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How to bridge tokens to Aptos & buy $APT on Liquidswap


Table of Contents

Aptos mainnet is live, and you can finally buy $APT tokens by bridging USDC, USDT, ETH, and WETH from 6 different blockchains to Aptos. We’ll guide you through every step, from connecting to the LayerZero bridge to making your first swap on Liquidswap - plus how to check the bridging fees.

You can finally buy Aptos tokens $APT on Liquidswap

After months of waiting and countless ‘Wen APT token?’ tweets, the Aptos mainnet is finally live! You can now buy the Aptos native token APT on Pontem’s Liquidswap DEX  USDC and ETH.

This has become possible thanks to Pontem’s partnership with LayerZero, the premier provider of omnichain solutions. They provide us with the bridging technology for transferring ETH, WETH, USDC, and USDT between Aptos and 6 EVM chains: Ethereum, BNB Chain, Avalanche, Arbitrum, Optimism, and Polygon.

LayerZero will even allow you to airdrop yourself a little bit of APT if you don’t have any yet, so you’ll have no problem making your first swap. Thanks to this elegant solution, you can buy APT on Liquidswap immediately!

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to use the bridge to send USDC and ETH from MetaMask to Pontem Wallet – and how to buy APT. Less than a day after launch, Liquidswap already had over $1 million in liquidity!.

We’ll go through the steps on the mainnet with LayerZero first. Then we’ll add a walkthrough for the Wormhole Portal bridge, and finally a tutorial for the testnet. Keep checking back as we add new sections to this tutorial. Let’s begin!

What is LayerZero?

LayerZero is an interoperability protocol that makes it possible to transfer assets between any two blockchains and build cross-chain applications. What makes it special is that the messages delivered via LayerZero are really efficient, and their delivery is both guaranteed and trustless.

This technology can be integrated into smart contracts written in any language; that’s why LayerZero is said to be “omnichain.” It’s not an L1 or L2 blockchain, but rather a  communications protocol.

The most obvious use case for LayerZero is cross-chain bridges. Indeed, the best-known application built on top of LayerZero, Stargate, is a composable bridge - or a liquidity transfer protocol, which runs on seven blockchains.

Unlike regular blockchain bridges, those built using LayerZero are extremely difficult to attack and manage to transfer assets in a single transaction. These are some of the key reasons why we chose LayerZero to power the Liquidswap bridge.

Part 1: Bridge ETH or USDC and buy APT on Aptos mainnet

Why use the the LayerZero bridge at all?

Major exchanges like Binance and Coinbase have already listed $APT, with withdrawals starting within 24 hours after listing. Therefore, if you buy $APT tokens on an exchange, you should be able to withdraw them directly to a Pontem Wallet address.

However, there are a few cases where using a bridge is more convenient:

  1. $APT isn’t available on your favorite exchange yet
  2. You are waiting for a better entry price on $APT and would like to interact with Liquidswap and other Aptos dApps using USDT, USDC, or ETH;
  3. You are a DeFi user and keep your assets on-chain on Ethereum, BSC, Polygon, or Solana.

Step 1: Install Pontem Wallet and connect to the mainnet

Pontem’s Liquidswap Bridge works with four different wallets for Aptos: our own Pontem Wallet, Petra, Martian, and Fewcha. Note, however, that the Liquidswap DEX itself doesn’t support Fewcha yet (as of mid-October 2022).

We will use Pontem Wallet throughout this tutorial: apart from Liquidswap, you can use it with over 20 Aptos dApps already, and the number of live integrations is constantly growing.

You can download Pontem Wallet as a Chrome extension here. The wallet creation process is the same as for any other popular non-custodial wallet: if you use MetaMask, you shouldn’t have any problems with Pontem. Make sure to save the seed phrase in a safe location, as there is no way to restore access to the wallet without it.

Once your Pontem Wallet is up and running, make sure that Aptos mainnet is chosen in the network selection dropdown.

Step 2: Import WETH, USDT and USDC

It’s a good practice to add (import) new tokens to the wallet before you buy them. This way you’ll see them in your balance straight away.

Click on Import Tokens on the Home tab of the wallet, then insert the address of the token you want to add and click on Import. Here are the contract addresses for the LayerZero assets:

LayerZero WETH 0xf22bede237a07e121b56d91a491eb7bcdfd1f5907926a9e58338f964a01b17fa::asset::WETH

LayerZero USDC: 0xf22bede237a07e121b56d91a491eb7bcdfd1f5907926a9e58338f964a01b17fa::asset::USDC

LayerZero USDT 0xf22bede237a07e121b56d91a491eb7bcdfd1f5907926a9e58338f964a01b17fa::asset::USDT

Before you can do anything with a token, you need to register it, which requires a little bit of gas. If you already have a little APT - for example, if a friend sent you some, or if you claimed the airdrop for minting the Aptos testnet NFT - we recommend that you register at the least the token that you are planning to bridge.

