Adding New Networks to Your Wallet:
Metamask is an EVM¹ (Ethereum Virtual Machine) compatible wallet, meaning that your MetaMask ETH address can be used to access Arbitrum, Avalanche, Fantom, Optimism, BSC and many more, without needing to generate a new wallet address.
Quick Tip for New Networks: Most protocols will have a "Switch Network" button in the top right hand corner, click this button to simply add a new network RPC² to your Web3 wallet. Make sure that you are on a reliably trusted protocol if attempting this route. Many protocols will automatically generate this option when connecting. I have listed L1 & L2³ DEXs below, for Binance Smart Chain, do this on Pancakeswap. For Avalanche, Trader Joe. For Polygon, Quickswap. For Fantom, Spookyswap.
In order to use your wallet on a new network, you will need to have the correct gas tokens. Gas is a fee you pay to interact with a smart contract, ETH is used as gas on the Ethereum network, alternative L1s and L2s will have their own gas tokens that need to be in your wallet for functionality. Always have the correct gas token before bridging any funds.
Quick Tip for Easy Gas Dust: If you're having trouble accessing a gas token to bridge, some bridges like Synapse send gas dust with bridge transactions. Using Synapse for gas dust will only give you enough gas to complete your first couple transactions, you must buy more on the network with your bridged funds if you take this route. The following is a list of gas tokens for each network and alternative routes to obtain them.
Arbitrum, Optimism (L2) - ETH: Bridge ETH from Ethereum to Arbitrum or Optimism
Aurora (L1) - ETH: Bridge ETH from Ethereum to Aurora
Binance Smart Chain (L1) - BNB: Deposit BNB (bep-20) from Kucoin, Binance or Trust
Fantom (L1) - FTM: Bridge FTM from Ethereum to Fantom or send directly from Kucoin
Avalanche (L2) - AVAX: Send AVAX directly from Coinbase
Polygon (L2) - MATIC: Bridge MATIC from Ethereum to Fantom or send from Coinbase
Sending tokens from L1s & L2s
You can send tokens from L1 and L2 chains to any other EVM compatible wallet. Always check network compatibility before sending tokens, make sure the receiving address has access to the same chain as the sending address. If you send tokens to a centralized exchange on the wrong network, they will be lost. You will not be able to get these tokens back, be very careful when sending to centralized exchanges.
Add all new EVM networks to Metamask in 1 click with https://chainlist.org/
Tutorials for adding new networks to Metamask by Coinmarketcap Alexandria
¹EVM is an acronym for Ethereum Virtual Machine, a software platform developers can use to build decentralized applications on Ethereum. Additional networks can be built on top of EVM software to utilize the smart contract technology, these are L1s and L2s. Learn more: What Is the Ethereum Virtual Machine & How it Works, Coingecko Learn
²RPC is an acronym for remote procedure call, a set of protocols that allow your EVM compatible wallet to interact with a blockchain. Though your EVM compatible wallet allows you to use one address to access every network, you will need to toggle your RPC to navigate each one. This toggle can be easily found in the top center of your MetaMask extension; click where it says "Ethereum Network" to toggle between RPCs.
³L1 & L2 (Layer 1 and Layer 2) Layer 1 is the base level of a blockchain, the structure of any blockchain network; for example Ethereum and Binance Smart Chain are L1. Layer 2 refers to a network built on top of other blockchains; Arbitrum and Optimism are L2. In the case of EVM compatible scaling solutions, L1 solutions change the direct mechanics of the blockchain, whereas L2 solutions rely on networks that run parallel with the main chain. Learn More: What is Layer 1 & Layer 2, The Defiant
Synapse Protocol cross chain AMM allows simple bridging across 15 EVM and non-EVM chains. Synapse sends gas dust to the receiving networks when you bridge assets through the protocol, simplifying the transition to alternative L1s & L2s.
Arbitrum, Avalanche, BSC, Polygon, Aurora, Ethereum, Fantom - Governance Token: SYN
Stargate Bridge from LayerZero Labs, offers low fee, 1 click bridging of ETH and stablecoins across 7 chains. Stargate has simple UI and is user friendly.
Arbitrum, Avalanche, BSC, Ethereum, Fantom, Optimism, Polygon - Governance Token: STG
Multichain previously Anyswap, was launched in 2020 and allows cross chain bridging of over 3000 supported tokens, across 71 chains.
Arbitrum, Avalanche, BSC, Ethereum, Fantom, Optimism, Polygon- Governance Token: MULTI
Layer 1 and Layer 2 ecosystem DEXs are decentralized AMMs built directly on L1 & L2 networks to incentive liquidity provision to the chain. The decentralized exchanges listed in this section were built specifically for the networks they are on, ensuring high liquidity and low slippage when trading on L1s & L2s.
Read more about finding liquidity and TVL across protocols and chains in research tools
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