Traders are swapping their tokenized bitcoins for the real thing more than ever.
- December marked the first time in the young project’s history that “burns,” the reversion of WBTC back to BTC, have outnumbered “mints.”
- The total value of the “burned” WBTC is approximately $235 million, based on bitcoin’s price at the time the tokens were swapped for BTC.
- Diminishing yields in decentralized finance (DeFi), a primary use case for WBTC, and increased trading activity on traditional cryptocurrency exchanges amid bitcoin’s recent eye-popping surge are likely reasons for the increase in burns and slowed rate of minting.
- Most of the burns came from trading firms Alameda Research and Three Arrows Capital.
- BitGo’s Wrapped Bitcoin project gained wide popularity through Q3 and early Q4 2020 amid a DeFi frenzy that saw over 124,000 BTC tokenized on Ethereum at its peak after starting the year with less than 600 BTC.
- In mid August, demand for WBTC was so high that bitcoins were being tokenized faster than they were being mined.
- To date, roughly 110,000 WBTC are still circulating in the DeFi ecosystem.
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. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.