Portal xAsset Bridge

Portal is a set of ecosystem contracts that provision Wormhole's xAsset layer. These contracts allow tokens to be bridged around the Wormhole Ecosystem in a path-independent fashion, and are easily composeable with other functions in the Wormhole ecosystem.

This section provides a high-level overview of how to interact with the Portal contracts. If you're looking to interact with Portal directly from a typescript client or backend, you should start with the Wormhole Typescript SDK. If you'd prefer to look at code examples, they are provided in the Portal Examples section.

Creating xAssets

xAssets always have an origin chain. This is where the token is initially minted via the standard of that chain (ERC-20, SPL, etc).

To convert this asset into an xAsset, an attestation must first be created. To create an attestation, simply call the attest function on the Portal contract of the origin chain.

function attestToken(
    address tokenAddress,
    uint32 nonce)
 returns (uint64 sequence)

The Guardian Network will then produce an attestation VAA, which can be retrieved using the sequence number returned by the attestToken function.

The attestation VAA must then be submitted to the createWrapped function of every other chain, referred to as foreign chains for this token.

function createWrapped(
    bytes memory encodedVm)
returns (address token)

Calling this function will deploy a new contract for the token on the foreign chain, creating a Wormhole-Wrapped Token. The wrapped token will use the same symbol as the origin asset, and will append (Wormhole) to the end of the name.

These assets are all fungible with each other. This means the Wormhole-wrapped token can be exchanged for the original token or wrapped tokens from other chains.

Transferring Assets

function transferTokens(
    address token,
    uint256 amount,
    uint16 recipientChain,
    bytes32 recipient,
    uint256 arbiterFee,
    uint32 nonce) returns (uint64 sequence)

Initiating token transfers is a straightforward affair. Once the transfer is initiated, the Guardians will produce a transfer VAA when finality has been reached on the source chain. The VAA must then be relayed to the target chain.

All tokens managed by Portal are backed by the origin asset, allowing tokens to be transferred in a path-independent fashion. Regardless of what chain the tokens are passed to, a 'double-wrapped' asset will never be created for a single backing asset. Additionally, there are no liquidity limitations.

Contract-Controlled Transfers

Basic transfers are intended to transfer tokens from one wallet to another, whereas Contract Controlled Transfers (CCTs) are meant to transfer tokens from one smart contract to another. If you're writing an xDapp, CCTs will likely be a large component.

CCTs allow xDapp contracts to easily perform Portal transfers. Contract controlled transfers are quite similar to simple transfers, but have two additional features:

  • An arbitrary byte array can be appended to the transfer and can be used to easily pass additional information to the recipient contract.
  • The CCT VAA redeem can only be performed by the recipient contract, as opposed to basic transfers, which can be performed by any caller. This ensures that any additional operations which the contract wants to perform as part of the redeem transaction must be executed.

In the next section, we'll discuss Wormchain and some of the upcoming features it will enable.