Optimism is a popular layer-2 scaling solution for Ethereum. It leverages a technology known as optimistic rollups
to dramatically scale the number of transactions that the Ethereum blockchain can handle per second.
In brief, Optimism
uses optimistic rollups to bundle a large number of transactions into a single layer-1
transaction. This allows for massively improved gas efficiency and helps power novel applications that require a high-speed, cost-efficient blockchain platform to operate — such as decentralized games, exchanges
and social media networks.
Since its mainnet
launch in December 2021, Optimism has gone on to establish itself as one of the most popular layer-2 rollups. It currently boasts an ecosystem
of over 300 decentralized applications
). Many popular DeFi
platforms now support the network.
are simple tools that allow users to transfer assets from a wallet on one blockchain to a wallet on a different blockchain. These blockchains can be layer-1
, like Ethereum, BNB Chain or Solana, or layer-2 chains
, like Optimism or Arbitrum.
For example, a blockchain bridge could be used to move Tether
) from the Ethereum blockchain to Optimism, and vice-versa.
Blockchain bridges allow users to easily move their liquidity
between chains, preventing them from needing to maintain balances on each chain they wish to interact with at all times. As their name suggests, they help to bridge the otherwise siloed blockchains, allowing information and value to be more easily exchanged between independent chains.
Most blockchain bridges are decentralized and permissionless
in nature. The exact mechanism by which these bridges move the assets between chains varies from platform to platform. Some of the most common mechanisms include:
1. Burn and mint: Assets on the source chain are burned and an equal number of the same asset on the destination chain is minted and transferred to the recipient
2. Liquidity pools:
Users contribute to liquidity pools
on each chain, cross-chain bridge events deposit to the asset pool on one chain and withdraw from the same asset pool on a different chain. Liquidity providers earn a share of the fees generated.
3. Proxy tokens:
Assets on one chain are locked in a smart contract
and an equivalent number of proxy (or wrapped) tokens are minted and released on the destination chain.
Today, well over a dozen platforms allow assets to be bridged to and from Optimism from other platforms. These can vary considerably in the method of operation, bridge fees, security and more.
Some of the most popular bridges currently include:
- Optimism Bridge: The official Optimism bridge supports deposits from seven blockchains and four centralized exchanges (including Binance). It does not support competing L2s like Arbitrum or zkSync Era, and it has no cross-chain fees.
- Stargate: Currently the most popular bridge by 24-hour volume, Stargate supports 11 popular networks.
- Celer cBridge: A popular non-custodial asset bridge, Celer cBridge supports over 30 layer-1 and layer-2 platforms and hundreds of assets.
- Synapse: Currently supports 19 different blockchains and dozens of assets.
These are just a handful of bridges that support the Optimism blockchain. We highly recommend avoiding bridges that have been compromised or recently exploited. This includes Multichain, formerly one of the most comprehensive bridge platforms, that was recently hacked
This tutorial will focus on the first two due to their popularity:
For the purpose of this guide, we will take Ethereum as the source chain.
Step 1: Open the Optimism Bridge App
Go to Optimsm Bridge app
in your web browser.
Step 2: Connect Your Wallet
Click on the “Connect Wallet” button at either the bottom or the top-right corner of the page. Choose the wallet and follow the instructions to connect it to the platform.
Step 3: Select the Network
Click on the drop-down in the From section to choose your source chain or CEX. In this case, we are choosing Ethereum as our source chain.
Then, select the token you want to bridge from the source chain to Optimism (the target chain).
Step 4: Select the Amount
Enter the amount of the token you want to bridge in the amount field. Click on the "Deposit" button.
Step 5: Confirm
Confirm the transaction in your wallet by following the instructions on the screen. Wait for the transaction to be confirmed on the Ethereum network.
Once the transaction is confirmed, your tokens will be available on the Optimism network.
It's important to note that bridging your tokens from Ethereum to Optimism may take some time, depending on the network traffic and the gas fees you choose to pay. You can monitor the status of your transaction on the Ethereum network using a blockchain explorer like Etherscan
Step 1: Open Stargate Bridge
Head to Stargate Bridge website
. To begin, you’ll need to connect your wallet to the bridge: Click the ‘Connect Wallet’ button and select your wallet from the list of supported options.
Step 2: Select Your Networks
Once your wallet is connected, you’ll then need to select the chains you wish to transfer your assets between.
In the 'From' section, choose the source network, and choose Optimism in the 'To' section. In this case, we'll select BNB as the source network.
You will also be able to select the asset you want to bridge between chains. In this case, we’ll opt to bridge USDT from BNB Chain to USDC on Optimism.
Note: If the same asset is not available on the destination chain, Stargate will offer an alternative — in this case: USDT to USDC.
Step 3: Initiate the Transfer
Once your transfer parameters are set, it’s time to bridge your funds.
Click the ‘Transfer’ button to begin the process. This will open a window in your connected wallet asking you to approve the transaction.
Enter the amount that you want to bridge, and approve the transaction.
Once this is approved, Stargate will then ask you to confirm the transaction. Confirm this in your wallet, and Stargate will begin the bridging process.
Step 4: Wait for your funds
After your transaction is submitted to the blockchain, Stargate will take several minutes to bridge your assets from the source chain to the destination chain.
Once the process is complete, Stargate will notify you on-screen. You can then check your wallet to see your new balance on the destination chain.
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