tBTC redemptions are live!
tBTC redemptions are live on mainnet!
tBTC v2 Decentralization

Fulfilling Vitalik’s Prophecy

Matt Luongo
Matt Luongo

tBTC redemptions are live on mainnet

I'm thrilled to announce a major, multi-year milestone in the tBTC protocol: Redemptions are now live! This is a huge moment for Threshold and the crypto space as a whole.

The launch of tBTC redemptions enables Bitcoin holders to transfer and use BTC within the DeFi ecosystem via a scalable, decentralized solution — without asking for anyone’s permission.

Our goal is clear: To unlock the full potential of your Bitcoin across DeFi.

The prophecy

In March 2020, Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin took to Twitter to lament: “It's embarrassing that we still can't easily move between the two largest crypto ecosystems trustlessly.”

In October 2020, we launched tBTC v1. And while the system was well-received, no one would call it easy — the dApp was difficult to use, and the restrictive security model meant growth stalled out at 2k BTC bridged. A variety of centralized, user-friendly alternatives raced ahead, growing a huge lead in TVL.

Since then, the tBTC dev team risen to the challenge — building a decentralized Bitcoin bridge that's as easy to use as its centralized counterparts.

Progressively build > progressively decentralize

When A16z famously coined the phrase progressive decentralization, I'm not sure they knew how the concept would be twisted. In the 3 years since the original post, projects have used the idea as an excuse to ship software that would never be finished, exiting to avoid fulfilling their roadmaps and leaving users to deal with the consequences.

Building tBTC v2, we were determined to avoid this pitfall — custody had to be decentralized from Day 1.

The tradeoff? We had to ship the system in pieces.

tBTC v2 launched as a 1-way bridge. That meant only supporting deposits, without the ability to redeem tBTC for bitcoin. The Threshold community has affectionately nicknamed this system feature "number-go-up" technology. As in, without redemptions, the number of BTC in the system can only go up! Funny, sure, but a 1-way bridge is certainly limited. Until today.

Quality infrastructure > quick development

A well-known crypto VC once told me that he "always funds the fastest dev team to market, always" — defending that decision in the face of major hacks across DeFi.

Today, that VC's portfolio has racked up hundreds of millions in lost user funds. Knowing him, I doubt he's changed his position... but it's certainly contrasted with ours.

When you're building financial infrastructure, you should take your time. Testing should be thorough, and rollouts should be controlled. We've benefitted from taking our time with tBTC. The system isn't only rock-solid, it's also heavily monitored. Still, this is new software — and the only thing that will prove its security is more time.

How to Redeem tBTC for Bitcoin

Below is a step-by-step guide on how to redeem your tBTC tokens for Bitcoin:

1. Go to https://dashboard.threshold.network/tBTC/unmint and connect your Ethereum wallet.

2. Enter the amount of tBTC you want to redeem and the BTC address you want the Bitcoin to be sent to.

3. Check the quantity of tBTC you want to redeem, verify the transaction details and fees, and then click “Unmint”.

4. Confirm and submit the transaction using your connected Ethereum wallet.

5. The Unminting will begin automatically after the transaction is confirmed on the Ethereum Network and can take up to 3-5 hours to process.

6. Success! You have officially converted your tBTC back to Bitcoin!

What's next?

We aren't slowing down or taking a victory lap — there's still a ton of work to do, both around the tBTC protocol and across the ecosystem.

In particular, look out for...

  • Comprehensive protocol documentation
  • Faster redemptions (requires governance)
  • Hardened sweeps (requires governance)
  • Retiring the beta staker program (requires governance)
  • Upgrading from threshold ECDSA to Schnorr / ROAST (requires governance)
  • Ever more sophisticated monitoring and testing procedures as tBTC grows

This stuff might sound hopelessly technical... and, well, a lot of it is! These are the technical compromises we made to ship a product that's robust, but *not perfect*. While this stuff might not matter to end users, it's the sort of thankless work required to build secure software, and we're going to keep grinding.

Of course, we aren't just paying down tech debt!

Be on the lookout for our next major release — a seamless, cross-chain experience, powered by Bitcoin.

Join the movement

The Threshold DAO is constantly working on new tBTC integrations with top chains like Optimism, Arbitrum and Polygon, and top DeFi protocols like Curve, Synthetix, Wormhole, Bond, Ajna, and Summer Finance.

To get involved with these efforts, or to get support integrating tBTC into your dApp, join us on Discord and visit the #DAO-contribute channel to get started. To stay updated with all our news, follow us on Twitter and turn your Threshold Discord and Twitter announcements on.

It’s time to put your Bitcoin to work in DeFi with the only decentralized and scalable BTC to ETH solution available! Visit the Threshold dApp to get started minting or redeeming your tBTC today.