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Portal Bridge Review 2024: Cross-Chain Token Bridge Unveiled

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Swen Keller
In the crypto world Swen has consistently found success through his effective communication skills and the unique ability to navigate the details.
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Portal Bridge Review: Our Take

In our practical experience with this cross-chain protocol, we identified that the solution offers ultra-low fee transactions when compared to most other bridge token platforms and supports a sizable selection of blockchains. 

The major con is the manual conversion needed to regain the sent asset after receiving wrapped bridge tokens. And its limited support of popular crypto DeFi wallets.

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    What is Portal Token Bridge and How Does it Work?

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    The Portal Token Bridge is a DeFi protocol built to facilitate cross-chain transfers between various leading blockchains such as Solana, BNB Chain, Polygon, Avalanche, Oasis, Algorand, etc. 

    Originally, the bridge was built as a bi-directional Ethereum and Solana token bridge but it has since evolved.

    The Portal Bridge is a Warmhole protocol built on top of Wormhole and when you bridge a token using Portal, the source token is locked in a smart contract and a fresh Portal-wrapped token is minted on the destination chain. 

    You can then swap those wrapped tokens for other/native tokens on the target chain. 

    That said, the Portal Bridge like most cross-chain bridges uses validator nodes called Guardians to facilitate the cross-chain transfer process.

    These Guardian nodes constantly monitor the transfer activity on the token bridges and when a user initiates a transfer, the nodes verify their requests, register it, and then burn the sender platform’s native tokens in the amount requested.

    Right after burning the bridge tokens on the sender’s chain, these Guardians mint the equivalent number of native tokens on the target chain. 

    So if a user sends 1 BNB from the Binance Smart Chain to Avalanche, the Guardian nodes will burn that BNB on the Binance Smart Chain then create 1 WBNB in Avalanche (excluding fees), and send it to a specified Available-based wallet.



    Unique Features

    Portal NFT Bridge 

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    The Portal NFT bridge allows users to send their NFT cross-chain to Ethereum, BNB Chain, Polygon, Solana, Oasis, Avalnache, Fantom, Celo, and Karura. 

    The Portal NFT supports all ERC-721 and SPL (with a supply of 1) NFTs

    Transferring your NFTs cross-chain is easy, all you need to do is:

    • Go to https://portalbridge.com/#/nft

    • Select the Source chain where you want to send the NFT from

    • Connect your wallet and choose the NFT you want to send cross-chain 

    • Click “Next” 

    • Select the target chain where you want to send the NFT to 

    • Connect your wallet and click “Next” 

    • Click “Transfer” to send the NFT 

    • An accept wallet approval will pop up, wait for the confirmation 

    • You need to complete the transaction immediately after the transfer is approved, and then you will need to complete the redeem workflow

    • To redeem your NFT, click “Redeem tokens” 

    That’s it! once you click “Redeem Tokens” You have successfully transferred your NFT cross-chain. 

    NFTs sent to Ethereum can be viewed in a marketplace like OpenSea, while those sent to Solana can be viewed under “Collectibles” in your Phantom wallet

    The Portal NFT bridge has an NFT Origin tool that lets you manually verify the authenticity of an NFT. 

    The NFT Origin tool does not tell you whether an NFT is fake or real, it only lets you know the origin of the NFTs, which can help you verify the authenticity manually. 

    To verify the authenticity of NFTs sent from Solana to Ethereum using the NFT origin tool; 

    Go to https://portalbridge.com/#/nft-origin-verifier

    Select the chain the NFT is currently on and connect your wallet 

    Paste the address and the tokenID

    Next, click “View SOL Scan” 

    On Solscan you can check the creator addresses with another NFT on a verified NFT collection in a marketplace like Solana art.io.

    Go to solanart.io and select the collection. 

    Compare the origin details of the NFT sent to Ethereum and the one on solanart.io.

    The 2 creator addresses (mint address) and update authority should be identical, this will help you manually verify if the piece is authentic. 

    To verify the authenticity of NFTs sent from Ethereum to Solana: 

    • Open the NFT Origin tool and select the chain the NFT is currently on: Solana
    • Connect your wallet and paste the address 
    • Next, click “View on OpenSea” 
    • Once you are on OpenSea, you will be able to tell that the piece has been verified, which means it is not a replica.

    Cryptocurrencies Available on Portal Token Bridge

    The Portal Bridge has a large selection of cryptocurrencies. It supports all crypto assets available on the 25 supported chains

    Supported cryptocurrencies include BNB, Ethereum, Celo, Polygon, Avalanche, Solana, USD Tether, USD Coin, Shiba Inu, Binance Use, Hex, Bitfinex Leo, Dai stablecoin, Maker, Terra Luna, etc.

    Networks Available on Portal Token Bridge

    The Portal Token Bridge currently supports 25 blockchain networks. 

