Crypto exchange Coinbase today announced that starting Monday, October 19, its “Pro” exchange will support Wrapped Bitcoin, or WBTC.
The San Francisco-based company, which operates one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, said that it would accept deposits of WBTC on Monday from US customers outside of New York state.
Trading will commence on “or after 9AM Pacific Time (PT) Tuesday, October 20, if liquidity conditions are met.” It’ll go live with two pairings: WBTC-USD and WBTC-USD.
“If liquidity conditions are met” means that Coinbase will only launch the coin if enough people express interest in the coin.
It’s unlikely this will be a problem for WBTC, a synthetic version of Bitcoin that runs on Ethereum. Right now, there are 105,132 Wrapped Bitcoin in existence, the equivalent of $1.2 billion.
Things took off for Wrapped Bitcoin in the middle of June, when Bitcoiners started putting their assets to work on Ethereum-based decentralized finance (DeFI) protocols—mostly non-custodial lending and decentralized exchange protocols.
These protocols offer lucrative interest rates, sometimes upward of 1,000% a year—not that any of those interest rates are sustained for a month, let alone 12.
WBTC, started by BitGo, Ren and Kyber, is the most popular synthetic version of Bitcoin; it holds 73.7% of the market share, according to a dashboard on Dune Analytics.
The Coinbase Pro launch will take place in four phases: transfers, post-only, limits, and full trading. Those stages allow Coinbase to fill its order books so that there’s enough money to ensure a smooth launch. Coinbase will only progress to the next stage if the market appears “healthy and orderly.”
Coinbase kept mum on whether it’ll add the coin to its main brokerage, simply known as Coinbase. “We will make a separate announcement if and when this support is added,” it wrote in the blog post.