Last week, renBTC, the latest Bitcoin implementation on the Ethereum blockchain – went live without any fanfare.
This renBTC project seeks to bring Bitcoin (BTC) to the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain. It is, however, not the first project to envision bringing Bitcoin liquidity to Ethereum. Earlier, MakerDAO with its Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) besides projects like tBTC, Synthetix’s sBTC, and ImToken’s imBTC, have all worked on this. However, distinct from other projects, RenVM seeks to bring more than Bitcoin to Ethereum and promises that other assets will also follow.
Bringing Bitcoin to the Ethereum blockchain
renBTC is the latest implementation built for the exposure of Bitcoin-based assets to Ethereum platforms. This implies that these assets can enjoy the benefit of decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms that are built on Ethereum.
Loong Wang, CTO of the Ren project, gave a clear description of the system. He stated: “Any asset minted on Ethereum by RenVM is a 1:1 backed ERC-20. This means that if you have 1 renBTC (an ERC-20), you can always redeem it for 1 BTC. It’s a direct supply peg.”
The Ren project CTO further clarified that renBTC was not synthetic and did not rely on a liquidation mechanism. He said that there should not be any mistake in thinking that it represented the price of Bitcoin on Ethereum. Rather, he explained, it was a one-on-one representation of Bitcoin on Ethereum. So, any holder of renBTC would be able to redeem it for BTC “any time, in any amount.”
Besides, Wang also explained why his firm would pivot away from dark pools. He said: “The big trades were on chains that weren’t Ethereum. ETH had a lot of liquidity, but it was predominantly Bitcoin and USDT. So we would have to leverage things like atomic swaps, and they’re just too painful.”
The Ren project CTO also revealed in the report that they took a turn around in their decision to decide that they need to solve this interoperability problem before large liquidity was accessible in the space.
renBTC yet to go public
An Etherscan report gave out that the Ethereum mainnet held only 1.24 renBTC at present. Incidentally, this represents the Ren smart contract, which went live ahead of its initial launch announcement.
In a tweet, Kain Warwick of Synthetix unveiled himself as the first person to mint a full Bitcoin in renBTC.
I‘m very happy to say I’m the first person with 1 full renBTC on Ethereum mainnet! The experience was exceptional but for my stupidly waiting for blocks to be mined for two hours instead of just coming back in the morning. https://t.co/5j2eFsYCEg https://t.co/hNYCCL8OK5
— kain.eth (@kaiynne) May 20, 2020
According to Taiyang Zhang, the CEO of RenVM, additional renBTC was not yet open to the general public. He said, “While the smart contracts have been deployed on Ethereum, RenVM itself is not actually on mainnet. This is because RenVM is a distinct network separate from Ethereum. The final mainnet subzero version of RenVM won’t be deployed until later. The minted renBTC so far has been from our own internal testing [and] Kain from Synthetix testing the system. The public hasn’t been able to mint renBTC thus far.”
Previously, we had covered Ren’s development update describing the steps on how to roll out Mainnet SubZero besides reporting on the project team working on fixes regarding a recent security audit.