With 2017 highs and 2018 lows, 2019 will be an interesting year for the cryptocurrency community and projects. After a lot of bad projects failed, the state of the cryptocurrency market means that only innovative, useful and interesting projects will succeed. In the beginning of January 2019, a new token is set to be launched on the Ethereum blockchain. What makes this token different is that it’s allegedly backed one-for-one by bitcoin. The token will be named “wrapped bitcoin” or WBTC. Its aim will be to replicate the utility of bitcoin and interoperate it within Ethereum. The WBTC token will also facilitate any Dapps running on the blockchain. The company stated:
“WBTC standardizes bitcoin to the ERC20 format, creating smart contracts for Bitcoin. This makes it easier to write smart contracts that integrate bitcoin transfers … The Ethereum network processes transactions faster than the Bitcoin network, but bitcoin holders don’t have to wait anymore. With WBTC, moving bitcoin between exchanges is much faster.”
WBTC will support Bitcoin with the help of the Ethereum blockchain
As weird and mind-boggling as this concept is, Kyber Network, Republic Protocol and BitGo all fully support the project. Additionally, many Ethereum-based projects also share their desire to support the adoption of the upcoming token. Many decentralized crypto exchanges (DEXs) and finance-based projects are set to participate as “starting members.” Some of these members include, Airswap, Gnosism IDEX, DDEXM Hydro Protocol, Set Protocol and others.
BitGo will be the primary custodian in charge of holding the reserve of Bitcoins. There’s no need to go over how important security and stashing is for a project like this. That’s why unlike other coins, the WTBC tokens will have a full proof-of-reserves verifiable directly on the blockchains. This is an ingenious design by itself. People can simply go to a certain webpage and show the addresses, which possess the Bitcoins. At the same time, anyone will be able to verify the amount of WBTC tokens in existence by checking the Ethereum blockchain.
There are also “merchants” responsible for the redeeming of tokens to all users. The merchans are currently Kyber Network and Republic Protocol. They will complete the transfers of WBTC for Bitcoin and vice versa. This will all be done in the form of Atomic Swaps. Additionally, this is a long-term project and is envisioned to be a shared community-driven effort. One of the biggest goals at the moment, is to expand the number of WBTC users and get several custodians and merchants in a short period. It’s important to note that in the beginning of January a DAO will be assembled and tasked with overseeing the project’s development.