Bridging in DeFi is the process of moving your assets over from one blockchain to another. When you bridge, you’re not moving the actual token over but rather swapping it for the equivalent token on the new chain.
Bridging allows you to use existing funds on a different chain without having to go through the process of buying from a centralized exchange and withdrawing to your wallet.
TLDR; The 4 steps of bridging to Optimism
- Add Optimism Network to MetaMask
- Open Optimism bridge and select desired network to send from
- Deposit the token into the bridge and wait for it to send
- Switch back to Optimism and use funds
Tokens & Chains You Can Use to Bridge to Optimism
On Optimism, you can bridge tokens from chains such as Ethereum, Polygon, BNB Chain, Avalanche, Fantom, Gnosis, and Arbitrum.
Here are some of the most popular tokens available for bridging:
You can view the full list of Tokens available to bridge on Optimism by visiting the Optimism bridge and clicking on the token dropdown.
You’ll need to have one of these tokens on your starting chain (i.e. Ethereum) in order to move funds over to Optimism.
Before we begin, ensure you have MetaMask installed and ready to go. Feel free to use another compatible wallet, such as Rainbow, Coinbase Wallet, or Trust Wallet, if that’s where you already have funds. The process will not be exactly the same but should be easy enough to figure out.
If you haven’t got MetaMask installed, then you can check out our MetaMask installation guide to get up and running.
Alright, let’s go!
Step 1: Add Optimism Network to MetaMask
Now, to use Optimism with MetaMask you’ll need to make sure you have the network added to the wallet.
You can check out our guide on how to add Optimism to MetaMask if you don’t have it added already.
Step 2: Open Optimism Bridge and Choose Ethereum Network
For this example, we’re going to use Optimism’s native bridge platform (app.optimism.io/bridge/deposit) to send our tokens from Ethereum to Optimism.
Switch back to Ethereum Network in your MetaMask wallet and Open the Optimism Bridge platform.
Connect your wallet to the application and select Ethereum Mainnet from the dropdown.
Step 3: Deposit ETH into Bridge
Enter the amount of ETH (or equivalent token) you’d like to Bridge over to Optimism and click Deposit.
Confirm the deposit amount and click Deposit.
Confirm the transaction in MetaMask and wait for the transaction to go through.
Step 4: Switch back to Optimism
Switch back to the Optimism Network in MetaMask, and you should see that your tokens are now available.
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.
For example, if you bridged over ETH:
Token contract address: 0xDeadDeAddeAddEAddeadDEaDDEAdDeaDDeAD0000
Token symbol: ETH
Token decimal: 18
Then click on Add custom token.
Now go ahead and explore what Optimism has to offer! You can check out the full list dApps available on Optimism here.
Bridging to Optimism Using Hop Exchange
If you’d like to give another bridge a go, we recommend using Hop – one of the more popular bridges that also reward bridges with incentive rewards in OP.
The process is similar to the native bridge.
Connect your MetaMask wallet to the application, choose the Ethereum Mainnet and the amount you would like to bridge, then click Send.
Confirm the transaction, approve it in MetaMask, and wait for the funds to arrive.
Optimism Bridging FAQ
How long does it take to bridge to Optimism?
Bridging can take anywhere between 10-20 minutes on average, depending on the application used.
Are there fees for bridging to Optimism?
You will have to pay a network fee for sending funds to Optimism, typically costing $1-5, depending on how many people are using the network.
Can I bridge my assets back from Optimism?
Yes! Bridges work both ways, and you can bridge tokens back to the original chain you sent them from.