Wrapped BTC Launches with BitGo Custody and Full Proof of Assets
Benedict Chan
Jan 30th, 2019/10 minutes to read

Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) launched today on the Ethereum blockchain, with a total of 26 partners and 15 decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) members. First announced in October 2018 in partnership with Kyber Network and Ren, WBTC is an ERC-20 token backed 1:1 with Bitcoin that brings Bitcoin to the Ethereum ecosystem.

BitGo’s role as a custodian

BitGo is lending its industry leading custody solution to the project, ensuring the secure storage of WBTC and providing proof of assets for the fully backed token. WBTC is the first asset-backed token with a transparent public dashboard where anyone can validate the total circulation of WBTC and number of Bitcoin stored. Supporting WBTC with the transparency of a 1:1 reserve brings trust to the token — a critical element that we are proud to have contributed.

Kyber Network, Prycto, and Airswap have minted WBTC from their own Bitcoin inventory, providing the token with initial liquidity and making it immediately available for swaps. View WBTC on CoinMarketCap.

Proof of assets: Verify reserves yourself!

Here, we’ll show how you can fully validate (via the public blockchain) that BTC:WBTC are backed with a 100% reserve. While we have spent some time to build out the user interface as a demonstration, we invite savvy blockchain enthusiasts to build their own scripts to independently validate.

  1. Go to https://www.wbtc.network/dashboard/order-book

  2. The total WBTC is shown on this dashboard

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  1. To validate the total amount of WBTC supply check the blockchain or click the “token contract link” at:


Note — you don’t have to rely on BitGo, you can view it on Etherscan

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(as you can see, total supply is 72.4214 WBTC as of Jan 30, 2019)

  1. To see the backing BTC assets click the “on-chain validation” link, which leads to the proof of asset page at https://www.wbtc.network/dashboard/audit

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By clicking each Bitcoin address, you can validate the amount on chain. You can do this from any blockchain explorer like smartbit or blockchain.info.

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Adding up the address balances leads to a total of 72.4216 BTC (as of Jan 30th, 2019). This matches the WBTC supply (viewed via Etherscan), and proves full 100% reserves.

Smart contract audit

All WBTC smart contracts having been audited by established firms including Solidified Technologies, ChainSecurity, Coinspect, and are publicly available.

The growing ecosystem

When we first announced WBTC, there were 12 partners on board. Today, WBTC is supported by 26 community partners including Dolomite, Dharma, Idex, Radar Relay, Blockfolio, SwitcheoNetwork, BZX, Ethfinex, dY/dX, imToken, CoinGecko, AirSwap, Compound, DDEX, Hydro, Gnosis, GOPAX, Loopring Protocol, MakerDAO, OmiseGO, Prycto, Ren, Set Protocol, The Ocean, Kyber Network, and BitGo.

The initiative is governed by a DAO committed to driving innovation for the entire ecosystem and maintaining a transparent governance structure. Working with this many partners on a single project was new, and a learning process for us. We’re pleased to have achieved community consensus and security via the DAO with multiple parties involved in minting and burning.

We thank everyone for their support in working together towards the development and prototyping of workflows, especially minting and burning. We’re excited to see the public already engaging with WBTC; our pre-launch mint and burn requests were discovered and shared with the community before the official launch and it is exciting to see such a warm response to this new token. You can view minting and burning via our dashboard here.

Why we’re excited about WBTC

What makes public blockchains like Ethereum so powerful is not just that many different participants can come together globally and trade, but that everyone can build emergent technology and infrastructure that is fully interoperable with an existing ecosystem.

Engaging with WBTC doesn’t require a special bridge, sidechain or additional technology. Any existing Ethereum ERC-20 wallet can use it by adding the token address: 0x2260fac5e5542a773aa44fbcfedf7c193bc2c599.

When we first announced WBTC, we expected that the token would create additional liquidity for decentralized exchanges. Since then, we’ve been thrilled to see other applications and use cases, from decentralized lending to collateralization and insurance — that can be built on top of this infrastructure even without our involvement. The diverse blockchain community identifies exciting use cases far beyond what the technology was initially designed for. This unbound potential for new development is why we’re so passionate about building in this space.

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