The recent de-anchoring of WBTC/BTC has aroused doubts from members of the encryption community. Twitter user Castaneda pointed out that according to the mechanics of the WBTC ecosystem, when a merchant wishes to create new WBTC, it must first provide real BTC to the custodian, who then mints the new WBTC and provides it to the merchant. When merchants wish to recover BTC, they must destroy the same amount of WBTC, thus ensuring that their WBTC amount does not exceed BTC.
Alameda has acted as a merchant at Wayback Machine Checkpoint since at least September 28, 2020, but Alameda can only mint WBTC, not custody BTC. Now Alameda is no longer listed as a merchant, and the Alameda custodian wallet cannot be found on the audit page.
Castaneda said that by checking the wallet of its previous custodian, it was found that the wallet was emptied, and the last 5,000 BTC were withdrawn on November 11, shortly after the FTX crash.
Castaneda emphasized, “However, we don’t think this poses any systemic risk because what is really important is that the custodians still maintain the necessary reserves to ensure a 1:1 ratio between WBTC/BTC. While people can still use 1 WBTC is exchanged for 1 BTC, but it is possible to arbitrage when there is a discount. According to our assessment, WBTC still looks stable, and price fluctuations seem to be caused more by market panic than insolvency.”