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27 Apr 2023

6 min read

Wormhole Takes DeGods & y00ts Cross-Chain


If you’ve been following the NFT space, you’ve heard about several well-known collections migrating their communities to new blockchains. Collections are migrating for a variety of reasons, but one of the biggest challenges these collections face is finding a way to do so while maintaining the existing functionality, rarity, and collection attributes of their NFTs. Wormhole has built a standard of cross-chain bridging that enables collections to burn the original NFTs on the source chain and re-implement them on their destination chain(s) in order to maintain the key attributes and functionality of the collection while bringing them to a new audience.

DeGods & y00ts Are Moving

In early March, Dust Labs, the team behind DeGods and y00ts, announced that they plan to move their popular Solana NFT collections to Ethereum (DeGods) and Polygon (y00ts), using the new Wormhole standard to build their bridges.

The migrations began on 3/27/23, over $100M+ worth of users’ assets were transferred via the custom bridges built for these collections, all while maintaining the custom functionally, rarity, and collection attributes of y00ts and DeGods.

The bridging of thousands of NFTs proceeded smoothly, and the migration sites Dust Labs set up offered a seamless bridging process. The experience spoke for itself, check it out:

DeGods Migration
Migrate your DeGod to Ethereum.
y00ts Migration
Migrate your y00t to Polygon.

Impact of the Bridging Event

Bridging these collections allowed DeGods and y00ts to reach broader audiences and communities of NFT enthusiasts across the EVM world. Migrating chains opened up a world of new opportunities for holders, increased exposure, broadened audiences, increased frequency of interactions, and even benefitted supporting products like Phantom and Magic Eden, who saw their largest single-day activation of new EVM users thanks to these migrations.

Dust Labs' move to migrate its communities off Solana and onto Ethereum and Polygon is a significant step towards creating a more seamless and efficient NFT ecosystem - and we at Wormhole are excited to help more projects to do the same with Wormhole’s new Burn and Mint NFT standard.

Wormhole’s Novel Burn & Mint Mechanism

Given Dust Labs’ goal was to maintain the original functionality, attributes, and ecosystem of both collections, Wormhole's new Burn & Mint mechanism was the best way for the team to implement the migration. Wormhole’s standard prioritizes a technical migration that preserves all functionality of the original collection. While migrating an NFT collection and community may seem relatively straightforward (and the experience is straightforward for holders), the process can be technically complicated and a logistical nightmare.

We considered a number of tradeoffs in approaches toward moving NFT collections cross-chain. The burn & mint mechanism we landed on is the premier method for NFT bridging. Both the DeGods and y00ts bridges were built using Wormhole’s Burn & Mint standard, a protocol built on top of Wormhole's core messaging layer that has two primary components:

  1. An NFT holder burns their original NFT via a smart contract
  2. Then, redeems their newly minted ERC-721 on Ethereum, Polygon, etc., directly into their wallet

Users access the bridges at the designated website, provide an Ethereum (or Polygon) wallet address, and sign a transaction that transfers the NFT to the "burn and attest" contract on Solana. Finally, they receive their newly minted NFT on Ethereum/Polygon directly in their wallet — it's that simple.

Key Benefits of Burn & Mint

The Burn & Mint approach offers several key benefits compared to Lock & Mint:

A) Functional Equivalence

  • The bridged collections maintain all the original attributes, nuances, and implementation specifics of the collection. This means that a complicated collection like DeGods, which includes activities like transcending NFTs using the collection's native $DUST token, doesn’t have to give up any of its unique functionality. This extends to the ability to reimplement features like emissions, NFT gated activities, staking protocols, and anything else that was built around the original collection.

B) Provenance

  • The collection is not able to be re-minted or re-distributed to the original collection on Solana without control of the mint authority wallet.
  • Collection holders can confirm via their usual mechanism (like a block explorer) that their NFTs exist on only one address should they choose to bridge it over.

C) Minimized Risk

  • The proposed Burn & Mint approach reduces the security exposure of bridged NFTs to nearly zero.
  • NFTs are burned upon bridging to EVM, mitigating the risk of any potential perpetual exploits on the Solana side of the transaction.

Case Study: Technical Design Sample for DeGods

Wormhole NFT interface model
  1. DeGods holder provides an ETH address and signs a transaction on Solana, paying gas in SOL to bridge their Solana NFT.
  2. The Solana smart contract burns the DeGod and the vault contract emits a Wormhole message (think of it as a voucher) that confirms:
     i) That the NFT has been burned on the Solana side
     ii) That the recipient Ethereum or Polygon address is specified
  3. The offline process (aka, the relayer) observes and relays the emitted Wormhole message. The relayer for that particular contract was developed by the Dust Labs team with assistance from Wormhole
  4. The relayer calls the mint contract on Ethereum that verifies the Wormhole message/voucher and then mints the Ethereum NFT to the holder’s Ethereum wallet
  5. The Dust Labs team can potentially airdrop gas (ETH) to holders/minters through the Ethereum contract alongside the mint

Want to Take Your NFT Collection Cross-Chain?

The process today looks like the following:

  1. Wormhole will assist in the migration or launch of your cross chain collection and provide feedback and support on the new contracts, relayers, and technical design of the process.
  2. Your project is responsible for building out a bridging UI on your website, staking contracts for the new tokens, and your dedicated cross-chain relayer.
  3. Your project’s ecosystem partners are responsible for enabling in-app bridging of the collections, an embedded Wormhole-powered cross-chain token bridge, and a cross-chain purchasing flow.

This is how you can get started:

  1. Know what you are looking for? Dive straight into our docs and begin developing on the cutting-edge of cross-chain.
  2. Got questions? If you're interested in learning more about developing on Wormhole, please reach out on Discord and join the “Builder” section exclusive to developers.

Wormhole is - and always has been - open source: see our Github for more.

New to Wormhole?

If you’re new to Wormhole, here’s what you need to know:

Wormhole is the industry standard cross-chain messaging protocol powering applications across Web3. Wormhole provides developers access to liquidity and users on over 20 of the leading blockchain networks, enabling use cases that span DeFi, NFTs, governance, and more. Wormhole enables a growing suite of products to build on its messaging layer - Wormhole Connect is a key asset layer product, providing developers with an in-app bridging widget that can be integrated in as few as 3 lines of code. The wider Wormhole network is trusted and used by teams like Circle and Uniswap, and to date, the platform has facilitated the transfer of over 35 billion dollars through hundreds of millions of cross-chain messages.

Learn more on wormhole.com.

The Latest Wormhole Stats

  • The protocol’s total volume stands at over $35B.
  • Millions of messages are submitted each day.
  • Hundreds of millions of messages have successfully been transmitted.
  • More than 60 protocols are currently building on top of Wormhole’s generic message-passing layer. See who they are.

Join the Wormhole Community

If you have questions, need support, or simply want to connect, join the Wormhole community and keep up-to-date with our upcoming announcements. We’re always happy to hear your feedback.

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