There is no denying the impact Ethereum has had on the crypto market as a whole. Its smart contracts feature alone is enough to justify its status as one of the most revered blockchains in the industry. But, I would be lying if I said that it is perfect in every regard.
Let’s not sugarcoat this, transfers on the Ethereum network in 2023 are slow and expensive. Fortunately, you can avoid these pitfalls without losing the benefits of the ETH network by bridging it to Polygon.
A key benefit you’ll notice after bridging ETH to Polygon is that transactions are much faster — saving you a lot of time with each transfer. The more significant advantage of this bridge for me, however, is the 7x lower gas fee.
Of course, the process of bridging itself is subject to gas and protocol incentive fees. So, if you want to save the most money, you have to choose the cheapest way to bridge ETH to Polygon. Keep reading to learn about the ones I recommend!
Understanding Ethereum to Polygon Bridge
Before we explore the best bridging services, let’s take a step back and understand what an Ethereum to Polygon Bridge even is.
What is a bridge in crypto?
There is a lot I can praise about blockchain technology in general. But, one of the biggest downsides of this tech is that it’s very isolated for the most part. A bridge — in this context — is a point of connection between two different blockchain networks.
You can think of each blockchain as its own island with no direct way of interacting with other islands. By this analogy, a crypto bridge is similar to a physical bridge that connects two separate islands together.
Purpose of a crypto bridge
The primary purpose of a crypto bridge is to allow users to transfer assets between two different blockchains. In my experience, there are two main reasons crypto owners bridge blockchains.
First is to represent their asset on a different network. WBTC, for example, is an ERC-20 Ethereum token with the same value as regular BTC.
Secondly, bridging crypto can grant access to faster and cheaper blockchains with ease.
Ethereum to Polygon bridge
Polygon is actually a Layer 2 blockchain that’s built on top of the Ethereum network. It fixes the biggest downsides of Ethereum like limited scalability, slow speed, and high gas fees.
So, the Ethereum to Polygon bridge gives crypto owners the ability to get all the benefits of Polygon while staying on the Ethereum network as a whole.
Top 3 Cheapest Ways to Bridge ETH to Polygon
After checking out most of the popular Ethereum to Polygon bridges on the market, I’ve set apart three of the cheapest and all-around best platforms on the market.
Out of all the Ethereum to Polygon bridges I tested when creating this list, Synapse came out on top.
The biggest reason behind this decision is the extremely low fees. To bridge Ethereum and Polygon on Synapse, you only have to pay 0.05% of the amount you’re transferring.
In addition to having one of the lowest Ethereum to Polygon bridge fees, Synapse is also one of the fastest platforms I tried. In my experience, it takes less than one minute to bridge ETH to Polygon on Synapse.
Another aspect of Synapse I’d like to point out is its incredible UI. Everything is clear with intuitive drop-down menus and aptly-located buttons. From what I’ve seen, even someone new to the world of crypto should be able to bridge ETH to Polygon on Synapse without any hiccups.
Multichain secured a spot on this list immediately after I used it and there are two key reasons behind that.
First is its low low fee of just 0.1% per transfer. This is one of the cheapest Ethereum to Polygon bridge options on the market and given the overall reliability of Multichain, I’d say it’s well worth it.
The second reason I put Multichain on the #2 spot on my list is its unmatched compatibility. For starters, it supports 10 different crypto wallets so you’re not forced to use a specific one.
Similarly, Multichain also supports the bridging of nearly 570 different crypto assets on the Ethereum network. This is something I haven’t seen in many other ETH to Polygon bridges.
Lastly, if you ever decide to bridge a network other than ETH and Polygon, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn that Multichain supports 90 different blockchains.
#3. Cross-Chain Bridge
Cross-Chain Bridge occupies the final spot on my list for its balanced mix of low fees, an easy-to-understand user interface, and a generous rewards program.
The standard protocol incentive fee on Cross-Chain Bridge is 0.35% which is better than many of its competitors that charge as much as 0.5% or even more. But get this, if you only want to bridge stablecoins from ETH to Polygon, you only have to pay a 0.15% fee.
