Jack Dorsey-backed token listing platform CoinList expands to DeFi

CoinList, a token listing platform backed by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Polychain Capital, has quietly moved into the Decentralized Finance (DeFi) market.

The San Francisco-based firm said it has been helping institutions acquire wBTC – an ERC20 token pegged one-to-one by bitcoin – since February, and has minted 25% of the total wBTC supply so far.

Now, the company is opening up the service to all of its users. 

"Since launching the wBTC/BTC service for institutions in February, CoinList has minted 25% of the total wBTC supply ever in existence and traded 20% of the ADV (average daily volume). Now, we are opening this to all our users," CoinList said in a blog post published on Tuesday. 

Currently, the primary way to obtain wBTC is to purchase it with ETH on decentralized protocols such as Uniswap and IDEX, according to the post. Bitcoin holders wanting to obtain wBTC need to take the additional step to exchange their BTC for ETH on centralized exchanges before buying wBTC. 

To streamline this process, CoinList will act as a wBTC merchant, which receives users' BTC deposits and mints wBTC for them. The company will deposit wBTC directly into users' wallets and store their BTC with custodians. CoinList is charging a 0.25% fee per transaction for this service.


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CoinList's move into DeFi may come as a surprise to many, as the company's main business focus to date has been token offerings. 

The firm rose to prominence during the initial coin offering (ICO) boom in 2017, the year when it was founded. According to its website, CoinList has conducted 12 token listings so far, including the $205 million Filecoin ICO in 2017 and $35 million Dfinity airdrop

As the ICO fad died down, token listings on CoinList also slowed down. Its latest disclosed token offering was in March for blockchain startup Solana, which raised $1.76 million. Kadena, another blockchain startup that did a token sale before Solana, has not disclosed the fundraising result from November last year. However, the firm did conduct a $60 million ICO for Algorand and a $72 million one for Nervos last year. 

Last year, the firm raised a $10 million funding round from Jack Dorsey and Polychain Capital. It also rolled out a crypto trading feature that allows users to buy BTC, ETH, and other cryptocurrencies. 

Correction: an earlier version of the story incorrectly stated that Filecoin conducted a $257 million ICO in 2017 and linked to an article that stated such. It has since been updated to reflect that the ICO raised $205 million. 

The article has also been updated to correctly reflect that CoinList conducted an airdrop, instead of a token sale, for Dfinity in 2018. 

About Author

Celia joined The Block as a reporter after earning her BA in the History of Science from the University of Chicago. Having spent years pondering over why 2+2 cannot equal 5, she is interested in the history and philosophy of mathematics, computation, and cryptography. She also had a very brief stint at Crunchbase News.