible for them to get involved unless they sell their crypto assets or buy others,” according to CoinMarketCap.