Traders are swapping their tokenized bitcoins for the real thing more than ever.
BitGo saw a record 11,613 wrapped bitcoin (WBTC) swapped for real bitcoin(BTC) in December, with only 2,731 BTC exchanged for the bitcoin-backed ERC-20 tokens last month.
December marked the first time in the young projects history that “burns,” the reversion of WBTC back to BTC, have outnumbered “mints.”
The total value of the “burned” WBTC is approximately $235 million, based on bitcoins price at the time the tokens were swapped for BTC.
Diminishing yields in decentralized finance (DeFi), a primary use case for WBTC, and increased trading activity on traditional cryptocurrency exchanges amid bitcoins recent eye-popping surge are likely reasons for the increase in burns and slowed rate of minting.
Most of the burns came from trading firms Alameda Research and Three Arrows Capital.
BitGos Wrapped Bitcoin project gained wide popularity through Q3 and early Q4 2020 amid a DeFi frenzy that saw over 124,000 BTC tokenized on Ethereum at its peak after starting the year with less than 600 BTC.
In mid August, demand for WBTC was so high that bitcoins were being tokenized faster than they were being mined.
To date, roughly 110,000 WBTC are still circulating in the DeFi ecosystem.
Wrapped Bitcoin mints and burns in December
Source: Wrapped Bitcoin, CoinDesk Research
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