Synthetic Bitcoins have been growing significantly for use in the decentralized finance (DeFi) space. Recent data has shown that there are almost 70,000 synthetic Bitcoins existing in Ethereum. The number is expected to surge accordingly, as the DeFi industry continues to gain massive traction followed by the launching of new Bitcoin tokenization protocols.
Bitcoin tokens are growing
Following on-chain data provided from Dune Analytics, there are exactly 69,836 synthetic Bitcoins existing on the Ethereum blockchain. Noteworthily, this type of Bitcoin is different from the ones traded on regular cryptocurrency exchanges. They are more a Bitcoin wrapped or tokenized on Ethereum, mostly to be used in DeFi protocols just like Ether (ETH).
The growing number of tokenized Bitcoin probably signals more demand for it in the DeFi space. As of August 16, there were only 38,021 Bitcoins tokenized on Ethereum. However, this number has surged by about 83 percent following the report today. Synthetic Bitcoins are mostly used in protocols like Balancer, Compound, Uniswap, and more. Meanwhile, there are only seven protocols tokenizing the cryptocurrency for use in DeFi.
Synthetic Bitcoins platforms
Amongst these platforms is the Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) protocol, which currently has the largest tokenized Bitcoin. WBTC holds about 63 percent or 44,622 BTC out of the entire synthetic Bitcoins in existence. WBTC is followed by The Ren Protocol’s renBTC, which holds about 16,268 renBTC or 23 percent.
The platforms with the least number of tokenized Bitcoins are imBTC and pBTC, which hold 1,173 and 45 Bitcoin tokens respectively. For some technical reasons, one other tokenization platform dubbed tBTC has not minted any token yet.
Although this type of Bitcoin has been slowly gaining traction, many industry participants like the co-founder of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin still have doubts on the tokens. In August, he noted that:
“I continue to be worried about the fact that these wrapped BTC bridges are trusted. […] I hope they can all *at least* move to a decently sized multi-sig.”