Bitcoin users can now leverage the Ethereum ecosystem with the launch of WBTC

SINGAPORE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–January 31, 2019–

WBTC (Wrapped Bitcoin) has officially launched on Ethereum as an ERC20 token fully backed by Bitcoin and is now available for trading on several applications and platforms. WBTC was first announced on October 26, 2018 as a joint initiative by BitGo, Kyber Network, Ren (formerly Republic Protocol), and other community partners, to bring Bitcoin’s liquidity to the decentralized ecosystem on Ethereum and enhance all decentralized applications (DApps).

Why the Ethereum ecosystem needs WBTC

WBTC will allow the Ethereum network to be leveraged to enable new applications and use cases for Bitcoin. WBTC standardizes Bitcoin to the ERC20 format, so DApps such as Compound, Dharma, dYdx, Gnosis, Maker, Set protocol and more can leverage Bitcoin for decentralized lending, margin trading and derivative markets. Further compelling new applications and use cases will be identified, explored and implemented as the ecosystem continues to grow and actively innovate.

By bringing Bitcoin’s liquidity to Ethereum, WBTC also makes it possible for traders to use Bitcoin value for token trades on decentralized exchanges (DEXs) such as AirSwap, DDEX, ETHfinex, IDEX, KyberSwap, Loopring, Radar Relay, RenEx, Switcheo Network, TheOcean. Wallet providers and exchanges will now be able to reduce overheads with the ability to support multiple currencies while maintaining only the one Ethereum node.

Immediate Liquidity and Utility at Launch

Kyber Network and Ren have pre-minted WBTC tokens from their own Bitcoin inventory to provide initial liquidity and make WBTC immediately available for swaps with users. BitGo will be the initial custodian.

Eight initial merchants will be facilitating conversion between WBTC and BTC: AirSwap, Dharma, ETHfinex, GOPAX, Kyber Network, Prycto, Ren, and Set Protocol.

Various decentralized and centralized exchanges have also procured WBTC inventory to support liquidity for the token with the live supply of WBTC observable on the WBTC dashboard. Besides exchanges, WBTC will also have immediate usage in financial DApps such as Compound, Dharma, dYdX and DApps and wallets integrated with Kyber Network.

Community Transparency

All WBTC smart contracts have been audited by several credible third-party audit firms: Solidified Technologies, ChainSecurity and Coinspect. The first WBTC on the main Ethereum chain have been minted and burnt which can be observed on-chain on Ethereum. The proof of reserve is on-chain, which shows the exact 1:1 between minted WBTC tokens and Bitcoin stored by the custodians.

The WBTC DAO members initially consist of AirSwap, BitGo, Blockfolio, Compound, DDEX / Hydro, Dharma, Gnosis, GOPAX, Kyber Network, Loopring Protocol, MakerDAO, OmiseGO, Prycto, Ren, Set Protocol, and TheOcean. Any critical changes to the WBTC structure must be approved by the DAO.

The fundamental design of WBTC and the continuing commitment of all members to openness will form the essential building blocks for a transparent process framework and governance structure. Relying on these foundational principles, WBTC will remain a firmly community-led initiative into the future, focused on driving continued innovation for the enhancement of the entire ecosystem.

For more information visit www.wbtc.network.

About BitGo

BitGo is the market leader in institutional-grade cryptocurrency investment services providing security, compliance, and custodial solutions for blockchain-based currencies. BitGo is the world’s largest processor of on-chain bitcoin transactions, processing 15% of all global Bitcoin transactions, and $15 billion per month across all cryptocurrencies. The company has over $2 billion in assets in wallet, and a customer base that includes the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges and spans more than 50 countries. In 2018, it launched BitGo Trust Company, the first qualified custodian purpose-built for storing digital assets. BitGo is headquartered in Palo Alto, California, with offices in Sioux Falls, London, Singapore, and Tokyo.

About Kyber Network

Kyber’s on-chain liquidity protocol allows decentralized token swaps to be integrated into any application, enabling value exchange to be performed seamlessly between all parties in the ecosystem. Using this protocol, end users can swap tokens instantly while developers can build innovative payment flows and applications, including token swap services, ERC20 payments, and financial DApps – helping to build a world where any token is usable anywhere. Kyber is natively integrated into major crypto wallets, websites and financial dapps, including IMToken, MyEtherWallet, CoinGecko, Etheremon, and Melonport.

About Ren

Ren is an ecosystem for unstoppable privacy. Ren enables the transfer of tokens in zero-knowledge, trustless swaps between blockchains, dark pool trading and the ability to build any privacy preserving application for decentralized technology.

Darren Toh
Email: darren@republicprotocol.com
Phone: +65 9428 9181