Coinbase Adds Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) & Custody Service to Support Filecoin (FIL)

In its DeFi listing spree, Coinbase Pro has added the popular and fast-growing Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC).

The San Francisco-based exchange has taken to list all the hot and happening DeFi products, and WBTC, which has grown to become the third-largest DeFi project with nearly $1.2 billion in total value locked (TVL), is the latest one.

An Ethereum token, WBTC represents Bitcoin on the Ethereum blockchain, where 1 BTC can be converted to 1 WBTC and vice-versa. This protocol allows bitcoin holders to participate in the popular DeFi space.

WBTC listing is announced with two trading pairs, USD and BTC.

Starting Monday, Oct. 19, WBTC will be available in all Coinbase’s supported jurisdictions except New York state.

Recently, Coinbase has added support for the likes of Yearn.Finance (YFI), Balancer (BAL), Uniswap (UNI), UMA, REN, Loopring (LRC) BAND, Compound (COMP), Celo (CGLD), Numeraire, and OmiseGo (OMG) along with supporting additional European and UK order books.

Amidst this, the same day, Coinbase Custody also announced at-launch support for Filecoin (FIL), which after years of first coming into the market, finally launched its mainnet.

“We’re thrilled that Coinbase Custody is providing secure custody for FIL. Coinbase has a great track record of building new, innovative tools for its users,” said Juan Benet, Filecoin founder.

Filecoin is a decentralized storage network and marketplace where miners earn FIL tokens by renting open hard drive space, and clients pay them to store and retrieve their data.

Its testnet took off in China, and already “roughly $100M of storage hardware is humming on the testnet.”

“Buying hardware and converting it directly to crypto is key here,” said Muneeb Ali, co-founder of Blockstack.

Yesterday, the mainnet of the Filecoin network was launched at block 148,888, a number the team said signifies “prosperity for life” in Chinese, chosen “to honor the epic contribution by our Chinese mining community to Filecoin’s long-term success.”

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Author: AnTy

Alameda Research and Three Arrows Capital Outdoing Each Other to Mint Record WBTC

On Friday, FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried’s Almeda Research minted the biggest wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) ever, as per WBTC Network.

2317 BTC was minted on Sept. 25, breaking the previous single largest WBTC mint record by just one WBTC, which was set by Three Arrows Capital at 2316.5 WBTC just the day before.

Interestingly, the Singapore-based Three Arrows Capital made the now broken record by breaking Almeda Research’s largest mint of 1,999 WBTC, from last week.

Both the mints represent less than 3%, about 2.7%, of the current wrapped bitcoin supply, at 85,473, worth over $915 million.

Out of the total 116,551 BTC (over $1.2 billion) on Ethereum, WBTC accounts for a whopping 73%. In just five months, the total supply of wrapped bitcoin has grown by nearly 7,500% from 1125 WBTC and more than 13,000% from the beginning of the year.

In other news, WBTC is coming to Tron blockchain.

Tron entered a strategic alliance with custodian BitGo to make WBTC a TRC-20 token, a move which, according to Tron founder Justin Sun will help avoid the surging transaction fees on Ethereum.

“Everyone may now use their BTC/ETH to enjoy all the benefits of the Tron DeFi ecosystem without the high gas fees on Ethereum,” said Sun.

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Author: AnTy

TRON Partners With BitGo To Mint New Wrapped Bitcoin And Ethereum Tokens On Its Blockchain

  • TRON launches wrapped Bitcoin and Ethereum on its blockchain.
  • The blockchain aims at taking over the raging DeFi market.

Tron announced a partnership with the U.S. regulated and qualified custodian, BitGo, in a plot to launch wrapped Bitcoin (wBTC) and wrapped Ethereum (wETH) on its blockchain. These will be newly minted tokens converted to TRC20 tokens, backed by assets stored by the custodian in a 1:1 ratio.

According to Tron founder and former chief representative of the Greater China area for Ripple, Justin Sun, the latest move to add wBTC aims at bolstering the development of decentralized finance (DeFi) products on the blockchain. This is to replace Ethereum, solving its issues, including high gas fees and scalability.

wBTC is a synthetic asset token built on a different blockchain and backed by Bitcoin. The asset has attracted wild attention with the growth of DeFi in the past few months – seeing $860 million worth of BTC turned into wBTC. Such is the hype that Binance, the largest crypto exchange, listed the token earlier this month.

Read More: Over 100k Bitcoin Worth Nearly $1.2B Tokenized On Ethereum; wBTC & renBTC Leading

Over the past few months, Ethereum has faced latency, scalability, and cost issues with the rise of DeFi products and yield farming on platforms such as Uniswap and Yearn Finance. According to Justin Sun, the move of wBTC to Tron will solve these issues – especially high gas fees. In a statement obtained by BEG, Justin said,

“Everyone may now use their BTC/ETH to enjoy all the benefits of the Tron DeFi ecosystem without the high gas fees on Ethereum.”

