Hello! This beginner’s guide will help you understand the difference between ERC-20 tokens on Ethereum blockchain and BEP-20 tokens on Binance Smart Chain and teach you how to switch between ERC-20 and BEP-20 by using Binance exchange. This guide assumes you have the following:
- The Metamask wallet extension, set up for both Ethereum and Binance Smart Chain. Metamask supports Ethereum by default, and can be set up to interact with BSC in a few simple steps. If you need help with those steps, please see this official article provided by Binance:
- An account on the Binance exchange. If you do not have one, you can sign up at www.binance.com.
A Quick Primer on Ethereum and BSC
Before giving a step by step tutorial on how to perform the conversion, let us first discuss the differences and similarities between Ethereum and the ERC-20 standard and BSC and the BEP-20 standard to give you a clear understanding of why you are performing the steps. I’m not interested in learning, just tell me what to do! <link this down to the ‘OK, so what do I do?’ section>
Ethereum was the first widely adopted blockchain that utilizes ‘tokens’. These tokens can follow different standards, the most common of which is ERC-20. If you own ALICE or CHR tokens on the Ethereum blockchain, they are ERC-20 tokens. Whether you are sending ETH or Ethereum-based tokens (like ALICE or CHR) on the network, you must pay some ETH to be able to make the transaction. The required cost of this transaction varies depending on how busy the network is at any given time.
Binance Smart Chain
BSC is a separate blockchain from Ethereum. However, BSC used Ethereum as a starting point when they built their blockchain. Therefore, Binance Smart Chain is ‘EVM-compatible’, which, put simply, means that each public address/private key pair that exists on Ethereum also exists on Binance Smart Chain.
If you are an Ethereum user, you may have looked at your public address on www.etherscan.io before. If you now open www.bscscan.com and pull up the same public address, you will see that it also exists. If you have never used Binance Smart Chain before, your address will be empty and have no transactions in your transaction history.
Binance Smart Chain uses the BNB token as its gas instead of ETH. This means that to perform transactions on BSC, you must pay some BNB. While the transaction cost also varies depending on network traffic like Ethereum, BSC typically has far lower fees. For this reason, many projects have begun issuing tokens on BSC. These tokens are called BEP-20 tokens.
OK, So What do I do?
Now that you’ve been given a crash course in the difference between the two blockchains and ERC-20 vs BEP-20, the following tutorial should be fairly easy to understand.
If you are reading this article, you likely have one of the following two problems:
- You are holding ERC-20 ALICE or CHR and want to be holding BEP-20 ALICE or CHR.
- You are holding BEP-20 ALICE or CHR and want to be holding ERC-20 ALICE or CHR.
Luckily, the steps to solving both of these problems are generally the same. Because Binance supports deposits and withdrawals of both ERC-20 and BEP-20 versions of ALICE and CHR, you can deposit one form of the token and then withdraw the other form back to the same address on the opposite chain.
So, let’s say I have 100 (ERC-20) ALICE tokens in my Metamask wallet on the Ethereum blockchain but I want to change them to BEP-20 ALICE tokens on Binance Smart Chain. I can;
- Ensure I have setup Metamask for BSC (see tutorial linked at the start of this article)
- Deposit them to Binance, using the address provided on the Binance deposit screen
- Withdraw them from Binance, selecting BEP20 (Binance Smart Chain) as my Network
.. and for BEP-20 to ERC-20 conversions, I can simply reverse the process.
I don’t have Binance or can’t use it due to my Geographic region. Do I have any other options?
Decentralized bridge solutions that can be used directly from Metamask without using Binance as a ‘middle man’ are currently in the works and will be opened soon. Stay tuned to our Twitter and Telegram announcement channel for further updates on additional conversion options!