Sept. 22, 2021: ETH Bridges are Infrastructure 🏗️🌉

As More Volume Gets Bridged, Where's Everybody Going?

Ethereum is so popular that everybody is leaving it. Users are bridging their assets to sidechains at record rates. Which bridge to take then?

The launch of Arbitrum has quickly catapulted the new chain into the top tier, along with Polygon and Avalanche.

Arbitrum, recognizing the importance of their bridge, just rolled out a slick new design.

Arbitrum managed to attract this top level of volume in spite of scathing reviews of their previous offering. You know though, if it ain’t broke, why fix it? If a bad bridge got you into first, making your bridge twice as bad should logically mean you lap your competitors.

Although Arbitrum is the current hotness, there’s many fine bridges you can cross. Avalanche is also notable in that its bridge has been around longer, and it’s doing a good job of keeping the volume flowing in one direction.

When we look at Curve forks, we see other notable trends. Looking at this morning’s snapshot of deposit and volume activity, we see Fantom punching above its weight.

Using the completely arbitrary and made up metric of volume per pool, Fantom is in the lead. $17MM worth of activity per pool is significant usage if true. However, I’ve not been able to get the numbers to tally properly just adding things up on the homepage so take it with a grain of salt. Whatever the actual numbers are, it’s at least clear that the Fantom factory has been the most productive — factory pools already outnumber regular pools thanks to some heavy $MIM activity.

Polygon also remains a popular destination with no sign of fading activity. We know the Curve factory is launching on all chains soon, so a Polygon factory would have the most dry powder to play with. The tricrypto pool on Polygon remains the best source of Curve rewards, eyeing rewards north of 90% (historical). The second best option are a variety of Ethereum factory pools in mid double digits.

It’s not technically a v2, but we always have to look at the controlled burn that is the Binance Smart Chain dumpster file. BSC remains awash in billions of dollars, despite consisting primarily of rugs.

Whoever figures out how to tokenize and fractionalize rugpulls will become quite wealthy, unless they suffer a pull themselves. The rug game on BSC is ridiculous. It’s not even just hackers… when hackers are quiet, protocols sometimes decide just to mow down their own users.

For instance, Nerve Finance, $NRV, a BSC Curve knockoff, has recently become very overt in its rug game. The protocol is apparently weighing a controversial proposal to directly rug early investors. (h/t to @Bugfix for the tip)

The capability for Ellipsis to remain so stable on a Mad Max themed chain is a strong credit to the protocol.

Their pools offer a fairly flat 10.7% reward rate across most pools. The only exception being pNetwork, which gives 17.96% and, naturally, just suffered a BSC hack of their own on their bridge.

Bridges are dangerous places, communicating value across chain is often where funds can get lost or drained. Be careful about bridging too frequently. Or remember that clunky bridges can be a feature and not a bug.

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