How does the Wormhole bridge work?

The Wormhole bridge is a service that allows you to transfer tokens and NFTs between different blockchains, such as Ethereum, Solana, Terra, and Binance Smart Chain. The Wormhole bridge works by using a network of validators that run the Wormhole Core Layer, which is a protocol that verifies and relays cross-chain messages. The validators use a consensus algorithm called Proof of Authority (PoA) to agree on the state of the bridge and the validity of the transfers. The Wormhole bridge also uses a smart contract on each chain that acts as a gateway for the tokens and NFTs. The smart contract issues wrapped tokens or NFTs that represent the original assets on the other chain. For example, if you want to transfer ETH from Ethereum to Solana, you would send ETH to the Wormhole smart contract on Ethereum, which would lock your ETH and emit a message to the Wormhole Core Layer. The validators would then relay this message to the Wormhole smart contract on Solana, which would mint wETH (wrapped ETH) and send it to your Solana address. You can then use wETH on Solana as if it were native ETH. To transfer it back to Ethereum, you would do the reverse process.

The Wormhole bridge is designed to be fast, secure, and decentralized. It supports any ERC-20 token, ERC-721 NFT, SPL token, CW20 token, and BEP-20 token. It also supports metadata and royalty information for NFTs. You can use the Wormhole bridge through various interfaces, such as Portal, Sollet, or Terra Station. You can also use it programmatically through the Wormhole SDK⁴. The Wormhole bridge is one of the most popular and widely used bridges in the crypto space, with over $1 billion in total value locked (TVL) as of December 2021.