- Network name
- BNB Smart Chain
- Chain ID
- 0x38 (or 56 in decimal, or if 0x38 doesn't work)
- Block explorer
BSC -> BNB Chain
Binance rebranded BSC as the BNB Chain in February 2022. For most users, the change does not result in any difference. In this article, we'll continue to use the initialism BSC — reflecting its continued widespread usage.
For more information on the change, see the Binance announcement.
Binance is one of the giants of the crypto and Web3 world. Amongst its many products and initiatives are its market-dominating centralized exchange, various wallets, and--last but not least--its own blockchains and their ecosystems.
This pair comprises the BNB Chain and BNB Smart Chain — to use their updated names — which coexist. Binance Chain (which became BNB Chain) went live in 2019, and is primarily used for storing and trading assets, especially on the company's own decentralized exchange, and using its token BNB. Its sibling, Binance Smart Chain (BSC) (later BNB Smart Chain), was released in late 2020 specifically to facilitate smart contracts. In doing so, it widened the scope of the Binance ecosystem far beyond the limitations of Binance Chain, which does not support smart contracts. BNB Smart Chain also uses BNB as its native token.
BNB Smart Chain is a hard fork of the Go Ethereum (Geth) protocol, which is one of the three original implementations of Ethereum, using the Go programming language. This means it is fundamentally similar to Ethereum, and enables it to be EVM-compatible. However, to optimise transaction costs and speed, BSC uses a different consensus mechanism: Proof of Staked Authority (PoSA).
Combining elements of delegated proof-of-stake (stakers ceding their block validation obligations to nominated third parties) and proof-of-authority (where validators are vetted by a responsible body and must be trustworthy to remain a validator), PoSA significantly improves the network's scalability. There are a maximum of 21 validators on BNB Smart Chain, elected from a list of Binance-vetted candidates according to votes from delegators (those staking BNB), with voting rights proportional to staked amounts.
Since its release, BNB Smart Chain has grown to become one of the most heavily-used EVM-compatible networks; its active address count and daily transactions far exceed Ethereum mainnet. Cheaper transactions have proven a huge draw for newcomers to Web3, and BSC has absorbed much of this demand since its launch.
Using BNB Smart Chain
Yes; MetaMask can be used with all EVM-compatible networks. You can use your wallet to access the majority of dapps on BSC.
To do so, make sure you have added the BSC network to your wallet (see below), and that you've selected it.
BNB Smart Chain is already configured as a popular network in MetaMask, so adding it is straightforward. Click 'Add network' and head to the 'Add popular networks' area (instructions here). From here, adding it to MetaMask should only take a few clicks or taps.
The necessary network details, also displayed at the top of this page, are:
Name: Binance Smart Chain
New RPC URL: https://bsc-dataseed.binance.org/
ChainID: 0x38 (or 56)
Block explorer URL: https://bscscan.com
For further information, see the Binance guide to this process. This is, in general, a great primer if you're new to BSC.
When you use MetaMask on BSC, you need to make sure you've selected the network. The selected network will automatically switch over to BSC after you add it, but if you need to switch back to it, simply follow the steps below:
- Mobile: On the wallet page, find where it says 'Wallet' at the top of the screen. Immediately below the text it should display which network you're on. Tap to access your connected networks and switch between them.
- Extension: Centrally, at the top of the app, your current network is displayed. Click to access a menu of your connected networks and select the one you want.
If the network is not present in these lists, you will need to add it to your wallet. See 'How do I add BSC to MetaMask' above.
You'll need BNB, Binance's native token, to pay for transactions. If you have too little, you won't be able to make any transactions. Transaction costs function similarly to Ethereum.
Firstly, your transaction needs you to pay for gas. Specific actions have a fixed cost in units of gas; transactions cost 21,000, for example. It is the gas price which varies depending on network traffic: at peak times, it's higher (you can also specify the gas price you want to pay in order to have your transaction processed sooner). A transaction will cost 21,000x the gas price at the moment it's sent. Gas prices are measured in gwei. On BSC, one gwei equals 0.000000001 BNB (mirroring Ethereum, where one gwei is 0.000000001 ETH).
