Tokenized BTC Crosses $1B Notional: Ethereum Cements Role as Bitcoin’s Main Sidechain

Years ago when the Bitcoin network started suffering from higher fees and congestion, a number of bitcoiners advocated the use of sidechains in order to relieve the main chain’s duties. However, they didn’t realize that the Ethereum network would solidify its role as Bitcoin’s main sidechain during the last year.

Five years ago, bitcoiners relentlessly argued over scaling the Bitcoin (BTC) blockchain and a number of proponents said that sidechains and offchain solutions would help. Moreover, a number of solutions like Blockstream’s Liquid and the RSK network launched. Many supporters assumed those two sidechains combined with the Lightning Network would help alleviate the issues.

However, none of these bitcoin enthusiasts expected to see the Ethereum network take over as BTC’s main sidechain. The situation was discussed this week when the investment partner at Paradigm, Arjun Balaji, tweeted about Ethereum’s massive growth in this area.

“Over the last year, Ethereum has emerged as the first working Bitcoin sidechain, growing from ~0 to 91.8K BTC ($1B notional, 0.5% of circulating supply),” Balaji wrote on Twitter. “Users have choice across the trust spectrum, from centrally issued (WBTC), trust-minimized (tBTC) to purely synthetic (sBTC).”

Tokenized BTC Crosses $1B Notional: Ethereum Cements Role as Bitcoin's Main Sidechain
Data from Dune Analytics and @eliasimos

Financial commentator and cryptocurrency lead at Cinnober, Eric Wall, responded to Balaji’s tweet and said it was more like 20 months, as opposed to a year. Wall also shared a tweet he sent back when the Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) project officially launched in January 2019. The cryptocurrency lead at Cinnober said: “Big day in crypto. Ethereum is now officially a Bitcoin sidechain.”

When Wall tweeted this statement in 2019, a number of people didn’t agree with his assessment, so Wall further described his perspective of the sidechain definition.

“A sidechain is a different chain that uses the same native asset as another chain, where that asset can be locked/unlocked…

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