But if you have 0 APT, don’t worry. The bridge will check your APT balance, and if it’s zero or too small, it will automatically send you some APT to cover the token registration fee.

You can find the up-to-date list of the available tokens on Aptos and their contract addresses in Pontem’s Coin Registry. The same addresses will work for Martian, Petra, and any other Aptos wallet.

Step 3: Connect to Liquidswap Bridge

Go to the Liquidswap Bridge page and accept the Terms and Conditions, then click on Connect.

Choose MetaMask as source and Pontem as destination. As usual with dApps, each wallet will ask you to confirm the connection. This transaction doesn’t require any gas.

Step 4: Pick the chain to bridge from and make sure you have enough gas coins in MetaMask

Liquidswap Bridge supports 4 assets (USDT, USDC, ETH, WETH) on 7 different blockchains:

  • USDT: Aptos, Ethereum, BNB Chain, Avalanche, Polygon;
  • USDC: Aptos, Ethereum, Avalanche, Polygon, Arbitrum, Optimism;
  • ETH: Ethereum, Arbitrum, Optimism;
  • WETH: Aptos, Ethereum, Arbitrum, Optimism.

Here, we won’t focus on how to install MetaMask, how to withdraw ETH and stablecoins from exchanges, or how to swap ETH and WETH for USDC or USDT on Uniswap or PancakeSwap, etc. You can easily find this information online. We will, however, give you a couple of tips.

Bridge fee check: How to estimate fees

For the same token, bridging fees can vary greatly from chain to chain. So start by picking one chain in the bridge widget (e.g. USDT on Avalanche) and look for an APT value next to Gas on Destination at the bottom.

Click on it, then check the AVAX values for None, Medium, and High. In this example, you’ll find that you’ll need to pay 0.21 AVAX (around $3) for the transaction, which is standard. But if the Medium fee seems too high, try the same with other tokens and chains

As of the time of writing, the approximate fees for bridging USDC to Aptos from different chains were as follows:

  • Ethereum: 0.0025 ETH
  • Arbitrum: 0.0025 ETH
  • Optimism: 0.0017 ETH
  • Polygon: 4.7 MATIC
  • Avalanche: 0.21 AVAX

These values can change, so do check before bridging.

‘Not enough native for gas’ error

Once you’ve checked how much you’ll need to pay in fees at the source, make sure that you have enough native coins (be it ETH, BNB, MATIC, AVAX etc.) to pay for gas. If you don’t, you’ll see this warning:

Liquidity and Liquidswap price check

Before bridging an asset, check the liquidity in the Liquidswap pools that feature that asset.

For example, if you have USDT on BNB Chain and you wish to buy APT, first check the APT price and if there are enough reserves in the USDT/APT and USDT/USDC pools on Liquidswap. If the reserves are low or the exchange rate is unfavorable compared to other pools, consider bridging another token, such as USDC.

An example of an illiquid pool

Don’t be afraid to try complex schemes

For example, if you have BUSD tokens on BNB Chain, you can swap them for USDC on PancakeSwap first, then bridge them to Avalanche with Synapse, and finally bridge USDC to Aptos.

If you are relatively new to DeFi, this can seem very complicated. But with just a little practice, you’ll become a proficient bridger - or, as they say in crypto, ‘bridgooor’.

Step 5: Choose the token and the amount

In this example, we’ll bridge USDC from Polygon, so we’ll make sure that MetaMask is connected to this network and choose USDC Polygon in the top (Source) part of the widget. In the bottom (Target) part, USDT Aptos will be chosen automatically.

Next, enter the amount you want to transfer. If your MetaMask balance isn’t displayed correctly, refresh the page.

Step 5: Bridge!

Click on Transfer. Depending on your APT balance and on if you’re registered the token in the wallet or not, there are two scenarios:

Enough APT in the wallet and the token is registered

You’ll see a popup with a prompt to confirm the transaction, and MetaMask will open.

Give MetaMask permission to use the tokens, confirm the bridging transaction, and wait for it to be processed.

No APT in the wallet

The same will happen if you don’t have any APT in Pontem Wallet and, therefore, you haven’t registered the token (because you wouldn’t be able to pay for gas anyway). Your transaction with LayerZero will include a small APT airdrop. It’s not a gift, though - you’re aidropping that APT to yourself from the wallet on the original chain.

Next, you’ll see a popup saying that you need to claim the token. This happens because it wasn’t registered. Go to Step 6 to see how to do it.

Some APT in the wallet but the token isn’t registered

In this case, you’ll see a popup prompting you to register it first.

If nothing happens once you’ve confirmed the registration, refresh the page and repeat the process - this time your transaction should go through without issues.

Now you just have to wait for the transaction to be processed - both on the source blockchain and by the bridge itself. The progress bar in the top part of the widget will show how much you have to wait.

Step 6: Check the balance or claim your ETH

If you’ve already registered the token

Once the progress bar shows Complete, check Pontem Wallet’s balance. You should see the bridged tokens there.

