Avalanche introduces Bitcoin bridge as Core wallet feature

Quick Take

  • Avalanche introduced a direct bridge solution with the Bitcoin network.
  • Ava Labs released the bridge as part of its browser-based web3 wallet called Core.

Ava Labs has launched a new bridge solution allowing users to directly transfer funds between Bitcoin network and 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.


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"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.

© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

About Author

Vishal Chawla is The Block’s crypto ecosystems editor and has spent over six years covering tech protocols, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and cloud computing. Vishal likes to delve deep into blockchain intricacies to ensure readers are well-informed about the continuously evolving crypto landscape. He is also a staunch advocate for rigorous security practices in the space. Before joining The Block, Vishal held positions at IDG ComputerWorld, CIO, and Crypto Briefing. He can be reached on Twitter at @vishal4c and via email at [email protected]