PolkaBTC Alpha Testnet is Live

2 min readNov 30, 2020


We are excited to announce the launch of the PolkaBTC Alpha testnet. This marks a major milestone of the BTC-Parachain and brings us one step closer to making Polkadot interoperable.

The first testnet release allows users to issue and redeem their first PolkaBTC and connects Bitcoin’s testnet to the BTC-Parachain testnet.

Go to https://alpha.polkabtc.io/ to mint your first trustless testnet Bitcoin on Polkadot.

User guide

We have prepared a detailed user guide for PolkaBTC here: https://alpha.polkabtc.io/user-guide

This includes instructions for wallets, testnet coins, as well as step-by-step guides for issuing and redeeming PolkaBTC. You will need a desktop browser to test.

Want to run your own Vault or Staked Relayer? Get in touch via polkabtc@interlay.io for early testing / integration.

Discord Channel: Join our Discord channel to actively discuss PolkaBTC, ask questions or simply stay up-to-date with latest developments: https://discord.com/invite/C8tjMbgVXh

Call for Feedback: Help us build the best possible bridge and tell us how you liked PolkaBTC & what we can improve: https://forms.gle/iFtRy3vhzH4zy9MG6

Bug Reports: This is an early alpha release. Bugs can happen. Report and get credited as contributor on Github: https://github.com/interlay/polkabtc-ui/issues

About PolkaBTC and the BTC-Parachain

The BTC-Parachain allows users to mint 1:1 Bitcoin-backed assets onto Polkadot, called PolkaBTC, and use these across a wide range of applications, including decentralized exchanges, stablecoins, and lending protocols. Under the hood, the BTC-Parachain implements XCLAIM, the only cross-chain framework that is financially trustless, permissionless, and censorship-resistant — and is backed by top-tier research (IEEE S&P’19). The BTC-Parachain is expected to launch in February/March 2021.

The BTC-Parachain is built by Interlay, a team of ex-Imperial College PhDs and blockchain engineers, funded by a Web3 Foundation grant.

About Interlay

Interlay envisions a future where blockchains can seamlessly connect and interact, regardless of design and purpose. Interlay is building cross-chain infrastructure and DeFi products, backed by top-tier research:

  • PolkaBTC, the official trustless Bitcoin-Polkadot bridge, in collaboration with Parity Technologies, funded by the Web3 Foundation.
  • XOpts, the first trustless and non-custodial platform for cross-chain, physically settled BTC options on Ethereum. XOpts requires no price oracles or wrapped assets, and also acts as the first truly decentralized BTC exchange.

Founded by Imperial College London PhDs, Interlay’s team of researchers and engineers brings together expertise in blockchain interoperability, security, crypto-economics.




Interlay is building a one-stop shop for all things Bitcoin DeFi. BTC trading, lending, staking, and a way to deploy into other DeFi products.