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Avalanche introduces Bitcoin bridge as Core wallet feature


www.theblock.co 23 June 2022 12:54, UTC
Reading time: ~2 m

Avalanche, a high performance Layer 1 blockchain that offers compatibility with the Ethereum Virtual Machine.

On Wednesday, Ava Labs released the Avalanche-Bitcoin bridge as part of its new browser-based web3 wallet called Core. The bridge will tokenize the top crypto asset as an Avalanche-based token called BTC.b, allowing it to be used on Avalanche's DeFi protocols including Platypus and TraderJoe.

The bridging process works by locking up an amount of bitcoin and issuing an equivalent number of tokens on Avalanche, a process called wrapping. The team claims that the wrapping setup on the bridge is non-custodial, unlike other popular Ethereum-based tokenized bitcoin solutions, including wrapped bitcoin (WBTC).

For every WBTC that exists on Ethereum, there is a bitcoin that is held in a centrally controlled smart contract, which some critics believe exposes users to counter-party risk and trust issues. Ava Labs claims its bridge does not have the same issues.

"We are still wrapping BTC to BTC.b. The difference is that we are starting with native BTC (instead of wrapped WBTC on Ethereum), then wrapping the asset on Avalanche to BTC.b," a spokesperson from Ava Labs told The Block.

The bridge's browser extension page says the bridge relies on Intel SGX (Software Guard Extensions), the same technology used in Avalanche's bridge connecting with Ethereum. In the future, this bridge will also give bitcoin users access to Avalanche subnets such as DeFi Kingdoms and Swimmer, as well as other blockchain networks like Ethereum.


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