The number of bitcoins locked in decentralized finance (DeFi) token, WBTC has now greatly surpassed the number of bitcoins in the Lightning Network protocol which was designed to scale the Bitcoin network.
At the time of writing, data from DeFi Pulse shows that the USD value of bitcoins wrapped in WBTC was $21.9 million (2,300 BTC) with bitcoins on the Lightning Network channels only amounting to only $8.8 million (923 BTC).
As the charts below also show, the value of bitcoins on the Lightning Network has dipped in recent weeks, even though in theory, there should be increased usage with Bitcoin transaction fees skyrocketing post-halving.
WBTC vs. Lightning Network
At this point, it is worthy to note that while the Bitcoin Lightning Network was specifically designed to facilitate faster and micropayments, the WBTC tokens issued on the Ethereum network have become a core component of the growing DeFi space.
WBTC, an ERC-20 token by design, brings the liquidity of Bitcoin to the Ethereum blockchain and represents the preferred version of bitcoin for decentralized exchanges and DeFi protocols offering users exposure to Bitcoin.
Meanwhile, the current $21.9 million cap has come in less than three days after the number of bitcoins wrapped in Ethereum-based WBTC initially surpassed the number on the Lightning network. A new 999.6 WBTC (appr. $9.5 million) was minted on May 13, making WBTC, the third most valuable DeFi protocol in USD terms.
Meanwhile, the total value locked in DeFi protocols at press time was $840.3 million. Coinfomania had reported that the value dropped significantly in the aftermath of the March 12 sell-off, before slowly climbing back up as the markets rebounded.