Thesis, the team behind the Keep protocol, has secured $7.7 million in a fresh funding round led by Paradigm Capital, with participation from firms including Fenbushi Capital and Collaborative Funds. The venture production studio is preparing to launch its tBTC product on April 27.
Thesis has been working with cross-chain financial service provider Summa to develop the tBTC protocol, which will be the first major app on the Keep network.
As The Block previously explained, tBTC is an ERC-20 token fully collateralized by bitcoin and redeemable at any time. Users looking to spend their bitcoin on Ethereum can simply deposit their bitcoin into a threshold signature contact. After the signing group sends a proof of deposit to the Ethereum chain, a tBTC token will be minted and sent to the bitcoin holder’s Ethereum wallet.
"Decentralized financial applications on Ethereum have seen clear demand," said Paradigm co-founder Fred Ehrsam said in a statement. "Bitcoin is the world's largest cryptocurrency. Building a bridge that allows Bitcoin to interact with DeFi makes a lot of sense, and tBTC is a credible attempt to do exactly that."
There have been a number of Ethereum-based tokens pegged to Bitcoin, including Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC), ImToken’s imBTC, and Synthetix’ sBTC. tBTC’s differentiator lies in its redemption feature, which is something that projects like WBTC still lack even until today.
According to Thesis CEO Matt Luongo, the team plans to integrate with lending platforms like Compound shortly after launch. However, Compound CEO Robert Leshner previously told The Block that low liquidity could potentially prevent the token from becoming a collateral option in the near future.