$500M in BTC tokenized for DeFi is just the beginning

Crypto analytics firm Messari estimates that $500 million worth of Bitcoin (BTC) has been tokenized on the Ethereum network for use in decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols.

The firm’s latest report points out however that this figure represents just 0.3% of Bitcoin’s $216 billion market cap, meaning there is ample opportunity for projects that facilitate the migration of Bitcoin onto Ethereum, to capture significant value.

According to DeFi Pulse, popular Bitcoin tokenization protocols WrappedBTC (WBTC) and RenVM are the ninth and 10th largest DeFi projects by locked funds, with $453 million and $232.4 million respectively.

Ren has seen an explosion in use over the past month, with the value of funds locked in the protocol gaining nearly 470%, from $40.9 million at the start of August.

WBTC also absorbed $274 million in capital last month, increasing the value of its locked funds by 157%. During August, the number of Bitcoins being tokenized via WBTC briefly exceeded the rate at which new BTC are mined, signposting booming demand for Bitcoin in the DeFi space.

Messari tweeted the report’s findings and tagged Keep Network (tBTC) alongside Ren (renBTC) as major projects bringing BTC to Ethereum.

releaseKeep’s inclusion was noted as unexpected in the post’s replies, as a code vulnerability in Keep’s trustless Bitcoin tokenization protocol tBTC was identified in May, resulting in the project going offline just two days after launching. However, tBTC plans to release a second version of tBTC after an additional round of security audits and testing, and has been distributing its work token KEEP via a stakedrop since June.

Several smaller projects have also entered the Bitcoin tokenization space over recent months, with PieDAO’s BTC++ pool attracting 58 Bitcoin since launching in April.

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