    Supported networks include Acala, Algorand, Aptos, Arbitrum, Aurora, Avalanche, Base, BNB Chain, Celo, Fantom, Ethereum, Injective, Karura, Klaytn, Moonbeam, Near, Oasis, Optimism, Polygon, Sei, Solana, Sui, Terra Classic, Terra, and XPLA.

    Portal Token Bridge Fees

    You will have to pay 2 types of fees when using the cross-chain interoperability feature of the bridge. These fees will be shaved off the sent amount when using bridge tokens. 

    The first is a transaction fee charged by the bridge for facilitating the cross-chain process, which is approximately $0.0001 per transaction. The second fee is the origin and target chain gas fees and has nothing to do with the Wormhole Protocol. 

    These dynamic gas fees are charged by the native chains to enable transactions on them. 

    That said, excluding the Ethereum network, all gas fees charged by supported blockchains on the bridge are moderate.

    Is Portal Bridge Safe?

    Drawing upon our practical trials with this crypto bridge, we noticed that Portal Bridge is a secure bridge though it has a history of security breaches. 

    Portal Bridge runs on the same cryptographic primitives as Ethereum and uses a multi-sig approach which consists of 19 Guardians

    These Guardians function via a Proof of Authority of their private key and independently sign messages while largely distrusting each other. Portal Bridge’s Guardians are spread across the globe with each Guardian having their unique operational security requirements, which makes it hard for them to be compromised. 

    Before any transaction on the bridge is completed, it passes through multiple Guardians. Each of these Guardians conducts their independent validation process before verifying and validating the transaction. 

    The Guardians also governs or effectively rate-limits the flow of assets from any Portal Bridge chain. This security feature ensures that no security in one chain spills over to affect other chains. 

    With the permission of the Governor, the Guardians can set daily limits of notional flow and also set a fixed finality delay for transactions over a specific size for each supported chain. 

    Portal Bridge is regularly audited internally, it also contracts third-party audit forms to perform regular external audits.

    Portal Bridge also runs a bounty program

    That said, in February 2022, Portal Bridge was hacked when a hacker bypassed the verification process by injecting a spoofed Guardian signature by generating a fake signature. 

    Portal Bridge lost $321+ million in the hack as 120 wETH tokens were removed from the platform and distributed to the hackers’ Solana and ETH wallets. 

    Wormhole offered a $10M bug bounty to both the hacker and anyone who would be able to return the tokens. 

    Since the hack of the bridge, Portal Bridge has been further reinforced against any such future occurrences.

    Staking Rewards/ Liquidity Provider Yields

    Unfortunately, the Portal Token Bridge offers its staking service to large-scale institutional staking services like Everstake and there are over 17 of them, known as Guardian Nodes. 

    This means that regular users do not stake to provide liquidity or participate in governance decisions.

    Things We Do Not Like about Portal Token Bridge

    Our hands-on experience with this cross-chain solution revealed that the primary drawbacks of the Portal Bridge are its need for manual conversion of wrapped tokens, closed-off staking program, history of being hacked, and limited support of popular DeFi wallets like the Coinbase Wallet.

    Final Thoughts

    Portal Token Bridge stands out for its low trading fees but it has a lot of usage constraints like a limited selection of popular DeFi wallets and the need for manual conversion after using bridge tokens as well as hacking history.

    While this bridge is great, it’s good to check others too. Our Orbiter Finance Review looks at another big player


    Most frequent questions and answers

    It is a wormhole protocol that facilitates cross-chain communication and allows users to transfer cryptocurrencies on different blockchains from one chain to other chains to reduce costs and boost efficiency.

    For some time, the Wormhole Bridge demonstrated the ability to manage a large volume of traffic and funds without security concerns but it was hacked in February 2022. However, the protocol stated that it has since improved its security.

    Portal Token Bridge costs $0.0001 per transfer. However, you will need to pay gas fees as well, both on the origin and target chain, which for most supported networks are moderate excluding Ethereum.

    To use the Portal Bridge choose a Source chain and a target chain from the drop-down menu. 

    Next, tap Connect to connect your wallet. Allow the connection when promoted by your wallet extension. 

    Tap Select a token and pick from the available tokens in your wallet.

    Input the amount you intend to bridge then click Next. 

    Link your destination chain wallet by tapping Connect and then allow the connection if your wallet extension prompts it. 

    Send tokens and choose a denomination to pay your fees in then hit Transfer. 

    When required, tap Confirm to finish the transfer. 

    Adhere to the steps in your wallet extension to finish the transaction

    The bridge tokens will be sent to the Wormhole contract and you’ll receive wrapped tokens.  

    You can then trade these tokens on any exchange for native assets.

    Wormhole Token Bridge is a solution that facilitates cross-chain communication and permissionless and trustless transfer of digital assets between Layer-1 blockchains.

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