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Is it the same on every network? If that's the case, what is it?

2 Answers 2

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As you say, ETH(or the native token), they are native, and do not need a contract. But there are contracts that wraps native token, Wrapped ETH, Wrapped BTC(on ethereum), Wrapped Matic, with different contract address.

https://polygonscan.com/token/0xdd185af1bb417469461edbc95f22df9781a04624 https://etherscan.io/token/0xc02aaa39b223fe8d0a0e5c4f27ead9083c756cc2

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Your question touches the foundamental of how Ethereum and other blockchains work.I will try my best to explain this.

Basically all blockchains can be seen as distributed ledgers, including Ethereum, the native token is associated with every account. Modern blockchains support hosting small applications in addresses too, which is called a smart contract. Ethereum storage in a nutshell The token(ERC-20) or an NFT(ERC-721) you are thinking of are smart contracts. You can see them as a ledger in a ledger. Taking USDT on etherscan as an example: When you hold USDTs, you don't really hold an actual token(unlike eth) in your address. But instead, your account balance is stored in the USDT smart contract.

To make an USDT transfer, you need to send a message on ethereum; in the message, you specify the target(USDT smart contract) and content(making a transfer to address xxxx). After a validator validates your message, it is then finalised on the Chain. USDT smart contract will be updated with the new account balances. In this process, your account details does not change.

When you transfer Ethers, both of your account and target address will be updated with new balance. Infact native tokens like Ethers are primary used as "fuels/gas fee" for transactions. It won't serve this purpose if it is a smart contract.

Hope it helps.

Wuzhong / Chainstack

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