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06 Apr 2022

2 min read

Wormhole Protocol vs. Portal Bridge: What’s the difference?



This post aims to explain the recent renaming of the token and NFT bridge from Wormhole to Portal. The main goal is to clearly distinguish between:

The origin of Wormhole

Wormhole V1 was initially built in October 2020 by Certus One and other core contributors as a bi-directional token bridge between Ethereum and Solana. Over time, the developers found increased user demand for more interoperability and supported chains. As a result, Wormhole network, a generic message-passing protocol, was launched in August 2021.

Wormhole: Cross-chain everything

With that launch in August, Wormhole morphed into more than just a token bridge; it became a layer 0, allowing a multitude of apps to be built on top of its core layer. The following protocols are already implementing Wormholes SDK to compose their own interoperability solutions;

  • Anchor: cross-chain stablecoin borrowing, lending, staking
  • Orion: cross-chain stablecoin lending, borrowing, spending
  • Pyth: cross-chain oracle pricing
  • 01.xyz: cross-chain deposits
  • Everdragons: cross-chain NFTs and governance tokens
  • Swim: cross-chain atomic swaps
  • Lido: cross-chain staking and governance

Why Portal?

In early 2022, the Wormhole team and its contributors saw the necessity to more clearly distinguish between the protocol itself (Wormhole) and a reference implementation for a native bridge built on top of it (Portal). Hence, the name Portal came into existence.

Merriam-Webster defines the noun “portal” as “the approach or entrance to a bridge or tunnel”. And the Portal Bridge is precisely that — the entrance to the world of interoperability.

On the Portal website, users can seamlessly bridge tokens and NFTs across eight supported chains and easily enter the new network’s ecosystem.

Renaming of wrapped tokens

Over the past few weeks, attentive users have noticed that, amongst DEXs and blockchain explorers, “Wormhole wrapped” tokens have started appearing as “Portal wrapped”. We are currently working on renaming all remaining “Wormhole wrapped” tokens in the broader ecosystem in the coming weeks.

Please note that all token contract addresses stay unchanged, and no changes other than the renaming have occurred.

Here is a comprehensive list of portal-wrapped tokens.

Join the ever-growing Wormhole community

If you have questions, need support, or want to connect, join the Wormhole community and keep up to date with our up-and-coming announcements. We’re always happy to hear your feedback; join our discord, and drop us a comment!

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