Data from block explorers confirms that as of Oct. 17, a total of 9,661 BTC ($76.96 million) or a tiny 0.054% of today’s Bitcoin supply resides in three major sidechain projects.
Almost $77 million of Bitcoin is currently unavailable to use on the network – not because it is lost, but because it is locked up in sidechains.
Bitcoin sidechains: a nascent market
Sidechains are separate blockchains tied to a cryptocurrency’s regular blockchain, i.e. mainchain. Users can interact with it via a pegging mechanism; they send funds to and from the sidechain, with security features ensuring coins are not available on both chains at once.
Sidechains have existed for several years and have various functions depending on developers’ aims.
Blockstream’s Liquid sidechain, or LBTC, for example, focuses on interexchange operability while giving traders enhanced features not yet available on the Bitcoin mainchain.
Binance Chain leads balances
Liquid, which launched in October 2018, currently includes a modest 89 BTC ($709,700). That figure is dwarfed by the largest sidechain, Binance Chain, which has 9,001 BTC ($71.74 million).
Even the Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) sidechain, which is in fact an Ethereum-based ERC-20 standard token, has 571 BTC ($4.55 million) – more than Liquid.
WBTC debuted in January this year, while Binance Chain – cryptocurrency exchange Binance’s in-house project – got its mainnet unveiling in April.
This week, wallet provider Blockchain and digital asset manager CoinShares launched a Bitcoin sidechain of their own in the form of a gold token network.
Is Tron’s DApp Market Dependent on Gambling?
Tron has made a name for itself in the crypto asset space and DApp world, although a huge portion of the protocol’s transactions rely on the gambling industry.
A hefty 17 of the top 25 most-used Tron DApps fall in the gambling category on DappRadar’s list of most popular Tron protocol-based DApps.
Top 25 lists
The eight non-gambling Tron-based DApps on the list fall in several other categories, such as High-Risk, Exchanges and a general “games” tag.
These non-gambling DApps, however, host significantly less volume than their gambling counterparts, with the exception of two other applications listed as exchanges.
In contrast, the top 25 Ethereum-based DApps counted only three gambling applications.
April 2019 showed Tron touting the most rapidly expanding group of DApp users.
Ethereum, Tron and EOS ran the show in 2019 in terms of DApp usage, taking a combined 98.65% of the total DApp transaction volume for the year, as Cointelegraph reported in January 2020.
Tron’s ecosystem posted a staggering $4.4 billion in volume in 2019, with its gambling DApps filtering approximately 89% of that money flow, DappReview said in its 2019 DApp write-up, calling Tron’s decentralized application ecosystem, “Las Vegas on the blockchain.”
Meanwhile, Tron founder Justin Sun pulled up a chair next to Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak for lunch earlier this week, tweeting about the meal after the fact on Jan. 24.
Cointelegraph reached out to Justin Sun for comment but received no answer as of press time. This article will be updated accordingly upon receipt of a response.