Filecoin, which has become one of the largest decentralized storage projects on the market after launching in October, is getting a boost from crypto custody provider Anchorage to access liquidity from the DeFi industry.
Anchorage announced yesterday the release of Wrapped Filecoin (wFIL) in cooperation with Tokensoft and investment firm CMS Holdings. Wrapped Filecoin, part of the Wrapped program designed to bring cross-chain assets to the Ethereum blockchain, could bring much-needed liquidity to the nascent Filecoin storage market, while helping DeFi protocols generate returns for users.
DeFi, short for decentralized finance, is a group of protocols designed to provide financial services like those of traditional banks without relying on centralized infrastructure.
Wrapped cross-chain tokens have become an important part of the DeFi mix. Solutions like Wrapped Bitcoin have helped bring more than $2.3 billion of value to the DeFi ecosystem, according to DeFi data provider DeFi Pulse. Like wBTC, wFIL uses a system of custodians to hold the underlying asset (in this case Filecoin’s native FIL tokens) and issue 1:1 “wrapped” token versions on blockchains like Ethereum.
“Wrapped Filecoin will enable some really creative DeFi products that create huge opportunities for Filecoin miners and storage users,” Filecoin Head of Ecosystem Colin Evran said in a press release. “We're seeing so much innovation every day from dozens of individuals and institutions interested in decentralized storage, and are excited to see what happens once the deep DeFi talent pool can join in.”
Ethereum’s DeFi market offers large amounts of liquidity, or value in the form of tokens, that makes it easier for traders to find fair prices for assets or provide credit to invest in building new technologies. That makes compatibility attractive for Filecoin, which uses a separate market for pricing storage capacity for different use cases. Bridging DeFi liquidity between Ethereum and the native Filecoin market should allow more traders to buy and sell wFIL tokens, leading to pricing that more accurately reflects supply and demand for Filecoin’s storage capacity. In return, DeFi users may reap the rewards of Filecoin’s growth, which would otherwise have been out of reach on the Ethereum chain.
As earlier reported by Decrypt, Filecoin is also pursuing cross-chain trading for FIL tokens in partnership with Ren, which is designing a system of smart contracts to hold custody of native tokens without relying on third-party custodians. But Ren is, for the moment, still moving toward decentralization itself—in August, Ren took heat for making Ren Bitcoin wallets, used to store Bitcoin tied to Ren’s wrapped renBTC offering, accessible to members of the Ren development team.
Wrapped Filecoin can be accessed now on decentralized exchange Uniswap, and Anchorage and Tokensoft plan to add cross-chain capabilities to additional native tokens in the coming months.