The amount of Bitcoin which are converted into Ethereum-based ERC-20 tokens hit a record of $1.2 billion, per data from Dune Analytics. So it is concluded that 0.5% of all of Bitcoin’s market cap has been ported to the Ethereum blockchain, which is 3% of Ethereum’s market cap. Popular options include wBTC, renBTC and the newly launched tBTC.
This amount is the most Bitcoin that’s moved over to the Ethereum blockchain ever. Weeks ago, this was less than half what it is today, sitting at just over $500 million.
The Bitcoin blockchain is incompatible with the Ethereum blockchain, but users can stake Bitcoin in certain protocols and receive synthetic, Ethereum-based Bitcoin. These are ERC-20 tokens—the generic token standard on Ethereum—that represent Bitcoin.
Some of them, such as wBTC, are custodial, meaning that you can give your Bitcoin to a company and they’ll give you wBTC, also known as Wrapped Bitcoin. Others like tBTC, are non-custodial, meaning that you give your Bitcoin to a protocol and the code issues you with tBTC.
People who convert their Bitcoin over to Ethereum want to enjoy the full spectrum of decentralized finance (DeFi) products, such as non-custodial lending protocols, decentralized exchanges and synthetic assets. These sorts of crypto-lending and yield-generating services are otherwise largely unavailable to Bitcoin users.
DeFi is was growing surprisingly during the last months partly because of this summer’s Ethereum bull run. As of this writing, $10.5 billion is locked up in DeFi smart contracts, per metrics site DeFi Pulse. Its rise is, again in part, due to the new token distribution mechanisms, such as giving out so-called governance tokens for using the protocols.
Some like Set Protocol, issue these yield farming rewards—the practice is known as yield farming—for wBTC, i.e. synthetic Bitcoin.
wBTC is the most popular synthetic Bitcoin on Ethereum; with 73.6% of the market’s supply. renBTC has 18.4%, and Huobi BTC, or hBTC, has 4.2%.