How To Bridge to Solana
How-to Guides

How To Bridge to Solana

3 months ago

Learn how to easily transfer your crypto between Solana and other chains using cross-chain bridges.

How To Bridge to Solana

Table of Contents

Ever felt the icy grip of uncertainty while attempting to transfer your hard-earned crypto between different chains? The fear of losing your assets in the vast expanse of the blockchain world is all too real. But fear not, for we bring you a solution that shines through the darkness.

Imagine a tool that not only bridges the gap between Solana and other chains but also ensures the safety of your assets. Blockchain bridges do just the very same thing!

Let’s learn a little bit about Solana!

As of writing, the platform boasts well over 400 active decentralized applications (DApps), many of which have established user bases. Meanwhile, the total value locked (TVL) across all Solana-based protocols now sits at $648 million — making Solana the 8th largest layer-1 by TVL.

Since the launch of the Solana mainnet in March 2020, the platform has undergone several upgrades aimed at improving stability and efficiency, while maturation of the Solana developer tooling has made building on the platform simpler than ever before.

Despite early challenges, it is now easier to interact with the Solana blockchain with several popular and secure bridges now available.

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What Are Bridges?

Cryptocurrency bridges are an integral part of the burgeoning cross-chain landscape. As their name suggests, these provide a bridge through which information and assets can be moved from one independent chain to another.

Solana, like other blockchains, can use bridges to interact with different blockchains, ensuring that assets and data can flow between the Solana network and other networks.

For example, you might use a bridge to transfer Tether (USDT) from Ethereum to Solana (or vice-versa). The exact mechanism used to accomplish this varies depending on the bridge used, as well as the assets and blockchains involved.
But in most cases, the bridge will simply lock the assets on the source chain, before minting an equivalent number of the same asset on the destination chain. This ensures value is effectively transferred without changing the circulating supply of the assets being moved.
Some assets, like USD Coin (USDC) can be moved without relying on lock-and-mint systems.
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These bridges are designed to enhance Solana's interoperability with other networks, allowing users to seamlessly move value into and out of the network while helping to reduce friction for developers.

While most users will use bridges to simply transfer their assets between chains, the mechanisms that enable these cross-chain transfers can be used to power more elaborate use cases — such as decentralized applications that utilize resources or functions from multiple blockchains simultaneously.

Popular Bridges to Solana

There are more than a handful of bridges for Solana. Today, just a couple of Solana bridges see significant usage or have an appreciable TVL. These currently include:
  • Portal (Previously Wormhole): Currently by far the most popular Solana bridge by TVL, Portal supports Solana and 23 other L1/L2 chains. The platform has a flat bridge fee of 0.04% with a maximum fee of 1,000 USDC.
  • AllBridge: AllBridge is a popular bridge that supports both EVM and non-EVM blockchains (including Solana). The platform features two main products, Allbridge Core for stablecoin transfers and Allbridge Classic for other assets.
In addition to these, you may also use CEXes to send tokens from/to Solana.

We recommend performing your due diligence checks before using any bridge. They can vary considerably in their security and usability.

How To Bridge to Solana Using Portal

In most cases, bridging your assets to Solana is a quick and simple process. Your assets will usually be moved to Solana in less than just minutes.

Depending on your platform, you can expect to pay up to 0.3% of the transacted amount in bridge fees (not including transaction fees).

For the purposes of this tutorial, we’ll look at how you can bridge assets using Portal — since it currently features the lowest fees and highest liquidity of any Solana bridge.

Step 1: Select Your Chains

First, you’ll need to tell the bridge which chains you want to transfer between. This means selecting the source chain (the chain you’re moving your assets from) and the target chain (in this case, Solana).

Step 2: Connect Your Wallet

With the chains now selected, click the 'Connect' button to select your Web3 wallet.

This will pull up a prompt asking you to select from the range of supported wallet providers.

Choose the one that applies to you and connect your wallet when prompted.

Step 3: Select an Asset

Once your wallet is connected, you’ll be able to choose from the list of supported assets using the ‘Select a Token’ drop-down menu.

From here, select from the range of featured markets or search for the name of the asset you wish to transfer.

In many cases, the interface will automatically load your balance for the selected asset, helping you correctly identify the right token.

Once you’ve selected your target asset, enter the amount you wish to bridge in the ‘Amount’ field.

Step 4: Connect Your Solana Wallet

It’s time to connect your Solana wallet. Click the 'Connect' button and select your Solana wallet from the list of supported options.

After selecting the relevant option, connect to the bridge by following the prompts in your wallet.

Step 5: Create Associated Token Account

With your origin and target wallets now connected, you may need to create the associated token account in your Solana wallet. This will allow you to receive the token.

Click the ‘Create associated token account’ button and approve the transaction in your connected Solana wallet.

If you already have an associated token account, move to step 6.

Step 6: Bridge Your Funds

You’re now ready to bridge your funds.

In the subsequent section, approve the token transfer via the bridge interface and confirm the transaction in your connected wallet. Once this has been approved, send the assets to the bridge using the ‘Transfer’ button.

Portal will then begin the process of bridging your funds from your source wallet to the destination chain. It’ll keep you notified of its progress on-screen.

Step 7: Claim Your Tokens

Once the bridge process is complete, you’ll be able to claim your tokens from the bridge using your Solana wallet.

To do so, simply click the “Redeem’ button (when available) to claim your tokens.

How To Bridge to Solana Using a CEX

While the aforementioned options are available, users also have the option to bridge tokens from Solana to other blockchains using a centralized exchange (CEX). However, it is crucial to be aware of the security risks associated with using a CEX for bridging. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to bridge tokens from Solana to the Ethereum network using a CEX:

  1. Open an account with a CEX like Binance.
  2. Transfer ETH from your personal wallet to the CEX.
  3. Once the ETH is received in your CEX account, you can convert it to a native token on the Solana network, such as SOL. If not, you can simply move to step 4.
  4. Withdraw the SOL (or ETH) from the CEX and send it to your Solana wallet.
It is important to note that while using portals like Allbridge and Portal is generally recommended for bridging, a CEX can be considered as an alternative option. However, it is essential to understand that CEXes often require users to undergo Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures and provide personal information.

Please keep in mind that the steps provided here are for informational purposes only, and it is always advisable to conduct thorough research and exercise caution when utilizing any bridging method.

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