(Gas price * gas cost) is added to a transaction fee to arrive at the total transaction cost. Fees are fixed at specific levels depending on the type of action you're taking. All of these details will be displayed when you confirm a transaction.
You can check the BSC average gas price tracker on BscScan for an idea of what typical costs are: for example, for most of 2021 and into 2022 transactions have cost less than 7 gwei. At the time of writing, this means a normal transaction will cost $0.03 -- not bad.
For more information on gas, see our guide (the contents of which apply to BSC, although written focussing on Ethereum) or the Binance guide.
To get your tokens onto BSC and off again, you will need to bridge them across.
Bridging involves moving tokens from one blockchain to another. Even though you can use MetaMask on BSC, this does not mean that the assets in your MetaMask wallet on Ethereum (or any other network) will be available for use on BSC.
Never send tokens to an address on a different network. You will probably lose them forever. That being said, it may be possible to retrieve them. See here for Binance's explanation of this issue, or see the section below.
As the official Binance Bridge was taken down in November 2021, to move assets across blockchains you can either:
- Move them to a Binance Exchange wallet and then withdraw them to a network of your choice.
- Use a bridge to move them. Binance has a list of bridges that support BSC in its docs, here.
See here for Binance's recommended instructions.
This depends on the circumstances. We recommend you read this Binance article first for an overview of methods for retrieving your coins. In summary:
- If you do not have access to the wallet you sent the transaction to, you cannot get your coins back -- unless you can somehow contact the owner and ask them to.
- If you sent tokens to a wallet that supports both BSC and Ethereum (such as MetaMask, or Binance Wallet) all you need to do is log in and switch to the correct network.
- If you sent tokens to a wallet that only supports one of BSC or Ethereum, you will need to import that wallet's private key into a wallet that supports both. If you want to do this in MetaMask, see here.
As you'll remember, Binance has two blockchains: the Binance Chain and Binance Smart Chain/BSC. Since BSC is specifically designed to be EVM-compatible and support dapps and their smart contracts, its token standard mirrors ERC-20 (the dominant token type on Ethereum). The original Binance Chain, meanwhile, does not have this requirement.
This means BNB is a different token type on each platform. BEP-2 on Binance Chain, and BEP-20 on BSC. If you have BNB on Binance Chain, for example, you'll need to do a cross-chain transfer to shift it to BSC. To move your BNB or other tokens cross-chain, Binance recommends either:
- Moving them to a Binance Exchange wallet and then withdrawing them to a network of your choice.
- Use a bridge to move them. Binance lists AnySwap (now rebranded to Multichain) as one option. Bridging requires you to be using a wallet that supports both networks.
Please see this Binance guide to withdrawing tokens, or our guide. The process differs depending on whether you're accessing on the app or desktop.
Essentially, you need to grab your wallet address from MetaMask (see here), then paste this in as the receiving address when withdrawing. Make sure you select BSC as the network and that your withdrawal is in BEP-20 format.
As BSC is EVM-compatible, MetaMask is able to access both networks using the same wallet. You simply need to change networks in MetaMask to switch between them, allowing you to view your tokens or issue transactions.
To how to switch networks:
Mobile: Find the current network at the top of the screen and tap it to select another.
Extension: Click on the current network at the top of the app and select the one you want.
This error message is generally encountered whilst transferring tokens to destinations that don't fully support the network they sent from.
'ChainId 56' refers to BSC itself. BSC does not support transaction decoding, which is a process the destination uses to derive human-readable information from raw data.
Relevant support articles
Understanding BSC, Binance, and MetaMask (read this first, before accessing our other articles)
User Guide: Custom networks and sidechains
How to send tokens from BSC to Ethereum or other chains
Sending funds to the Binance Network (BSC)
Transferring assets to the Binance Exchange
Binance Academy (go to Topics -> Binance for articles relating to BSC)
Binance MetaMask-specific documentation