With so many blockchain networks to choose from, should you prioritize one network over the other? Thankfully, multi-chain compatible wallets make it super convenient to access and hold digital assets from a single point by connecting Metamask to various platforms.
MetaMask is by far the most popular non-custodial wallet that accomplishes this streamlining of Finance 2.0. Although it started as an Ethereum-centric wallet, you can now use it to access the top most popular Ethereum sidechains and even competing networks.
Metamask Networks Explained
By default, MetaMask wallet connects to Ethereum Mainnet, the blockchain’s public end-product. While code is being rolled out and tested on a testnet, mainnet represents the final line of that testing, with transactions publicly recorded and verified.
When you install the MetaMask add-on into your browser, you will even see an option to either hide or show testnets. This is also where you access MetaMask’s networks, just next to your account icon as a dropdown menu.
By default, blockchain testnets are not visible, as it should be unless you are a developer. You will mostly be using Ethereum Mainnet due to its abundance of DApps that cover everything from play-to-earn games to lending services.
However, due to unpredictable gas fees, you may want to connect to other networks as well. Let’s start with Polygon.
Connecting to Polygon
Top NFT marketplaces and metaverse projects have integrated Polygon for its low gas fees, from OpenSea to ApeCoin. Connecting Polygon to MetaMask is a straightforward process.
Click the “Networks” drop-down menu and then click the “Add Network” button.
The following details should be filled in the text fields:
- Network Name: Polygon
- New RPC URL: https://polygon-rpc.com
- Chain ID: 137
- Currency Symbol: MATIC
- Block Explorer URL (Optional): https://polygonscan.com/
Simply click on “Save,” and you are good to go.
Adding Arbitrum to MetaMask
Arbitrum is another cutting-edge scalability solution for Ethereum. It does a few things differently. First, Arbitrum doesn’t have its own native token because all transactions are paid in ETH. This makes it a more integrated layer 2 scalability solution.
Almost all notable Ethereum DApps have been imported into Arbitrum, which you can check on Arbitrum One Portal.
Of the more prominent NFT marketplaces, Arbitrum supports Lootex. To access it, more involvement is needed than simply clicking to another network.
After clicking on the Networks’ dropdown menu, click on “Add Network”.
You will see five text fields that will need to be filled:
- Network Name: Arbitrum One
- New RPC URL: https://arb1.arbitrum.io/rpc
- Chain ID: 42161
- Currency Symbol: ETH
- Block Explorer URL (Optional): https://arbiscan.io/
Click on “Save” and you are done.
The new network will now be available as “Arbitrum One” in the usual place, your MetaMask’s Networks dropdown menu, right next to your account icon.
Adding Optimism to MetaMask
To add Optimism to MetaMask, the process is the same as with Arbitrum. Add this network info into the five text boxes.
- Network Name: Optimism
- New RPC URL: https://mainnet.optimism.io
- Chain ID: 10
- Currency Symbol: ETH
- Block Explorer URL (Optional): https://optimistic.ethereum.io
Tap on “Save” and you are done.
Adding Avalanche (AVAX) to MetaMask
So far, we have covered Ethereum-oriented networks. Avalanche blockchain is a unique Ethereum competitor that is already proof-of-stake, offering outstanding transaction speed and negligible transfer fees. You can read more about AVAX and its ecosystem here.
Once again, you will go to “Add network” to fill out the necessary info:
- Network Name: Avalanche Network
- New RPC URL: https://api.avax.network/ext/bc/C/rpc
- Chain ID: 43114
- Currency Symbol: AVAX
- Block Explorer URL (Optional): https://snowtrace.io/
Because Avalanche is a separate blockchain ecosystem from Ethereum, you will also need to create Avalanche Wallet. Like MetaMask, it is a non-custodial wallet with an option to transfer funds via the Ethereum-Avalanche Bridge.
With the new wallet set up, it needs to be set up for cross chain transactions in a couple of easy steps:
- Under options on the left, click on “Cross Chain,” sandwiched between “Send” and “Earn.”
- Pick the “X Chain (Exchange) as the Source Chain and “C Chain (Contract)” as the Destination Chain.
Now, when you want to send funds to MetaMask from Avalanche wallet, you would simply enter the copy-pasted MetaMask address while connected to the Avalanche Mainnet.
Adding Binance Smart Chain (BSC) to MetaMask
Binance is the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, so it would be handy to add its own network to your MetaMask wallet. The process is identical to the previous two. Enter this data into text boxes after clicking on the “Add Network”:
- Network Name: Smart Chain
- New RPC URL: https://bsc-dataseed.binance.org/
- Chain ID: 56
- Currency Symbol: BNB
- Block Explorer URL (Optional): https://bscscan.com
Click on “Save” and you have another important network added to your list of blockchain options. Likewise, if you want to send Binance Coin (BNB) to MetaMask wallet, you would first need to copy and paste the MetaMask receiver address while connected to the BSC network.
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