MetaMask Expands L2 Network Support, Adds Optimism And Arbitrum

The flagship hot wallet, MetaMask, is adding network and bridge support for two new major networks this week, according to an official announcement on Wednesday. Optimism and Arbitrum, two growing networks in the crypto ecosystem, are now supported on MetaMask – bringing the signature browser wallet’s bridging network count up to six in total.

The wallet provider is continuing it’s investment in new utility-driven tools, looking to serve as a hub for crypto aficionados.

Let’s dive into the early details of the support of these newly supported networks.

Continued Investment In ‘MetaMask Bridges’

The additions of Optimism and Arbitrum mark the closing stages of MetaMask Bridges beta phase. Coming out of beta, the Bridges product will now include a sub-1% fee for bridging, but boasts increased transfer limits (once $10K, now capped at $50K) and better stability.

The concept around Bridges is what MetaMask describes as “a flight aggregator” for bridges, utilizing a “carefully curated set of bridges” to provide an all-in-one solution. The wallet has called out Connext, Hop, Celer cBridge, and Polygon Bridge as their suite of bridge aggregation, and allows users to select a route of their choice, or a default recommended route.

Six chains are now supported within the Bridge product: Ethereum, Polygon, Avalanche, Binance Smart Chain, and now Optimism and Arbitrum. The addition of bridging rounds out MetaMask’s growing suite of offerings that also includes swaps, buying ability, staking, and of course your standard wallet transactional support.

Navigating The Networks

Arbitrum, despite being one of the few major chains without a native token, has taken DeFi by storm. The network has been ‘quietly building,’ with now roughly 200 native protocols that compose an ecosystem that ranks 4th in DeFi total value locked (TVL) with nearly $2B in total TVL, according to DeFiLllama. That compares to just about $700M in TVL for the ecosystem as recent as July 2022 – signaling that while bear market conditions have largely owned the last 6-8 months of market movement, Arbitrum has been harboring hardcore builders and DeFi enthusiasts.

Optimism shares similar sentiment with more tempered success; nonetheless, Optimism sits at #7 in total DeFi TVL, approaching $1B in currently locked funds (courtesy DeFiLlama). Unlike Arbitrum, Optimism does carry a native platform token, and ecosystem success has been bolstered by support from cross-chain tools like Aave and Curve. However, to the same tune as Arbitrum, Optimism has also seen substantial growth over the past 6-8 months, seeing over 3X in TVL compared to mid-year 2022.

In all, both chains serve as smart additions from MetaMask in addressing an especially DeFi-native audience. • 2023