Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) is an ERC-20 token designed on the Ethereum blockchain enjoying a 1:1 peg to Bitcoin (BTC). It merges the power and value of Bitcoin with the flexibility of ERC20 tokens on Ethereum in a transparent, decentralized, and completely verifiable format.
WBTC puts the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market cap on the Ethereum network, giving developers and investors the power to enforce smart contracts on the crypto asset. This vastly increases the versatility of Bitcoin, allowing developers to write smart contracts that can be integrated with transferring BTC.
The ERC-20 wrapped version of Bitcoin can allow the original cryptocurrency to enter the exciting world of DeFi and dApps. The original version of Bitcoin is limited in functionality and cannot do more than being used for payment transfers.
On the other hand, Wrapped Bitcoin can be traded effortlessly on DEXs and enjoy faster transaction times than the original Bitcoin. It brings together the very best of two of the largest cryptocurrencies in the world - the value of Bitcoin and the versatility of Ethereum.
Wrapped Bitcoin is part of the Wrapped Tokens project, a joint project that was officially launched by BitGo, Kyber Network, and Ren. The institutions that form a part of the WBTC decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) are responsible for holding the keys to the multi-sig contract which controls this token.
Users can request WBTC from merchants. After the merchant performs the requisite KYC and AML procedures to verify the user’s identity, they can swap the Bitcoin for the Wrapped Bitcoin.
The merchant can then exchange the user’s Bitcoin for WBTC for use on the Ethereum network in the form of ERC-20 tokens. These ERC-20 WBTC tokens are then transferred from the merchant and into the user’s wallet, increasing the circulating supply of the WBTC token.
The WBTC token not only empowers Ethereum-based DEXs and DeFi ecosystem with higher levels of liquidity in Bitcoin. Unlike centralized exchanges that offer list Bitcoin and enjoy the maximum liquidity in the leading crypto coin, DEXs did not previously have access to the BTC crypto.
However, Wrapped Bitcoin makes it possible to wrap the largest cryptocurrency by market cap and offer it on the Ethereum network as a token. This empowers not only the DeFi market but also boosts innovation in using Bitcoin for several other purposes beyond a store of value or a way to enable digital transactions.
The WBTC network can have several use cases powered by the creation of smart contracts. It can also be used as an asset in decentralized applications (dApps), giving Bitcoin holders access to many more use cases than initially imagined.
The Wrapped Bitcoin cryptocurrency can be used in several ways, including:
Unlike centralized exchanges (CEXs) that have the most liquidity in Bitcoin, DEXs cannot access native Bitcoin on Ethereum. However, the Wrapped Bitcoin asset makes it possible for DeFi platforms to offer liquidity in Bitcoin, with the same value but with the added benefit that this asset enjoys as an ERC-20 token on Ethereum.
Transactions of WBTC to make payments and send and receive cryptocurrencies faster and more efficiently. The Ethereum network enjoys a higher throughput than the Bitcoin network, making transactions in WBTC more efficient than those in BTC.
It also allows merchants and payment apps to develop solutions for a single Ethereum node to accept payments in WBTC instead of coding for compatibility with Ethereum and Bitcoin networks.
Bitcoin in its original form lacks the flexibility and versatility of Ethereum and is often limited by its blockchain, which only supports the use of the asset as a store of value and for the transfer of payments.
However, WBTC can allow developers to innovate new use cases for the asset through the power of smart contracts. WBTC can be supported in dApps, allowing for far more uses of the asset than its original counterpart, BTC.
Wrapped Bitcoin is available for trading and investing in, not only on CEXs but also DEXs. You can trade WBTC against other cryptocurrencies or invest in it for the long term if you believe in the potential of Bitcoin as an asset of value to hold. Remember to check the latest Wrapped Bitcoin price, WBTC market cap, 24-hour trading volume, and news before placing a new trade in this digital asset.
