What’s the difference between cross-chain and transfer on bifrost.app?

Bifrost Finance
7 min readAug 30, 2022

Bifrost cross chain cooperation

In May 2022, Polkadot officially launched XCMP, “Cross-Chain Message Passing”. As one of Polkadot’s cross chain messaging protocols, XCMP regulates the way of cross chain messaging between parachains of the same relay chain. Since the launch of XCM in May, cross chain channels have been opened between multiple parachains in just a few months. Bifrost continues to launch innovative staking derivatives, provide effective liquidity solutions, and provide cross chain liquidity staking services for multiple chains by using cross consensus message (XCM). At present, HRMP cross chain channels have been opened with multiple networks. The specific cooperation is as follows:

On February 18, 2022, the cross chain channel between Bifrost and Statemine was opened, and the user asset use scenario was expanded. After opening the two-way HRMP channel with Statemint, the user can transfer the USDT on statemint to each parachain. Bifrost users will get more diverse asset types, lower threshold of use and easier stable currency transfer.

On April 14, 2022, Bifrost’s BNC Token can be used as xcBNC on Moonriver through XCM integration. Users can conduct transactions such as asset withdrawal, purchase and storage. The use of derivative assets will extend to Moonriver, enjoying more liquidity and investment options.

On June 6, 2022, the two-way HRMP channel between Phala asset cross chain route Subbridge and Bifrost was officially opened. Users can transfer BNC (Bifrost Token) and ZLK(Zenlink Network Token)from Bifrost to Khala through Subbridge, and also support the reverse transfer of relevant assets.

On August 6, 2022, Bifrost realized cross chain connection with Crab Parachain. Crab can be invested and used in Bifrost, and BNC will also enter the Crab ecology for more use scenarios.

In addition to the opening of the above cross chain channels, Bifrost has also completed cross chain cooperation with Calamari, Khala, Karura, etc. through Bifrost, users can transfer cross chain assets through multiple parachains, reducing the use cost and threshold, and greatly increasing the investment scenario and portfolio.

Cross chain transfer operation

After realizing cross chain cooperation with many parachains, the opening of cross chain channels enables users to directly carry out cross chain transfer of assets. On Bifrost Dapp, we can directly transfer $KSM assets to different networks through cross chain transfer and other functions. The specific operation is as follows:

  1. Go to the Bifrost APP and select the “Wallet” tab. Scroll down to select the Token you want to cross-chain, select cross-chain and click Cross in/out. (Example of cross-chain KSM to Karura)

2. Enter the amount you want to cross-chain and select Karura network

3. Select the account to which you want to send the Token from the drop-down list. Don’t worry if you see the address is Bifrost visual format. Your Token will still be sent to the Karura address on the Karura parachain of your selected account. Click confirm when the address selection is complete.

4. View the details of this cross-chain transfer transaction and click confirm.

5. Cross chain transfer succeeded! You have transferred KSM from Bifrost to Karura. Your balance on each chain will be updated.

Transfer Operation

Cross chain transfer asset and asset transfer from the exchange or other wallet address to Bifrost Dapp are different transfer operations. After we understand that cross chain transfer is to transfer the same asset to different parachains, let’s take a look at the specific transfer operations.

How to send KSM from CEX to Kusama relay chain?

  • When in doubt, please consult the exchange you are using first
  • Most CEX require users to provide the Kusama address (on the Kusama network) where they want to send KSM Tokens.
  • Kusama address always begins with a capital letter. Example address: Cb2QccEAM38pjwmcHHTTuTukUobTHwhakKH4kBo4k8Vur8o
  • After successful withdrawal, users will be able to view the balance through Polkadot App — Kusama address.

How to send a Token to another Bifrost Wallet

  • Use bifrost.app — the “transfer” function in wallet
  • Enter the Bifrost address and confirm the transaction.

It is important to note that direct trading between Bifrost and other exchanges should not be attempted. This feature is not currently supported and will result in the loss of Tokens.

After successfully sending Token from CEX to Bifrost, we can then follow the first cross-chain transfer tutorial to quickly transfer assets across parachains by cross in and out across chains.

Difference between cross chain transfer and transfer

Cross chain transfer refers to the transfer of assets from one chain to another. Under the many cross chain cooperation of Bifrost, users can directly cross assets to different parachains.

There are generally two ways to realize cross chain assets. From the technical point of view, the two parachains connecting cross chain channels trust the original assets on the cross chain bridge. At the same time, the source chain obtains the asset transactions of the target chain through the Oracle machine and maps them to the target chain in a ratio of 1:1. This is the direct cross chain transfer of assets.

Another method is to apply swap through cross chain aggregation, and build a cross chain transaction pool by aggregating the liquidity of assets on different chains, so that users can complete the exchange of assets on different chains in the transaction pool. As mentioned above, Phala asset cross chain routing Subbridge officially opens the two-way HRMP channel with Bifrost. Users can transfer BNC (Bifrost Token) and ZLK(Zenlink Network Token)from Bifrost to Khala through Subbridge, and also support reverse transfer of relevant assets.

Transfer refers to transferring assets on a chain from one address to another. For example, through the sending function in the wallet, the KSM assets on a chain are sent from address a to address B, or sent to the address of the exchange for subsequent transactions. Specific examples include transferring KSM to others, receiving KSM, or transferring KSM to wallet after purchasing KSM at the exchange.

Therefore, cross chain transfer refers to the transfer of the same asset on different chains, while transfer refers to the transfer of the same asset on a chain at different addresses. Investors in the Bifrost community, when transferring assets across the chain, please pay attention to the difference from the transfer operation.

Cross chain interworking between Bifrost Kusama and Bifrost Polkadot

On 12 August, Bifrost Kusama, the Polkadot eco cross-chain derivatives protocol, launched a proposal to transfer BNC to the Bifrost Polkadot cross-chain, which is the common native token of the Bifrost Kusama parachain and the Bifrost Polkadot parachain. According to Bifrost’s latest roadmap, Bifrost assets will be interoperated between the two parachains via the Bifrost Kusama and Bifrost Polkadot cross-chain bridges. BNC is now transferred from the Bifrost Kusama parachain to the Bifrost Polkadot parachain by way of a pre-cross-chain transfer.

Bifrost has now completed the first cross-chain transfers between BNC Kusama and Polkadot parachains, and the Bifrost Dapp already supports the Polkadot network, i.e. users can switch between the Bifrost Kusama or Bifrost Polkadot networks via the Bifrost Dapp in the top right corner. This will be followed by the Kusama <> Polkadot cross-chain bridge to enable asset interoperability between the two parachains, which will provide users with more convenient asset management and transfers, and more investment and income opportunities.

According to the on-chain data, the Bifrost Polkadot Crowdloan reward was issued on 25 August. In accordance with the Bifrost Crowdloan rules, BNC unlocks are calculated from the 8th week of block release on the Bifrost Polkadot parachain (block height 403,200) and are released linearly in blocks over 96 weeks. Investors who have participated in the Bifrost Polkadot Crowdloan can switch to the Bifrost Polkadot network to follow the release of rewards and effectively enjoy the benefits of the Crowdloan.