Decentralized finance (DeFi) platform Sushi said it is expanding to layer-1 blockchain ZetaChain to add native bitcoin (BTC) support.
The addition of ZetaChain, which raised $27 million earlier this year, introduces the first native bitcoin trading in DeFi, enabling users to swap the largest cryptocurrency across 30 networks without wrapping, Sushi said in a release. Wrapping a coin allows it to be used on a different blockchain than the one it was originally issued on.
"We're aiming to empower bitcoin holders to engage with key DeFi primitives, such as trading, along with more sophisticated applications like lending and borrowing," Jonathan Covey, a core contributor to ZetaChain, said in an interview with CoinDesk. By allowing bitcoin to be used with Sushi, it goes beyond its traditional use case as just a store of value, he said.
"Bitcoin is the largest liquidity pool, and there's a lot of opportunity for developers to involve that in all sorts of Defi applications," Covey said.
Over the past month, bitcoin's price and trading volume have surged amid mounting anticipation that approval of a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) is coming. The ZetaChain team says they have been working on this for years, and it's just a coincidence the release is happening at the same time.
Ankur Nandwani, founder of ZetaChain and co-founder of Basic Attention Token, explained that previous attempts like Colored Coins and Mastercoin laid the groundwork for their current innovations, and noted the growing community of developers working on bitcoin utility.
"We're at an inflection point where we're moving beyond merely recording bitcoin transactions as hashes on the blockchain, to developing applications that utilize actual bitcoin," he said.