Bitcoin Tokenized on Ethereum ‘Dominates the Off-Chain Space,’ Pushing ETH’s Fees Higher Than BTC


In 2020 so far, Ethereum made 80% gains, more than 3x the gains recorded by Bitcoin. However, ETH moves compared to bitcoin have been tighter over the years.

During 2015-17, the price of ETH appreciated 6% to 8% versus bitcoin when the leading digital asset went up and a 4% to 6% fall on days BTC was down. Now in 2020, when Ether has seen a rebound, these moves continue to get smaller.

Analyst Ceteris Paribus believes these ranges will widen once again in a bull market but says, “ETH won't make a significant run until BTC moves higher… Once BTC breaks $13K or so, I do expect ETH to become more interesting.”

Unlike Ether’s price, the gas prices continue to be on an uptrend. “The daily median gas price has increased by more than 5x since April, surpassing 50 Gwei yesterday for the first time in almost 2 years,” noted Glassnode.

Ethereum Median Gas Price

Source: Glassnode

While Ethereum network usage continues to rise, Phase 0 of ETH 2.0 is still not here. As we reported, it might not come until next year, on January 3, 2021 (Bitcoin's 12th anniversary).

However, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin says, “FWIW I personally quite disagree with this, and I would favor launching phase 0 significantly before that date regardless of level of readiness :D.”

The final testnet, however, could be here soon.

Ethereum fees are also surging, “being larger than Bitcoin fees in periods,” because of the tokenized bitcoin on the Ethereum blockchain, which is currently heavily in use.

Fees: BTC vs ETH

Source: Arcane Research

Tokenization of bitcoin as an ERC-20 token is gaining a lot of traction, which enables functionality that is not natively supported on the bitcoin blockchain.

Bitcoin tokenized on Ethereum “dominates the off-chain space,” accounting for 82% of all the BTC supply locked off-chain. But it is still in its infancy as only 0.1% of BTC supply is locked into off-chain solutions.

Wrapped BTC (wBTC) is the largest bitcoin token on Ethereum, with 11,136 BTC locked into the protocol. In 2020, wBTC supply has increased a massive 1887% as “investors seek to gain bitcoin exposure in the DeFi ecosystem.”

In total, 15,236 BTC are locked into the tokenized bitcoin protocols on the Ethereum network, which is 4x the size of Liquid and Lightning Network.

But “tokenized BTC on the Ethereum Network carries similar scaling issues as Bitcoin,” which might be reduced if Ethereum successfully switches from PoW to PoS, states Arcane Research in its report.

Elsewhere, ETH hodlers are also on the rise, with the number of addresses holding 1+ coins reaching an all-time high of 1,082,158, hitting a new peak in less than a week.

The flagship cryptocurrency, which has been silent for the past several weeks now, meanwhile has the percent of BTC supply that is active for over three years, reaching a 19-month high of 28.8%.

Bitcoin (BTC) Live Price

1 BTC/USD =$31,274.8289 change ~ -10.54%

Coin Market Cap

$581.46 Billion

24 Hour Volume

$17.8 Billion

24 Hour VWAP

$33.83 K

24 Hour Change

$-3,296.27

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