Fist step to start with Arbitrum!
TL:DR: Transaction done in Ethereum and Arbitrum has like 6x difference in gas cost, and transaction in Arbitrum is fast (need to see how it handles traffic when TVL reaches billions). If we factor in the gas token price difference, you will see that Arbitrum is more expensive than BSC, while Polygon still has lowest cost in transaction. Arbitrum highlight its benefit of full compatibility with Ethereum network, comparing to other EVM compatible chains.(BSC/Polygon/AVAX). We will need to see how the Ecosystem are built to get a clear picture who will be the last man standing. (Solana is not EVM compatible chain)
If most Ethereum Dapps could just switch to Arbitrum as they marketing, the Arbitrum eco could grow significantly fast. I would love to work on a place has all the good things in Ethereum but much affordable cost.
What is Arbitrum?
Arbitrum launch its mainnet on 2021 August 31, and developers could easily deploy their Dapp on Arbitrum by simply change RPC endpoint as their article here. The famous L2 scale up solution address the issue of slow and expensive Ethereum environment, which will increase the TPS from 15 to 2000~4000, while BSC, Polygon is ranging around 50~100TPS base on the block onchain data. Below is the transaction I made during testing and all those transaction are done pretty fast, it reminds me the time of using BSC when it charges 10GWEI. It will be really potential if it keeps this speed.
Solana block explorer shows a TPS ~1800 while Arbitrum currently operate at TPS ~2. We will need to see how it impact fees once going in full speed. Then see how attractive ecosystem will be on those chains.
How to bridge from Ethereum to Arbitrum
In Arbitrum network, you need to use $ETH as gas token, therefore you need to use bridge from Ethereum to Arbitrum in official bridge, you can refer to the official tutorial here (there is animation to show you step-by-step guide). Few things worth noted here, you can bridge ERC-20 token from Ethereum to Arbitrum by pasting the token address from the token list. Otherwise, you can just use the “ETH” bridge option to transfer $ETH to Arbitrum first as gas fee. Please be sure to add token address in L2 to see your token in order to see it on your Arbitrum network in Metamask.
So you will need to bridge assets from Ethereum to Arbitrum, both $ETH and other assets(like $USDC) that you want. The bridge(L1->L2)cost is related to Ethereum cost is like $15~$40 in my record. Once you are in Arbitrum, it’s like less than $8. Still high and not affordable but worth trying already compare to Ethereum.
Be noted that you are bridging from L1 to L2 if you connected to Mainnet(Ethereum) and vice-versa, which is by website default. That’s why you see it refreshing everytime the network is changed.
Projects that are currently available in Arbitrum
I will be using GMX as example, since not much attention now on Arbitrum projects despite the fact of full compatibility on smart contract codes. GMX is previously known as Gambit on Binance Smart Chain. GMX is a Decentralized Perpetual Exchange on Arbitrum that offers you the possibility to trade 30x leverage directly from your wallet.
GMX is one of few projects that goes live with Arbitrum on day1, and it will be a great option to start with on Arbitrum especially if you love perpetual trading. There are currently two tokens available for GMX, which is $GMX and $GLP. $GMX can be bought in Uniswap and earns Escrowed GMX, Multiplier points and platform fee converted to $ETH. $GLP share same revenue(except multiplier) but in different percentage, while can be minted(bought) only in GMX where price is related to the supply/demand of $GLP. Refer to their tokenomic page for detail explanation.
In the first 10days of the Arbitrum launch, $GMX had performed incredibly well according to the data in Uniswap which I think it fits what people are looking for at L2 scaling solution now. A workable chain serves an alternative on all native Ethereum projects. Comparing to the launch price of $GMX at $2, it has more than 3x gain as of today.
I think the Arbitrum could be interested to monitor. If everything in Ethereum could be directly turn-on at Arbitrum with a 2000~4000 TPS, it will be a good alternative for Ethereum projects when they migrate to attract more users. The Ethereum is still the largest chain because it is reliable therefore attracting new innovative projects. Early users didn’t care about much on transaction cost, they care more about risk and reward, but to grow the pie, you will need to have an alternative like Arbitrum.
Remember the full power of Arbitrum is not released yet and the cost of transaction and speed will be further optimized when users flock in.