What if it says ‘Failed’?

Occasionally the widget can display a transaction as ‘Failed’, especially when execution takes more than 10 minutes. Don’t panic: your tokens aren’t lost. Click on the small square icon on the left to go to LayerZero Scan: most probably it will say ‘Delivered’. Save the transaction hash and refresh the page - or just wait for a while.

Congratulations! You’ve successfully bridged WETH and can now start swapping on Liquidswap. Of course, you can also test the bridge with some other token, blockchain, or wallet if you like.

If you haven’t registered the token (zero APT balance)

Since it’s your first time bridging an unregistered token to Aptos, you will need to claim it through the bridge widget. The claiming transaction replaces the usual token registration, and LayerZero covers the Aptos gas fee needed for this.

Note that bridged ETH is automatically converted to WETH, or wrapped ether. In its original form on Ethereum, it’s an ERC20 token that is pegged to ETH but is better adapted for use in dApps and smart contracts than the original ETH coin.

To access the claiming feature,  click on any of the two wallet addresses in the widget:

In the popup that opens, switch to the Unclaimed tab. If there’s anything waiting to be claimed there, it will say ‘Unclaimed (1)’. In that case, click on Claim and confirm the transaction.

Now check your Pontem Wallet balance. It should display the bridged USDC, as well as a little bit of APT that you’ve aidropped yourself from the source chain.

It’s time to use that USDC to buy APT on Liquidswap - the first DEX (AMM) for Aptos.

Step 7: Connect to Liquidswap and swap

Go to https://liquidswap.com/#/  and connect Pontem Wallet to the DEX.

Next, in the Swap tab, pick WETH in the top field and APT in the bottom field (if you are swapping USDC for APT). Note the difference in the tickers of different bridged tokens:

  • LayerZero: WETH, USDT, USDC;
  • Wormhole: whWETH, whUSDT, whUSDC. (We’ll discuss bridging Wormhole in Part 2 of the tutorial.)

Make sure that Uncorrelated is selected, as the prices of these two assets are not correlated.

Enter the amount of USDC you want to swap to see how much you’ll get in APT. Before completing the swap, you can adjust the slippage by clicking on the gear icon.

We’ll leave it at the default level of 0.5%, because we want our first swap to succeed - as we don’t have that much APT to pay for gas. In general, you can set it lower if you’d like to minimize the losses from slippage. Just keep in mind that the lower the slippage, the higher the risk that the swap will fail.  

Double-check the values,hit the Swap button, then confirm the transaction in the swap popup, click on Send Transaction, and finally confirm it in Pontem Wallet. The $APT airdropped by LayerZero should be enough to cover the swap gas fee.

If you get a ‘Simulation failed: out of gas’ warning, try clicking on Gas Fee and click on Set Optimal Gas. If you don’t have enough APT to pay that amount, you risk that the swap will fail. You can also wait for a bit: the optimal amount of gas for a swap varies according to network load.

Finally, confirm the transaction. It should take a few seconds to process the swap. That’s it: you’ve just purchased $APT, the official coin of the Aptos blockchain!

Bridging back from Aptos to EVM blockchains

The LayerZero bridge works both ways, so you can also send WETH, USDC, and USDT from Aptos to Ethereum, BNB Chain, etc. However, be very attentive to gas fees, as they can be surprisingly high when the network load is high. Click the Gas at Destination value at the bottom right of the widget and play with the settings (None - Medium - High) to get an idea of  how much you’ll have to pay.

Also, keep in mind that transfer times can be longer than when bridging to Aptos. For example, transfers to Ethereum can take up to 3 days, so if you see an estimated processing time of 4,000+ minutes, don’t be surprised. After this time elapses, you’ll be able to claim your funds.

Important! Always copy the bridge transaction hash so that you can look it up on LayerZero Scan if something goes wrong.

For all questions and troubleshooting that have to do with the bridge, please check

We also recommend that you review the official Aptos Bridge FAQ.

What can you do with $APT?

There are many possibilities:

  1. HODL
  2. Become a liquidity provider on Liquidswap and earn income from fees. Note that you’ll need equal amounts of APT and another token (USDC, WETH, etc.) to deposit in a liquidity pool.
  3. Deposit APT in a liquid staking dApp
  4. Buy NFTs
  5. Lend APT to earn interest, and much more.

Check out our guide to DeFi on Aptos and the dApp directory in Pontem Wallet to get a better idea of the opportunities. Many of these protocols are still on testnet, but they will be moving to mainnet soon, so we’ll update our guide and directory regularly.

Stay tuned

Liquidswap is also integrated with another popular bridge, Portal, built on top of the Wormhole protocol. In the second part of this tutorial, we’ll see how to bridge assets via Wormhole to trade APT on Liquidswap.

Have you tried bridging yet? If yes, share your experience on Pontem's Twitter, Discord, or Telegram. We’ll also be grateful for your feedback on using Liquidswap. Happy bridging and swapping!

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