How to Bridge Assets From EVM to XCM?

Last Modified:
March 1, 2024

In the vast world of crypto, there are tons of blockchains each performing their own specific function. A problem, however, is that a lot of these blockchains are independent of each other and are unable to communicate. This can cause problems for users wanting to interact with other blockchains. One of the solutions for this issue is the concept of “bridges”.

Bridges in cryptocurrency are much like the physical bridges we know in our everyday lives. Just like how physical bridges connect different inaccessible areas to each other, bridges in cryptocurrency connect different blockchains together. Blockchain bridges allow us to transfer assets between different blockchains so that we can interact with both of their decentralized applications (dApps). It does this by locking up your sent asset in the original chain and then minting an equivalent token in the second chain, which now lets you interact with the second blockchain’s ecosystem. This overall contributes to interoperability in the crypto space! 

A good example of bridging would be if someone wanted to transfer assets between the Ethereum blockchain and the Polkadot blockchain, which use the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) and Cross-Consensus Message Format (XCM), respectively. A bridge would allow someone to port assets from EVM to XCM and vice versa. For this example, we’ll be using Moonbeam. Let’s go over how to do this!

Step 1
Choose an asset you want to bridge.
  • Decide on the asset you want to bridge to a different chain. (e.g. $USDC on the Ethereum blockchain).
  • Remember to check if the asset you want to bridge is supported on both chains. In this case, USDC should be available on both the Ethereum network (EVM) and the Polkadot network (XCM). 
  • Once bridged, your Ethereum native USDC tokens (ERC-20) will be locked up and you’ll receive equivalent Polkadot native USDC tokens (XC-20). 

Step 2
Ensure you have a funded wallet. 
  • Make sure you have a sending wallet funded with the asset you wish to bridge (e.g. USDC) as well as a receiving wallet where you wish to receive your bridged tokens.
  • For example, you can send using Metamask and receive via Talisman.  

Step 3
Access the Moonbeam bridge.
  • Visit the official Moonbeam bridge interface here
  • Click “Cross-chain” on the left side of the screen, then click “Parachain Bridges”.
Step 4
Connect your wallet. 
  • Click “Connect Wallet” on the upper right side of the screen to connect your wallet to Moonbeam. 
  • A drop-down screen will appear, displaying several supported wallet options. Choose the wallets (sending and receiving) you wish to connect.  
Step 5
Input token and wallet addresses.
  • Choose the token you want to bridge under “Token”. 
  • “From” indicates the source chain. Select your sending wallet here (where the assets are coming from).
  • “To” indicates the destination chain. Select your receiving wallet here (where your bridged assets are going to). 
Step 6
Input the amount of assets you wish to bridge.
  • Input how much of the asset you wish to bridge under “Send”. 
Step 7
Review the details of your transaction. 
  • View the estimate of how many tokens you will receive as well as the fees. 
Step 8
Confirm transaction. 
  • If everything looks fine, you can now initiate the bridging process. 
  • Click “Send” and sign the transaction in your wallet. 
  • Your transaction will now take place. 

Step 9
Wait for the transaction to finish. 
  • The bridging process will be displayed on the screen while waiting for your transaction to finalize. The top part of the screen will indicate the current status of your transaction.
  • If you wish to view more details on your cross-chain transfer, click “View on explorer”  then click “Continue to external site”. 
  • Your transaction will be finalized once the top part of the screen says, “Transaction completed”. 

Step 10
Transfer bridged tokens to your wallet.
  • Click the “+” button under “Add to (wallet)” then click “Add Token”
  • Your bridged tokens will now appear in your wallet and they can now interact with a different blockchain! 

While blockchains work fine on their own, they certainly work much better together. Bridging not only lets blockchains communicate but also its users, which brings about a much more solidified Web3 space. There are many more networks aside from Ethereum like Solana, Cosmos and Near that are compatible with Polkadot, so try all the different bridges out!