Bitcoin’s market capitalization was briefly flippened today as Wrapped Bitcoin suddenly gained quadrillions of dollars in value. But crypto aficionados and maximalists need not worry: The move was a glitch on CoinMarketCap, which briefly displayed Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) as worth more than all other assets in the world combined.
WBTC showed a behemoth market cap of about $432 quadrillion for a brief period (the total world money supply is estimated at $1.2 quadrillion, including derivatives, according to Rankred.com.) It sat listed atop all the other assets, even Bitcoin (BTC), which had a valuation of roughly $733 billion at the time.
But what is WBTC anyway? It’s Bitcoin in an Ethereum wrapper. This allows participants to use WBTC within the Ethereum ecosystem, as the network runs on a different blockchain. This way, participants can use Bitcoin for Ethereum-based activities, such as decentralized finance. Each WBTC has the same value as 1 BTC, backed one-to-one by actual Bitcoin, which is managed