BitGo CEO Mike Belshe followed up with Sun’s statement stating the alliance with Tron will offer “greater opportunities for users” as Tron provides a cheaper and faster platform in transactions.

He further stated the recently launched Tron-based competitor to Uniswap, Justswap, in a sustained growth trail – reaching $100 million daily volumes in a day.

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Author: Lujan Odera

QuadrigaCX was an “Old-fashioned Fraud Wrapped in Modern Technology” – OSC Report

“What happened at Quadriga was an old-fashioned fraud wrapped in modern technology,” said the Ontario Securities Commission in an investigation.

The 10-month long investigation into the exchange by the country’s biggest securities regulator revealed that the collapse of the Canadian cryptocurrency trading platform QuadrigaCX was because of a Ponzi scheme operated by its founder Gerald Cotten, who died in December 2018.

Back in 2019, the collapse of the exchange caused $125 million in losses for 76,000 investors. The exchange was shut down in January 2019, weeks after Cotten died at age 30 suddenly while on his honeymoon in India. Jeff Kehoe, director of the enforcement branch at the OSC, said in a statement,

“While public release of an investigative report is rare, we believe the tens of thousands of Ontarians who entrusted Quadriga with their money and crypto assets deserve to know what happened.”

Outlining the events from Quadriga’s inception to its eventual collapse, the report stated the exchange faced losses when the price of digital currencies changed which Cotten covered with other clients’ deposits.

Running a Ponzi Scheme

The investigation of data related to 368,000 client accounts and more than 6 million individual transactions revealed that Cotten operated a Ponzi scheme.

He opened accounts under aliases and credited himself with fake crypto assets and currency balances which he traded with Quadriga clients. And when he sustained real losses with the change in the price of cryptocurrencies, it created a shortfall in assets for client withdrawals. This shortfall was covered with other clients’ deposits.

Out of the total C$169 million in client losses, about $115 million of this was due to Cotten’s fraudulent trading. When he died, the platform owed C$215 million to its client, the regulator said.

Cotten also siphoned off assets about C$24 million for personal use and lavish lifestyle between May 2016 and January 2018, according to the OSC.

About C$46 million was recovered and paid to clients while assets worth about C$22 million were returned by Cotten and his widow Jennifer Robertson, the report said.

“The information presented in this report highlights the unique risks that can arise when using crypto asset trading platforms,” which are magnified when they are traded on platforms not registered with regulators, Kehoe said in a statement.

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Author: AnTy

A Shake-Up in DeFi Sees Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) Growing Faster Than Lightning Network

Ethereum network has minted 1,000 Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) on May 12th via a single transaction, dwarfing the entire amount of Bitcoin locked in the Lightning Network (LN).

This recent transaction brought the total number of Bitcoin locked in WBTC to 2,300, which is significantly higher than the 923 Bitcoin currently locked in the Lightning network.

Lightning-Network-defi
Source: DeFiPulse – Lightning Network

The latest data from DefiPulse suggests that the value of locked WBTC in the decentralized finance (defi) ecosystem is around $21.5 million.

WrappedBTC-wBTC
Source: DeFiPulse – WBTC

WBTC is an ERC-20 token that helps in migrating Bitcoin’s value to the Ethereum blockchain which can be utilized as collateral in the defi ecosystem to withdraw loans against it.

The migration of Bitcoin’s value to the Ethereum blockchain is facilitated by Bitgo, which acts as a custodian, allowing users to convert it into WBTC via eight merchants which act as a middleman including:

  • Dharma
  • Ren
  • Set Protocol
  • Gopax
  • Kyber
  • Prycto
  • DiversiFi
  • AirSwap

The WBTC protocol is handled by a consortium of 16 projects which include the eight merchants, the custodian, and the defi platforms Compound, and MakerDAO. A user can always redeem their BTC by first returning the drawn loan along with the interest rate and then by burning the WBTC token.

The Soaring Popularity of Defi Makes Way for ETH-based Synthetic BTC

The popularity of the deFi ecosystem has grown exponentially over the past couple of years which is evident from the fact that the value of collateralized assets in the defi ecosystem crossed the 1 billion mark.

This popularity has also increased the demand for assets that can be collateralized apart from ETH, especially Bitcoin. This has led to the expansion of projects offering BTC tokenization or ETH-based synthetic Bitcoin.

One such example is the recent launch of PieDAO BTC++ fund which comprises of 25% Wrapped BTC, 25% Provable BTC, 25% imBTC and 25% Synthetix BTC. The fund ensures that the user can access the Defi ecosystem through synthetic bitcoin protocol while also hedging against the failure or targetting of one synthetic bitcoin project.

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Author: James W