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Record $616M of Wrapped Bitcoin Minted in September

Monthly value of minted WBTC grew 160% from August.

Oct 5, 2020 at 7:03 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 10:04 a.m. UTC

Wrapped Bitcoin minted a record $616 million worth of tokenized bitcoins in September, according to transaction data analyzed by CoinDesk, a more than 160% increase over the $232 million minted in August.

  • Record minting comes as strong over-the-counter demand for wrapped bitcoin continues, according to Chicago-based firm Grapefruit Trading, one of the first OTC desks to mint WBTC through BitGo.
  • Getty Hill, trader at Grapefruit, told CoinDesk their clients’ interest in converting BTC to WBTC reflects market participants capitalizing on the growing number of opportunities for using pseudo-BTC in the growing decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem.

Monthly value of WBTC mints

  • At FTX, CEO Sam Bankman-Fried told CoinDesk OTC demand for WBTC is also significant, even if it's not at the same level as during the height of the DeFi craze over the past few months.
  • Even if it cools off a bit in the coming months, he expects client demand for tokenized bitcoin to “sustain itself at a way higher level than before.”
  • Alameda Research has been the leading wrapped bitcoin merchant for the past two months due to over-the-counter demand at its sister company, FTX. In August, Alameda minted $160 million worth of WBTC followed by $306 million minted in September.
  • September’s growth also benefited from the activity of some large merchants who minted no WBTC the month before.

Top WBTC Merchants (Aug. 2020 v. Sept. 2020)

  • Beyond WBTC, the supply of all forms of tokenized bitcoins grew 120% in September, according to data from Dune Analytics, to over 121,000 BTC, up from nearly 55,000 BTC in August, as growth among smaller BTC tokenization projects continues.
  • Clients have inquired about renBTC, tBTC, and others, Hill told CoinDesk. But volume has been “100% in WBTC.”
  • Some OTC desks like FTX offer alternate tokenized bitcoin products, like renBTC, in addition to wrapped bitcoin. But wrapped bitcoin represents over 73% of the tokenized bitcoin market, and, not surprisingly, the “vast majority” of OTC clients want wrapped bitcoin, Bankman-Fried told CoinDesk.
  • The value of all BTC tokenized through Wrapped Bitcoin passed $1 billion at last check, according to OnChainFX.

DISCLOSURE

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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