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How to Bridge to zkSync Era

4.5
| by
Joel Agbo
-

How to Bridge to zkSync Era

You can bridge assets from supported chains to zkSync Era either through the official zkSync bridge, or use third-party bridges like Orbiter Finance, Rhino.fi, LayerSwap, and more.


Key Takeaways

  • Bridges are designed to process asset transfers between networks. They employ technologies such as smart contracts, light nodes, or corresponding swaps via inter-chain liquidity pools.

  • zkSync Era is a Layer 2 network that scales the Ethereum network by providing a faster execution layer and publishing proofs of the transactions to the main network using zero knowledge.

  • To interact with the zkSync Era network, users will need to bridge assets from Ethereum or other networks. zkSync Era operates an official bridge, although users can opt for other third-party bridging platforms like Orbiter Finance and Layerswap that also support the zkSync Era network.


Bridging to zkSync

zkSync Era has seen quite a significant usage since its launch, with GeckoTerminal reporting about $30 million in cumulative daily trading volume on decentralized exchanges that operate on the zkSync Era network. Artemis reports an average of 230,000 daily active addresses on the network and over 800,000 transactions executed daily, even surpassing the Ethereum blockchain in daily transaction count on July 16. 

zksync activity comparison

Like other Layer 2s, zkSync Era scales the Ethereum network by separating the execution and consensus layers. Transactions are executed on the Layer 2 network, while the consensus system on the main network is contracted for the final submission of the transactions. zkSync Era claims to save cost and improve speed by using rollups to package thousands of transactions in a single batch and execute them at once, enabling users to save up to 70% in transaction fee rebates. This is relative to the fee charged on the main (Ethereum) network. At the time of writing, the average transaction fee on zkSync Era is $0.30.

zkSync Era uses zero-knowledge to prove to the mainnet the validity of the transactions in each batch. The zk-proof system is able to establish the integrity of every transaction that takes without revealing the content of the transaction. As zero-knowledge solutions don’t require a fraud-proof system and a 7-days challenge period, the zk rollups are able to achieve finality in a shorter time span than optimistic rollups like Optimism and Arbitrum.

With faster transaction processing time and cheaper fees, along with the potential zkSync airdrop, more users are looking to use zkSync Era. Let's go through the process of transferring assets between zkSync Era and other networks using bridges. We assume that you have already set up zkSync Era in your wallet. If not, follow this guide to add zkSync Era to your MetaMask Wallet.

Official zkSync Era Bridge

The official bridge supports asset transfer between the Ethereum network and zkSync Era only. Both networks communicate via the bridge using L1-L2 interoperability. Data transfer via the bridge is sent as signed messages and not a transaction on the mainnet. 

The bridge protocol publishes two smart contracts, one on the mainnet and another on zkSync Era. To transfer assets to the zkSync Era from the Ethereum network; the user calls the deposit function, and the sent assets are locked on the Ethereum network. 

The smart contract on Ethereum communicates with the smart contract on zkSync Era to initiate asset minting. An exact amount of the asset locked on the L1 contract is minted on zkSync Era while the smart contract calls a finalizeDeposit method to complete the transfer. The reverse happens for Withdrawals – the asset is burnt on the zkSync Era network while an exact amount is released to the withdrawing address on the main network.

Bridge to zkSync Era From Ethereum

  1. Visit the zkSync Era bridge to start the deposit process.

  2. Connect your wallet and switch to the Ethereum network

Connect Wallet to zkSync bridge

  1. Select the asset you wish to bridge and enter the amount you wish to bridge.

Select Asset zkSync bridge

  1. Your connected address is automatically filled as the receiving address. You can change this by clicking the wallet area and changing your wallet address. When doing so, make sure the address is correct and is supported by the zkSync Era network to prevent loss of funds. 

Confirm deposit address zkSync bridge

  1. Click Continue to proceed. Evaluate the transaction on the next page and click Send to zkSync Era to complete

Send Funds zkSync bridge

Withdraw to Ethereum

  1. Navigate to the Withdraw section and connect your wallet.

  2. Switch to zkSync Era Mainnet from your wallet.

Withdraw from zkSync Bridge to Ethereum

  1. Enter the details of your wallet as described above and click Continue to proceed.

Enter wallet details and continue to withdraw

  1. Click Send to Ethereum Mainnet to complete.

Send to Ethereum

Apart from the official bridge, you can also use the following platforms to bridge assets to zkSync Era.

