The Polygon bridge helps Ethereum users transfer ERC tokens and NFTs to the Polygon network.
We’ve talked about blockchain bridges and why they’re important. As new blockchains and networks keep popping up in the crypto space, users demand a way to connect and communicate between them.
The same is happening in the Ethereum ecosystem. Hundreds of applications and Dapps circulate the network, each with its own blockchain.
We also have to account for the thousands of NFTs wrapped in ERC contracts. This amount of traffic brings high gas fees and decreases transaction throughput.
Some consider Polygon a Layer2 solution. In reality, it’s more like a protocol. A framework consisting of secured chains.
Developers create Ethereum based solutions, or Dapps (decentralized applications) on Polygon. Most will have heard about Polygon Edge or Polygon Nightfall. They add to scalability and allow private network development.
You might be familiar with some of the Polygon Dapps, such as Decentraland and CoinKit. The network hosts a vast collection of similar applications.
All sidechains need to connect to the Ethereum network and this is where we use the Polygon bridge.
With Polygon bridge Ethereum users can transfer their assets and NFTs to the Polygon network. You need to do this, anyway, to access Dapps and other tools on the Polygon bridge.
One of the main benefits of the Polygon bridge is the low gas fees. Transactions also process much faster. There are no third-party protocols involved and it’s completely decentralized.
Users will incur Polygon bridge fees, though they’re a lot lower than if you would use the Mainnet.
You can transfer almost anything to Polygon. Most will use it to lock in their ETH. Some will transfer NFTs. Even exclusive in-game tokens, such as the Tower tokens will make it through the bridge.
Transferring to Polygon bridge doesn’t affect the Ethereum supply. What happens is the ETH you’re sending gets isolated from the Mainnet. The same amount will be minted and issued to your wallet on the Polygon bridge. When retrieving those coins, whatever you have left will get burned and the same amount will be released to the Mainnet.
How to Use the Polygon Bridge
We can bridge tokens to Polygon in many different ways. However, all will end up at the same place, which is your wallet.
Most Polygon bridge Ethereum users prefer the Matic bridge, but you can also use the Zapper bridge.
But before any of that, you need a crypto wallet that’s compatible with Polygon. One of the most popular choices for this is the Metamask wallet.
For Polygon bridge Metamask will make things easier as it’s one of the simplest to use wallets.
First, head to the Polygon bridge web wallet. Click “Connect to Wallet” and select Metamask.
To see that you’re connected to Polygon click on the connections on your wallet and you should see something like this:
Go back to the site and click on the Metamask button again and you’ll get a signature request. Click Sign. It won’t cost you anything.
Once connected, click on Polygon wallet to see your balances for all tokens. Your Polygon bridge dashboard should look like this:
Obviously it shouldn’t have any zeroes if you have ETH in your wallet. Most people would panic at this sight but lucky for us, this is only an example.
Next, click Move Funds From Ethereum to Polygon.
You’ll see a small window asking the amount you wish to transfer.
Enter the amount you wish to transfer to Polygon bridge and click Transfer. Another window will pop up for you to review.
You’ll pay some Polygon bridge fees for the transaction, depending on the amount.
Click continue to begin the finalization process. Follow instructions for a couple more steps and you’ll complete the transfer.
From here, all you need to do is wait for the tokens to show up in the Polygon wallet.
Polygon Bridge NFT
Once you have some ETH in the Polygon wallet, you can buy NFTs on sites like OpenSeas with it.
If you’ve purchased NFTs before, this is the same process except you’ll use Polygon instead of Metamask. Once purchased, you can transfer that NFT to your Metamask wallet or keep it there for other use.
Nothing will affect the Polygon bridge Metamask NFTs you already have. The only difference is you now can transfer them back and forth. Bear in mind that there are fees for each transfer.
Polygon Bridge – Adding Network to Metamask
Polygon bridge Ethereum users can add the network to their Metamask for convenient use.
To do this, open your wallet and click on Ethereum Mainnet at the top and click Add Network.
There are many URLs to Polygon but we typically use the polygon-rpc.
Fill it out like so and click Save.
After that, you should notice the top right bar now says Polygon instead of Ethereum. This indicates you’re now connected to the Polygon network.
The main token, as you can see, is the MATIC. If you want to use other tokens, you can import them by clicking the Import Tokens button. You’ll need the smart contract address for any token you try to receive.
That’s it, you’re good to go. To switch back to Ethereum Mainnet, simply click on the top bar again and select it from the drop-down menu.