Blockchain data shows that a total of 318,180 wrapped Binance ETH (WBETH) derivative tokens – worth $502 million – were minted on Saturday and Sunday in five, roughly equal $100 million installments. The tokens then landed on a crypto address labeled as “Binance 8,” a cold wallet where the exchange holds users’ assets.
These latest transactions followed another $573 million in inflows earlier this month, prompting discussions among crypto observers about the seemingly irregular nature of the movements. While rival exchange Coinbase’s liquid staking derivative cbETH saw regular inflows and outflows every day over the past weeks, inflows to WBETH have been intermittent and taken place in large chunks.
Binance explained in a social media post that the transactions were part of the exchange’s previously announced action to gradually convert the original Binance-issued staked ether (BETH) tokens to WBETH.
In April, Binance introduced an upgraded version of BETH called WBETH, a liquid staking derivative that lets investors use the tokens for borrowing and lending on decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols outside of Binance while earning staking rewards. When users lock up (stake) ETH to participate in staking through Binance, they receive a derivative token that represents the staked assets.
The exchange announced a month ago several measures to boost the new token and curb activity with the old one, including “progressively” burning BETH tokens held in Binance wallets.
Blockchain data shows that Binance burned 330,000 BETH on Monday, roughly similar to the amount of WBETH minted during the weekend, so the movements didn’t change substantially the overall amount of staked assets through the exchange.
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