The Polygon-Ethereum ERC-20 Bridge is the most active, with $2.18 billion locked up

The Ethereum-Polygon ERC-20 bridge is the most active, data from January 23 shows.

Polygon-Ethereum Bridge Dominant

As of January 23, there were $2.18 billion in assets. Locked In the Ethereum-Polygon ERC-20 bridge, the value of the assets locked between the Ethereum and Arbitrum bridge is almost double which was $1.36 billion at the time of writing. Another plasma bridge, which connects Ethereum and Polygon, is also the third most active, locking up more than $894 million as of press time.

Ethereum Bridges TVL
ETH Bridges TVL | Source: Etherscan

Arbitrum: L1 Custom Gateway, Arbitrum: L1 ERC20 Gateway, Optimism: Gateway; And Polygon (Matic): Aetherbridge connectors locked up a large amount of tokens. Meanwhile, dYdX: L2 Perpetual Smart Contract; Composition: L2 Deposit Escrow; and AnySwap: Fantom Bridge were the other links that rounded out the top 10 most active.

Bridges are essential for ETH. Because blockchain is not inherently scalable, unlike most competing blockchains designed using the Cosmos Core, bridges are indispensable for a functioning ecosystem that benefits end users.

Most protocols try to connect their ecosystem to ETH. As of the end of January 2023, the Pioneer smart contracting platform was the most active layer-1, dominating DeFi and NFT activity.

There is also a large gaming and metaverse community benefiting from Ethereum’s first mover advantage and vibrant community.

The platform’s native token, ETH, is the second most valuable, with a market capitalization of $199,974,616,120. According to trackers, each coin changes hands for $1,633.95 at the time of writing.

Ethereum price on January 23
ETH price on January 23 | Source: ETHUSDT on KuCoin, Trading View

Bridges bring interoperability.

By connecting to Ethereum, the community benefits from consequential interoperability and connectivity. This is mainly because ETH, by default, is not interoperable.

So, while billions of assets are locked up in DeFi and NFT platforms, other ecosystems that are active and trying to connect their communities can only succeed with secure bridges.

In addition to transferring value between blockchains, bridges are also useful in transferring critical data. Through data streaming, developers in Ethereum or other integrated platforms can unlock new features and use cases.

Secure bridges can effectively expand the design space that protocols offer. In addition, it will be possible for users to leverage power in other networks that may not exist in Ethereum.

Polygon, Arbitrum, and Optimism are all ETH Layer 2 protocols. They are deliberately designed to take advantage of Ethereum’s mainnet features but offer relatively low fees and high scalability. So, this means that deploying protocols on Arbitrum and Optimism, or Polygon’s sidechain, will technically have access to ETH dApps taking advantage of these platforms’ rollups.

This interoperability will, in essence, also drive mainnet activity as users will not need to make drastic changes. For example, they can still connect to compatible layer-2 platforms using MetaMask when they go about their DeFi, gaming, or metaverse activities.

Cryptohopper’s feature on LinkedIn, charts by trading view

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