I also really liked the to-the-point UI of Cross-Chain Bridge which does not have any hidden or confusing options. It’s just a straightforward bridge protocol with clearly labeled menus. Plus, you can even bridge NFTs from ETH to Polygon.
When you’re done bridging your assets on Cross-Chain Bridge, you can also make some profit. All you have to do is add liquidity to the bridge for a certain token and 70% of the protocol incentive fees collected from that token will get added to a pool. You’ll then receive a reward from this pool for your contribution.
Comparison of the Top Picks
The three ETH to Polygon bridge platforms I listed are the best of the best, and not just in terms of price. But, this begs the question, how do they stack up against each other? Let’s find out.
The protocol incentive fees for these platforms are:
Among the three, Synapse is the clear winner and it’s not even close. However, I’d like to reiterate here that all three of these are quite cheap compared to the rest of the market.
Speed of bridge transfers
The bridge speed for all three of these platforms was quite high compared to the rest of the options I tried. The fastest among these was Synapse with a bridge time of less than one minute for most transactions.
On the other end, the slowest among the three was Multichain with an average wait time of 10 minutes which is still quite respectable.
Also, keep in mind that these bridge transfer speeds are based on my experience. You might see different speeds depending on factors like network conditions.
Ease of use and user experience
While I personally have a soft spot for the clean and practical UI of Synapse, I cannot put it above the other two in this regard. In fact, it won’t be wrong for me to say that all three are intuitive and easy to understand for new users with zero confusing elements.
Security and reliability
From what I’ve seen, all three bridge platforms are dedicated to keeping your crypto assets as safe as possible. Though, I would like to give a special shoutout to Multichain for their threshold distributed signature algorithm based on secure multi-party computation.
As for reliability, I did not experience any hiccups or issues when using any of these services.
How to Bridge ETH to Polygon: Step-by-Step Guide
Before I go into details of how to bridge ETH to Polygon, I’d like to make it clear that this is a general tutorial. The exact steps may vary a bit from one platform to the other, but most good bridge services should follow a similar structure.
With that said, here’s a step-by-step guide on how you can bridge ETH to Polygon with ease:
Step 1: Setting up the required wallets
The first step of bridging ETH to Polygon is connecting your digital crypto wallet.
Now, which wallet you can use depends on the platform. Multichain, for example, supports MetaMask, Trust Wallet, Coinbase Wallet, and seven more. On the other hand, Cross-Chain Bridge only works with MetaMask and WalletConnect.
In my experience, most bridge services display a QR code that you have to scan from the wallet app on your phone. Doing so successfully automatically connects your wallet to the bridge service and you get access to your funds.
Step 2: Initiating the bridge transfer
Once you have the wallet connected to the bridge service, you have to initiate the bridge transfer process. In other words, you have to provide the necessary information.
From what I’ve seen, this will include things like:
Step 3: Confirming the transfer and tracking progress
The last step is to confirm the bridge transfer and wait for it to complete. This can take anywhere from less than a minute, to 30 minutes depending on network condition and the bridging service of your choice.
During this process, keep an eye on the progress to ensure that everything is going smoothly.
How to Lower Ethereum to Polygon Bridging Fees
Here are a few tactics I use to bridge my ETH assets to Polygon for the lowest possible fees:
Timing your bridge transfers
In many cases, the bridge service has a minimum fee that applies if you bridge less than a certain amount. So, if I have to bridge a small amount, I wait until I can group it with a future transaction to avoid that minimum fee.
Optimizing gas fees
You can reduce gas fees by choosing a longer transfer time. I use this to save money when I’m not in a hurry to bridge my ETH assets to Polygon.
Utilizing Layer 2 solutions
Layer 2 solutions usually have a lower gas fee than Layer 1 blockchains. As I mentioned above, the Polygon gas fee is typically 7x less than that of ETH.
In most cases, bridge services charge a fixed percentage. In my experience, even a 0.1% increase in fees translates to noticeable losses in your crypto assets. If you want to save your cryptocurrency, make sure to aim for the bridge service with the lowest fees.
On that note, the three options I’ve listed above are excellent, and this is not just in terms of low fees. They also offer easy-to-navigate user interfaces and reliable functionality. Check them out if you are looking for the cheapest way to bridge ETH to Polygon.