After a failed (but not regretted) attempt, Thesis, the blockchain development company behind Keep Network, has just released the new version of tBTC.
tBTC is simply Bitcoin tokenized in the Ethereum blockchain as an ERC20 token backed by the original Bitcoin. The initiative might seem like another one of the many projects that seek to bring Bitcoin into the smart contract chain. Still, Thesis adds a new -and exciting- ingredient: decentralization.
tBTC is Just Another Bridge Between Bitcoin and Ethereum… But Different
“As far as I know, this release is the first permissionless, censorship-resistant Bitcoin bridge on Ethereum. Anyone can mint $tBTC by connecting to the Bitcoin and Ethereum chains, and no one can censor transactions or redemptions,” said Matt Luongo, founder of Thesis, in a Twitter thread.
This means users can be assured that their funds are not being controlled or guarded by a centralized entity.
In short, tBitcoin is a Bitcoin token with the same philosophy as Bitcoin, with very similar features to Bitcoin, only it runs on Ethereum. Thus, concerns about funds centralization and the possibility of an third party exercising some kind of censorship are addressed, as Vitalik Buterin pointed out:
I continue to be worried about the fact that these wrapped BTC bridges are trusted…..
I hope that they can all *at least* move to a decently sized multisig
— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) August 17, 2020
The demand for Bitcoin tokens on Ethereum is high, especially considering the growing popularity of this blockchain after the DeFi boom. In wBTC alone, a centralized but popular tokenized version of BTC, there are more than 818 million dollars or 77860 BTCs locked up.
A Long Way to Success
tBTC had a rough start. After its first release, a bug that led to the introduction of untested functions into the code led developers to pause the project when it was only two days old. The new version, which Luongo refers to as rc1, corrected this problem and added important improvements over its predecessor:
5/ There are a number of differences between rc.1 and rc.0, which we shipped in May. The big ones are
1⃣ a guarded release, including a supply cap schedule for the first 9 weeks
2⃣ additional audits
3⃣ removing the team’s ability to pause new deposits after 6 months
— Matt Luongo (@mhluongo) September 22, 2020
Luongo and his team are optimistic, but also cautious: To avoid possible damage, they decided to set up a supply cap system that will increase over time to reach the 3000 BTC enclosed. Also, Luongo assured that he would put his investment in the project to have more skin in the game.
Who said that DeFi was not for bitcoiners?
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