The idea behind crypto has come a long way from what it orginally was. Controlling your money and quick payments with low fees was the basic premise, full control of your money. Today this is a basic function of every crypto and if Bitcoin came out today in the crypto market it wouldn't make a splash. Wrapped bitcoin aims to bring out the best in the old giant by brining it onto a smart contract capable blockchain.
A joint cooperation between BitGo, Kyber Network & REN, each company focuses on a different aspect in the crypto sphere and they came together to bring out Wrapped Bitcoin. The coin came out live to the Ethereum mainnet in late january 2019, by late I mean literally the last day of the month. The token has seen a slow but steady increase in popularity as new Dapps are being released onto the Ethereum network. The token came out fairly recently and hasn't any signifcant change. There is more in the technology of this token rather than its history.
WBTC works on top of Ethereum and has no consensus method of its own. This is not uncommon, ERC-20 tokens are always supported by the base safety of Ethereum, a great number of coins does allow further consensus, such as staking, but relying on smart contracts is often enough for simpler coins. The token works as a stablecoin where its vaule is pegged on a 1:1 ratio to its underlying asset. Whenever a user buys WBTC, there's more minted to make sure the price is stable, same if somebody were to sell. The marketcap for WBTC is seperate from BTC, supply fluctuates with the smart contracts to keep the price stable based on the change in marketcap.
ERC-20 tokens have the benefit of being able to interact with other ERC-20 tokens, meaning they can interact in Dapps or be swapped very easily. This means that if an exchange implements the Ethereum network, they can also allow users who want to buy or use Bitcoin using WBTC, instead of needing to implement the Bitcoin network as well. Ethereum's finality time for blocks is more than 10x quicker than Bitcoin which means that it's easier to transact Wrapped Bitcoin opposed to traditional Bitcoin.
Wrapped Bitcoin copies the use cases for the classic Bitcoin. Payments, store of value & being able to control your own money. Along with this it also has greater speed as the Ethereum blockchain has slightly better scaling & lower daily transactions, this translates to quicker transactions. All ERC-20 tokens have access to Ethereum's smart contracts which means that the token can be implemented in Dapps or used in swaps. Granted you still can trade or swap tradional Bitcoin but that requires more effort as opposed to using an ERC-20 token.
Wrapped Bitcoin Today
There really isn't much this coin can do wrong, other than being on a network that is highly used and suffers high fees. It fills its function fairly well and has very low fluctuation from it's pegged asset. The marketcap for Wrapped Bitcoin is seperate from Bitcoin's, meaning if you were to add them together Bitcoin would be even higher up. With this in mind, the token is performing really well and sees great use having the support of Ethereum behind it. If Ethereum keeps growing, the need for WBTC will keep climbing with it.
- Is ERC-20 compliant
- Higher speeds
- Verified peg
- Centralized (to the network)
- Price tied directly to Bitcoin