Skip to main content
Types of Tokens
ZRC-20 on ZetaChain

ZRC-20 on ZetaChain

ZRC-20 is a token standard integrated into ZetaChain's omnichain smart contract platform. With ZRC-20, developers can build dApps that orchestrate native assets on any connected chain. This makes building Omnichain DeFi protocols and dApps such as Omnichain DEXs, Omnichain Lending, Omnichain Portfolio Management, and anything else that involves fungible tokens on multiple chains from a single place extremely simple — as if they were all on a single chain.


Native gas tokens of connected blockchains and whitelisted ERC-20 tokens can be deposited to ZetaChain as ZRC-20 tokens. During the deposit process, the native/ERC-20 tokens are transferred to and locked in the TSS address/ERC-20 custody contract and ZRC-20 tokens are minted on ZetaChain and deposited to the recipient address.

ZRC-20 tokens can be withdrawn from ZetaChain to connected blockchains. During the withdrawal process, ZRC-20 tokens are burnt on ZetaChain and native/ERC-20 tokens are transferred to the recipient address on the connected chain from a TSS address/ERC-20 custody contract.

ZRC-20 tokens can only be minted by the ZetaChain protocol. An ERC-20 token deployed on ZetaChain does not have the properties of ZRC-20 and can't be withdrawn from ZetaChain to a connected chain.

The "same" ERC-20 token from two connected blockchains is represented as two different ZRC-20 tokens on ZetaChain. For example, USDT from Ethereum is represented as ZRC-20 USDT from Ethereum, and USDT from BSC is represented as ZRC-20 USDT from BSC. They are not considered the same asset by ZetaChain, but they can be swapped. That's how the transfer of the "same" ERC-20 asset can be implemented on ZetaChain: by depositing an ERC-20 (chain A), swapping this ZRC-20 (chain A) to an ZRC-20 (chain B), and withdrawing the ZRC-20 (chain B) to chain B as ERC-20.

Supported Assets

A list of currently supported assets:

New assets can be added or removed by broadcasting a transaction with a corresponding message of the fungible module on ZetaChain.


At a high-level, ZRC-20 tokens are an extension of the standard ERC-20 tokens found in the Ethereum ecosystem, ZRC-20 tokens have the added ability to manage assets on all ZetaChain-connected chains. Any fungible token, including Bitcoin, ETH, other gas assets and ERC-20-equivalents on other chains, may be represented on ZetaChain as a ZRC-20 and orchestrated as if it were any other fungible token (like an ERC-20).


ZRC-20 is based on ERC-20, with three additional functions and some associated events for integration with Cross-Chain Transactions (CCTXs) in ZetaChain (see the IZRC20 interface).

Comparing ZRC-20 to ERC-20, there are additional external functions to deposit and withdraw, and additional events for each of them. This makes ZRC-20 completely compatible with any applications built for ERC-20s, but with an extremely simple interface to also function in an omnichain way.

Depositing Native Gas Tokens as ZRC-20

To deposit a native gas token (like sETH, tMATIC, tBNB, or tBTC) to ZetaChain, send it to the TSS address on a connected chain.

If the input data field of the transaction is empty, the token will be deposited to the sender's address on ZetaChain.

If the input data field is not empty, the protocol looks up the first 20 bytes of the input data field. If the first 20 bytes correspond to an EOA address on ZetaChain, the token will be deposited to that address. If the first 20 bytes correspond to a contract address on ZetaChain, the token will be deposited to that contract and the onCrossChainCall function of that contract will be called with the remaining input data as the message.

When depositing native gas tokens from EVM-based connected chains, there is no additional cross-chain fee. If you send 1 token to a TSS address, you will receive 1 ZRC-20 version of the same token on ZetaChain.

For Bitcoin deposits, which utilize the UTXO (Unspent Transaction Output) model, the process incurs additional fees. Unlike EVM-based chains, each deposited Bitcoin output incurs a fee when it is spent. To address this, both the depositor and the withdrawer share the cost of the spend. This fee is charged in advance as a deposit fee.

The Bitcoin deposit fee is calculated with the following formula:

DepositFee=AverageFeeRateBlockXGasPriceMultiplierDepositIncurredVBytesDepositFee = AverageFeeRateBlockX * GasPriceMultiplier * DepositIncurredVBytes

Where DepositIncurredVBytes is fixed as 68vB and the GasPriceMultiplier defaults to 2 currently.

Depositing Supported ERC-20 Tokens as ZRC-20

To deposit a supported ERC-20 token to ZetaChain, use the deposit method of the ERC-20 custody contract on a connected chain.

The deposit method accepts the following parameters:

  • recipient: the address on ZetaChain to deposit the tokens to. If the recipient is an EOA, the tokens will be deposited to the recipient's address. If the recipient is a contract, the tokens will be deposited to the contract and the onCrossChainCall function of that contract will be called with the message as an argument.
  • asset: the address of the ERC-20 token to deposit.
  • amount: the amount of tokens to deposit.
  • message: an arbitrary message to be passed to the onCrossChainCall function of the recipient contract. If the recipient is an EOA, the message should be empty.

Withdrawing ZRC-20 Tokens from ZetaChain

ZRC-20 tokens, which include those representing native gas tokens as well as ERC-20 tokens, can be withdrawn from ZetaChain by calling the withdraw method on the ZRC-20 contract.

This method burns the tokens and emits a Withdrawal event. This event will trigger a CCTX from ZetaChain to the connected chain from which the token was deposited. After the CCTX is processed the token amount will be transferred to the recipient address on the connected chain either from a TSS address (for native gas tokens) or from the ERC-20 custody contract (for ERC-20 tokens).

Check out the Swap tutorial to learn how to build omnichain contracts that accept token deposits form connected chains, swap between ZRC-20 tokens using the internal liquidity pools on ZetaChain, and withdraw them to connected chains.

Block Confirmations

When depositing to or withdrawing from ZetaChain, the protocol requires a certain number of confirmations on the connected chain before the transaction is considered final. The number of confirmations required is different for each chain. You can check the number of confirmations in the table below:


These values are stored in the state of ZetaChain and are used by ZetaClient (the program that observer-signer validators run) as recommended values of confirmations. In some cases ZetaClient can use a higher number of confirmations, for example, when the value transfer exceeds a specified amount.

Liquidity Cap

Each ZRC-20 has a total cap on the number of deposited tokens that the protocol can accept. Any assets beyond this deposited to ZetaChain from external chains will be returned to the sender. You can view the caps on the explorer here.