Holding WBTC also offers a lucrative way to generate a stream of passive revenue. Leading cryptocurrency exchanges and DEXs have the option to grow your WTBC holdings via liquidity mining, staking, and yield farming.
Wrapped Bitcoin has the same inherent value as Bitcoin, the world’s first and largest cryptocurrency by market cap. Investing in WBTC is very similar to investing in BTC, except that it gives you the flexibility to do more with the crypto than just making payments, trading, and HODLing on different blockchains.
As Bitcoin has a fixed supply and turns even more attractive as an asset to invest in and hold among institutional investors worldwide, the value of BTC and the corresponding WBTC price could head higher. An increased interest in BTC can make Wrapped Bitcoin a sound investment to consider.
Bullish sentiment among investors towards the crypto market in general and Bitcoin, in particular, can be one of the most vital fundamentals driving up the Wrapped Bitcoin price and making it a valuable investment. In addition, the growth of the decentralized finance markets can also make WBTC even more valuable as an asset to invest in, letting you trade and invest in WBTC via DEXs and DeFi platforms.
Beyond DeFi, the rising adoption of Wrapped Bitcoin as an accepted payment method by businesses worldwide can make it an exciting crypto asset to include in your portfolio. The Wrapped Bitcoin cryptocurrency could also trend higher in price and demand as more dApps integrate this crypto for use.
Wrapped Bitcoin is the tokenized representation of Bitcoin as an ERC-20 token on the Ethereum network. Its value is based on the original Bitcoin price. Here are the key differences between these two crypto assets:
BTC - the original cryptocurrency, operates on the Bitcoin network. It is the world’s first and largest digital asset by crypto market cap. On the other hand, WBTC is one of several digital assets functioning in the Ethereum ecosystem.
Bitcoin has limited use cases because its blockchain cannot handle smart contracts and dApps. This led to the creation of WBTC, a wrapped version of Bitcoin that could be programmed via smart contracts, used in decentralized apps, and functioned as a crypto asset to lend liquidity to decentralized exchanges running on Ethereum.
Wrapped Bitcoin, unlike native Bitcoin, exists as a token on the Ethereum blockchain and cannot be mined. It is programmed using smart contracts and cannot be generated without being backed by BTC reserves.
The only way to create WBTC is by depositing BTC crypto with merchants, who then perform the swapping operation and mint WBTC tokens to send to the users. WBTC tokens are also burned whenever users request a return on BTC by sending back the WBTC tokens and exchanging them for Bitcoin.
However, there are other ways to obtain Wrapped Bitcoin crypto, including trading or buying them on CEXs and DEXs. You can earn WBTC through staking, lending liquidity, or yield farming on supported platforms.
You cannot use MetaMask directly to convert Bitcoin into Wrapped Bitcoin. This is because the MetaMask wallet is Ethereum-based and does not have support for the Bitcoin cryptocurrency.
However, you can perform swaps between BTC and WBTC on exchanges such as KuCoin or DeFi platforms that support the transactions. The easiest way to convert BTC to WBTC is by heading to the KuCoin Spot Trading section to trade the WBTC/BTC crypto pair.
On this page, you can exchange Bitcoin for Wrapped Bitcoin by selling BTC to buy WBTC. You can then send the swapped WBTC from your KuCoin trading account into MetaMask to store or use from there.
You can swap your Wrapped Bitcoin back to Bitcoin using exchanges and DeFi platforms that offer these cryptocurrencies among their listings. Some digital wallets use Unwrap features to let you swap WBTC for BTC.
Such an option is also available on DeFi bridges which support the transfer of cryptocurrencies from one blockchain to another. Look for a bridge that supports the transfer of Ethereum-based ERC-20 tokens to native Bitcoin to perform such a swap.
Another convenient and safe way to swap WBTC for BTC is to use a cryptocurrency exchange like KuCoin to sell Wrapped Bitcoin. On KuCoin’s Spot Trading section, all you need to do is to sell the WBTC/BTC pair to swap your Wrapped Bitcoin tokens for Bitcoins.