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How do I unwrap my Ethereum? What is WETH?
How do I unwrap my Ethereum? What is WETH?

Learn how to wrap ETH and unwrap WETH

Written by Vladimir Shamanov
Updated over a week ago

Wrapped ETH, or WETH, is a token that represents ETH 1:1 and conforms to the ERC-20 token standard.

ETH and WETH are always exchanged at a 1:1 ratio, no need to worry about any price fluctuations — and you don't even need a cryptocurrency exchange.

ETH does not adhere to ERC-20 standards and is hard to use in DeFi smart contracts. It is mainly used to pay transaction fees for sending tokens and using Web3 applications.

WETH is an ERC-20 token that can be traded on decentralized exchanges, exchanged for NFTs, and used in various Web3 apps.

You can easily wrap ether or unwrap WETH into ETH with Zerion's swap tab, either in the web app or in the mobile app. Zerion's browser extension wallet will also use the web app.

How to wrap ETH to WETH?

Here's how to wrap ETH in the Zerion web app:

  1. Connect your wallet to the web app

  2. Select ETH as the token to pay with

  3. Select WETH as the token to receive

  4. Sign the transaction to swap ETH for WETH, paying transaction fees (you'll need ETH)

The network fees are the estimated gas fees.

The exchange rate is always 1 ETH = 1 WETH. You don't need to pay any DEX or Zerion fees.

How to unwrap Ether (WETH)?

To unwrap WETH to convert ETH, you can also use the Zerion swap tab.

  1. Connect your wallet to Zerion,

  2. Select WETH as the token to pay with

  3. Select ETH as the token to receive

  4. Sign the transaction to swap

What is Wrapped Ethereum (WETH)?

WETH is the wrapped version of Ether that gives it access to standard ERC-20 features.

The regular, unwrapped Ethereum token was created when the blockchain launched, before the ERC-20 standard was defined. The early developers of the Ethereum blockchain created the token mainly to pay transaction fees and secure the network.

It's possible to use ETH in smart contracts, but it creates extra work for developers.

Meanwhile, WETH smart contract has standard ERC-20 functions and is easier to use in dapps and DeFi protocols. WETH tokens are minted when ETH is deposited, so there is no price risk.

The ERC-20 standard was proposed to make it easy to launch new tokens on Ethereum. All ERC 20 tokens have the same mandatory and optional functions. Getting your balance and transferring tokens are examples of these functions.

Is WETH the same as Ethereum?

WETH always has the same value as the Ethereum token.

When you wrap ether to create WETH, the smart contract mints wrapped ether, which is backed by the ETH that you deposit.

In your wallet, however, ETH and WETH show up as different tokens. That's because only ETH can be used to pay for transaction fees.

Please note that in the Metamask wallet, you might need to manually add WETH to see your balance. In Zerion Wallet, all tokens show up automatically.

How much is the cost to convert WETH to ETH?

WETH-ETH conversions don't have any exchange fees or slippage. The exchange rate is always 1:1.

However, when converting WETH to ETH, you would still need to pay gas costs in ether.

You'll see the estimated gas fees before signing the transaction. The exact cost would depend on how busy the Ethereum blockchain is.

Can you convert WETH back to ETH?

Yes, you can convert WETH back to ETH. For example, you can do this with Zerion's swap tab.

Why is WETH used instead of ETH?

WETH was developed because it was hard to use ETH in different applications.

The token is, therefore, wrapped within an ERC20 standard that allows it to easily run across all dApps.

Can I use WETH as ETH?

No, they have different functions. Most importantly, you cannot pay gas fees with WETH.

If you are sending WETH to another non-custodial wallet, you can use the same ETH address. In fact, a wallet address is always the same for all other tokens.

If you are depositing to a crypto exchange, you should send only ETH to your ETH deposit address to avoid any issues.

Does it cost gas to convert WETH to ETH?

Yes, it costs some gas to unwrap WETH.

That's because when you are converting WETH to ETH, you are calling a function in a smart contract. The exact cost would depend on how busy the blockchain is.

What are wrapped tokens?

Wrapped tokens are tokens that are backed by another token 1:1.

This is usually done to enable new functions that are not available in the underlying coins.

Besides WETH, other examples of wrapped tokens include WMATIC, the wrapped version of MATIC, and WFTM, the wrapped FTM token.

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