In brief

  • The renBTC supply has increased 200% in five days, adding more than $115 million to the DeFi ecosystem.
  • renBTC uses smart contracts to manage cross-chain conversions, as opposed to WBTC’s trusted third-party custodians.
  • renBTC now makes up more than 20% of all Bitcoin on the Ethereum blockchain.

Wrapped Bitcoin WBTC isn’t the only Bitcoin-to-Ethereum value transfer taking DeFi by storm.

Ren project’s renBTC has seen a nearly 200% increase—from $59 million to more than $176 million—in locked BTC transferred to the Ethereum blockchain since August 13, according to data collected from DeFi Pulse

The substantial increase comes as DeFi continues to hit new heights in total value locked and market cap, placing renBTC firmly in second place as the favored method of porting Bitcoin value to Ethereum, behind Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC). The sharp growth is more evidence that Bitcoin holders are eager to get into the DeFi game on Ethereum, and are finding a variety of ways to do so.

RenBTC is a product of Ren, an open protocol designed to facilitate cross-chain liquidity transfers between blockchains such as Ethereum, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and more. Unlike WBTC, which uses a system of trusted third-party custodians to mint new WBTC tokens, renBTC and other Ren-based assets are generated or destroyed using smart contracts

Singapore-based Ren was founded in 2017 and raised more than $34 million in a 2018 ICO. RenBTC was released in May 2020. The recent integration of Ren into MyEtherWallet may be responsible for some of the recent increase in interest.

The recent spike in renBTC issuance increased the total supply to more than 10,000 on Monday—that’s an average of more than 100 Bitcoin converted to renBTC every day since launch. By contrast, WBTC supply is now more than 28,750; a launch in November 2018 put the average conversion at around 45 Bitcoin per day, with the vast majority of those occurring since May 2020.

According to data gathered from Dune Analytics, the total number of Bitcoin now transferred to the Ethereum blockchain is more than 44,000, worth more than half a billion dollars. That equates to more than 1% of the total Ethereum market cap of about $47.8 billion, and more than 0.2% of the value of the total Bitcoin market cap of $222.8 billion.

Decrypt reported earlier in August that renBTC was approaching 10% of the total supply of Bitcoin locked on Ethereum. In just a week’s time, that figure has grown to more than 22%, even as the total supply of Bitcoin on Ethereum continues to expand across the board. 

Such changes could be early indications that while WBTC is the go-to method of transferring liquidity today, the non-custodial renBTC may be the preferred option of tomorrow.

Disclaimer

The views and opinions expressed by the author are for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice.