Bridging in DeFi is the process of transferring your assets over from one blockchain to another. When you interact with a bridge, you’re not actually moving the token over but rather swapping it for the equivalent token on the new chain.
Bridging allows you to use existing funds that you have on a different chain without needing to buy new assets from a centralized exchange and withdrawing them to the new chain.
TLDR; The 4 steps of bridging to Arbitrum
- Add Arbitrum Network to MetaMask
- Open Arbitrum bridge and select desired network to send from
- Deposit asset into the bridge and wait for it to send
- Switch back to Arbitrum and use funds
Tokens & Chains You Can Use to Bridge to Arbitrum
On Arbitrum, you can bridge tokens from chains such as Ethereum, Polygon, Optimism, Fantom, Boba, and Gnosis.
Here are some of the most popular tokens available for bridging:
To check if you’re token is available to bridge on Arbitrum, you can visit Arbitrum bridge and search from the dropdown.
You’ll need one of these tokens on your starting chain (i.e. Ethereum) in order to move funds over to Arbitrum.
Before we begin bridging, ensure you have MetaMask installed and ready to go. You can use another compatible wallet, such as Rainbow, Coinbase Wallet, or Trust Wallet, if you have funds on there already. The process will not be exactly the same but should be easy enough to still follow along.
If you don’t have MetaMask installed, then check out our MetaMask installation guide to get up and running.
Alright, let’s get bridging!
Step 1: Add Arbitrum Network to MetaMask
To use Arbitrum with MetaMask you’ll first need to make sure you have the correct network added to your wallet.
You can check out our guide on how to add Arbitrum to MetaMask if you haven’t already added it.
Step 2: Open Arbitrum Bridge and Choose Ethereum Network
For this example, we’re going to use Arbitrum’s native bridge platform (bridge.arbitrum.io) to send our tokens from Ethereum to Arbitrum.
Optimism’s native bridge currently only supports the Ethereum Mainnet and it’s older Aribtrum Nova chain, so if you’re looking to swap from another chain (i.e. Polygon or Optimism) then you can use a third-party bridge like Across.
Now, switch back to Ethereum Network in your MetaMask wallet and Open the Arbitrum Bridge platform.
Connect your wallet to the application and make sure Ethereum Mainnet has been selected.
Step 3: Deposit ETH into Bridge
Enter the amount of ETH (or equivalent token) you’d like to Bridge over to Arbitrum and click Move funds to Arbitrum One.
From here you can see the amount you’ll be moving as well how much you’ll need to pay in gas fees for the transfer.
Confirm the transaction in you wallet and wait for the transaction to go through. This should take around 15 minutes.
Step 4: Switch back to Arbitrum
Switch back to the Arbitrum Network in MetaMask, and you should see that your bridged tokens are now available to use.
If you cannot see your tokens, it may be because you haven’t imported them to MetaMask. To do so, click on Import tokens and add the token contract address associated with that token.
Now go ahead and explore what Arbitrum has to offer! You can check out the full list dApps available on Arbitrum here.
Bridging to Optimism Using Across
If you’d like to give another bridge a go, we recommend using Across Protocol – one of the more popular bridges across Arbitrum, Optimism, and Polygon.
The process is similar to the native bridge and if you’d like to get 10% off bridging fees, you can use our custom affiliate link here.
To start, connect your MetaMask wallet to the protocol, choose the Ethereum Mainnet and the amount you would like to bridge, then click Send.
Approve the transaction in MetaMask and wait for the funds to arrive. Bridging with across will be a lot faster and typically takes 1-5 minutes.
Arbitrum Bridging FAQ
How long does it take to bridge to Arbitrum?
Bridging can take 15 minutes on average when using the native bridge, or 1-5 minutes when using a third-party bridge like Across.
Are there fees for bridging to Arbitrum?
You will have to pay a network fee for sending funds to Arbitrum, typically costing $1-5, depending on how many people are using the network.
Can I bridge my assets back from Arbitrum?
Yes! Bridges work both ways, and you can bridge your tokens back to the original chain that you sent them from.