In a significant development for the decentralized finance (DeFi) sector, Sushi, a prominent DeFi platform, has announced its expansion to the ZetaChain layer-1 blockchain. This move introduces native Bitcoin (BTC) support, marking a pivotal shift in the way users can interact with the largest cryptocurrency in the DeFi space.
The partnership with ZetaChain, which secured $27 million in funding earlier this year, paves the way for the first instance of native bitcoin trading in DeFi. Users can now swap Bitcoin across 30 different networks directly on Sushi without the need for wrapping the coin. Wrapping is a common practice that allows a cryptocurrency to be used on a blockchain different from where it was originally issued.
Jonathan Covey, a core contributor to ZetaChain, emphasized the significance of this development in an interview with CoinDesk. He highlighted that the integration with Sushi will enable Bitcoin holders to not only trade but also engage with more advanced DeFi applications, including lending and borrowing. This expansion is expected to transform Bitcoin from being primarily a store of value to a more versatile asset in the DeFi ecosystem.
The surge in bitcoin’s price and trading volume over the past month, driven by the anticipation of a bitcoin ETF approval, coincides with this release. However, the ZetaChain team clarifies that their work on this project has been ongoing for years, and the timing of the release is merely coincidental.
Ankur Nandwani, the founder of ZetaChain and co-founder of Basic Attention Token, shed light on the evolution of Bitcoin’s utility in the blockchain space. He referenced previous endeavors like Colored Coins and Mastercoin as foundational to their current innovations. Nandwani also pointed out the growing community of developers focusing on enhancing Bitcoin’s functionality beyond just transaction recording.
“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,” Nandwani stated. This move by Sushi and ZetaChain is poised to significantly broaden the scope of Bitcoin’s application and utility in the rapidly evolving DeFi landscape.