Mainnet NKN VS ERC20 NKN

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📌 This guide will help you to understand the difference between the ERC20 and the Mainnet NKN tokens.

What are the differences?

The main difference between the mainnet tokens and the ERC20 tokens is the following: you can use the ERC20 tokens in exchanges (Coinbase, Binance, ...), you can use the mainnet tokens inside the NKN network.

1 NKN mainnet token have the same value of 1 NKN ERC20 token.

Why this difference?

Most of the exchange are using ERC20 tokens while NKN is using is own chain. Having both side to side allow the token to be listed and traded in exchanges such as CoinBase, Crypto or Revolut. Upbit is currently the only exchange allowing their customer to use both wallets type.

How to swap tokens?

If you wan to swap your token there is so far 2 secure way of doing it:

  • Use the official NKN swap tool (we will come later to its use)
  • Convert your token within Upbit (Upbit is, for now, the only exchange using both mainnet and ERC20 tokens)


There is a less secure way to do it using the "OTC" section of the official NKN forum. Still this method rely on human willingness to be good...pay attention 🤷‍♂️


The official NKN Swap tool

⚠️ DO NOT SWAP NKN FROM EXCHANGES SUCH AS COINBASE, BINANCE, CRYPTO, ... TO NKN MAINNET IT DOESN'T WORKS.

⚠️ The only official support for the swap tool is by email at swap@nkn.org


ERC20 → Mainnet

To swap ERC20 token for mainnet token you will need a personal ERC20 wallet. Metamask is, for example, one type of it. You can't use your exchange wallet address as those address are not personal to your account but part of a pool of addresses. So if you actually own ERC20 NKN token you will first need to send them to an external wallet, such as Metamask. The reason of this is you never actually know the withdrawal address because exchanges use several addresses. That results in a mismatch between your swap order and the send ERC-20 address. This cause an error in the swap system and stop the automatic swap for you.

Once your token in your wallet go to https://swap.nkn.org click on the "token swap" button and select NKN ERC20 Token -> NKN Mainnet Token option.

There are 4 inputs to fill:

  1. ETH wallet address FROM where you will send your ERC20 NKN token. Remember, this address can't be an exchange one.
  2. Amount of NKN you want to swap: the valid range is from 30 to 30,000NKN.
  3. NKN mainnet wallet address TO where you will receive your NKN mainnet token.
  4. Your email address: this is optional, and mainly for customer support in case you experience technical difficulty.


Once you collect all the information press “Next Step” and a summary of your swap order, with all the information you previously entered, as well as an Order ID, and swap status will be displayed.


Due to confirmation time on both Ethereum blockchain and the NKN Mainnet blockchain, a swap can take some time (like 4 to 6 hours).

Using the token swap web tool https://swap.nkn.org click on the top right corner “History” menu. You will find the progress of your token swap order.

If your order fail or if you have any issue with the swap do not hesitate to ask for help by email at swap@nkn.org

Once confirmed you can check your swap transaction using the official NKN explorer

Mainnet → ERC20

By opposition to the ERC20 to Mainnet token, you don't need a personal wallet in order to be able to swap your token. You can send your NKN mainnet tokens directly to your exchange wallet if and only of you have a NKN wallet address.

Go to https://swap.nkn.org click on the "token swap" button and select NKN Mainnet Token -> NKN ERC20 Token option.

There are 4 inputs to filll:

  1. NKN wallet address FROM where you will send your Mainnet NKN token
  2. Amount of NKN you want to swap: the valid range is from 30 to 30,000NKN (a flat fee of 30NKN is collected).
  3. ERC20 wallet address TO where you will receive your NKN ERC20 token.
  4. Your email address: this is optional, and mainly for customer support in case you experience technical difficulty.

Once you collect all the information press “Next Step” and a summary of your swap order, with all the information you previously entered, as well as an Order ID, and swap status will be displayed.

Due to confirmation time on both Ethereum blockchain and the NKN Mainnet blockchain, a swap can take some time (like 4 to 6 hours).

NEP-5 → ERC-20

Following the NEO3.0 major update and as it has been more than 2 years since the swap from NEP-5 to ERC-20 was completed by NKN it is not possible anymore to swap NEP-5 token using the NKN swap. If you still have NEP-5 tokens, the only solution remaining is to use gate.io exchange which supports both NEP-5 and ERC-20 NKN tokens.

Possible errors

The swap system isn't totally automated, also it is possible sometime for you to get a message saying that there isn't enough token for the swap to work. Please send an email to swap@nkn.org with your order information in order for the NKN team to complete your swap.

If you have sended your ERC20 token from an exchange to the swap system your order will never be completed as all exchanges (including Coinbase) use many different wallet address for deposit and withdraw. Please contact swap@nkn.org for more information.