Understanding Token Migration
Token migration, also known as token swaps, refers to the process of transferring a token from one blockchain to another during a blockchain changeover. It is important to understand that token migrations can occur not only during new blockchain launches but also when projects switch from one protocol to another.
For example, Mithril (MiTH) recently underwent a migration from Ethereum to Binance Chain. Many new projects do not have their own blockchain or are still in the development stage, so they choose to migrate their investors’ tokens from third-party platforms to their own chains, which triggers token migrations.
In 2018, several early crypto projects and companies utilized Ethereum’s ERC20 token. However, once their own blockchain was ready, they migrated the tokens to their native blockchains. One advantage of this approach is that investors are not required to lock up their funds. Instead, they can trade these placeholder tokens on exchanges while the new projects develop their technology.
Token transfers from one third-party blockchain to another can also occur due to technical or economic factors.
Oftentimes, blockchain projects start with whitepapers that promise groundbreaking technologies in the future. The journey from conceptualization to the finished product usually involves many changes, and some projects may significantly alter their concepts, including moving to a different blockchain.
In certain situations, investors may be required to migrate to a specific cryptocurrency or token. This involves shifting the balance of a token holder from one blockchain to another.
Token migration involves transferring the balances of investors from their Ethereum wallets to a new compatible wallet provided by the project. Therefore, the tokens actually move from one blockchain to another after the transition is completed.
An initial coin offering (ICO) is a fundraising strategy where a project creates a token that can be purchased by anyone who wants to participate in the project’s future advancements, as outlined in a whitepaper.
The ICO boom occurred in 2018 on the Ethereum network, using ERC-20 tokens. Some projects indicated that the tokens purchased by investors would be utilized in future technologies, such as the blockchains they planned to build.
After establishing their own blockchains, the projects transferred their investors’ tokens from Ethereum to their own chains. This can be likened to the difference between renting a car and purchasing the same vehicle for long-term use.
The process of moving tokens varies depending on the project. If you hold your tokens, you may need to initiate the migration yourself. However, this does not mean you need to have programming knowledge. Most projects provide methods that link to your wallet address and allow you to move tokens within seconds.
If your tokens are held on a major cryptocurrency exchange, they will likely handle the token transfer for you.
With the increasing push for blockchain integration and adaptability, the practice of token migrations, especially those that can operate on multiple chains, is expected to thrive and gain popularity within the emerging blockchain ecosystem.