Bridge to zkSync Era With Rhino.fi

Rhino.fi is a self-custody platform that lets users switch between chains without complex bridges or network switches. It claims to support over 500 crypto assets across 6 major chains and has transacted over $1.5 billion worth of assets. 

By design, Rhino Finance is built on StarkEx Validium Layer 2  technology. It utilizes smart contract technology in a fashion similar to that described for the official zkSync Era bridge. Smart contracts deployed on the target chain and StarkEx works in synergy to retain and release funds on supported networks as required by users. The platform is governed by a DAO that votes on improvement proposals using DVF, the project’s native governance token which also doubles as a reward token for users of the platform.

  1. Visit the Rhino.fi platform and click Launch App.

Launch rhino.fi

  1. Click Connect wallet. Select your wallet provider, and connect to the platform.

Connect wallet to rhino.fi

  1. Follow the prompt to link your wallet to the platform and enable trading by signing both messages from your wallet.

Sign requests to approve trading

  1. Proceed to deposit funds to your Rhino.fi account. Click Deposit.

Deposit funds into rhino.fi

  1. Set the asset you wish to deposit and the network you are depositing from.

Select asset to deposit on rhino.fi

  1. Click Deposit and approve the transaction from your wallet

Approve deposit from wallet

Now that your funds have been successfully deposited, you can now bridge your funds to zkSync Era.

  1. Click the Bridge icon from the menu in the left of your screen.

Bridge on rhino.fi

  1. Enter the details of the assets you want to bridge. Select the asset and amount you wish to bridge, set the direction and click Review Bridge to evaluate the transfer and complete the process.

Bridge with rhino.fi

Bridge to zkSync Era With Orbiter Finance

Orbiter is a multi-asset, multi-rollup bridge for Layer 2 rollup networks. It supports asset transfer between Ethereum and rollup networks like Linea, Arbitrum, Optimism, and zkSync Era.

Major role players in Orbiter Bridge’s technology are a Maker, the Sender, and a set of smart contracts. How it works: a Maker deposits and locks funds on the target (or destination) network, the Sender sends funds to the Maker on the source network, and the Maker proceeds to transfer an exact amount to the sender on the target network. 

This process is controlled by three smart contracts. The Maker Deposits Contract (MDC) oversees the custody of the Maker’s locked assets and the transfer of funds to the sender. The Event Binding Contract (EBC) defines and controls these rules while the Simple Payment Verification (SPV) contract stores the proof of transactions on Orbiter. In this way, Orbiter hopes to support cheap and fast cross-rollup transactions.

  1. Visit the Orbiter Bridge application

  1. Connect your wallet and proceed to set the asset and amount you wish to bridge and the direction of your transaction.

Enter assets for bridging and connect wallet

  1. Click Send and proceed to approve the transaction from your wallet

Send and Approve transaction on Orbiter

Bridge to zkSync Era Wtih LayerSwap

LayerSwap provides a facility for multi-directional asset transfer. The platform can be used to process transfers from centralized exchanges to blockchain networks and also for bridging assets between blockchain networks. Supported networks include Ethereum, Arbitrum, zkSync Era, zkSync Lite, and several other networks. Official documents claim that the platform supports a total of 20 blockchain networks and 17 centralized exchanges at the time of writing. On-ramp services are also available on the platform.dxsfdxse

  1. Visit the LayerSwap platform

  2. Click Launch App to access the bridging application

Launch LayerSwap

  1. Click the wallet icon, select your wallet provider from the options, and connect your wallet to the platform.

Connect Wallet to Layerswap

  1. Set the direction of your transfer and enter the amount you wish to bridge.

Enter details for bridging

  1. Enter your wallet address in the provided box. The application autofills the connected wallet address. You can change this and enter the wallet address you wish to send the asset to on the destination network.

Confirm Wallet address

  1. Click Swap now to proceed

Swap Assets

  1. Choose how you’d like to complete the swap.

Swap via wallet or manually

For manual payment, a deposit address is provided to you. Copy the address and transfer the exact amount you wish to bridge to the address. To pay directly from your connected wallet, select Via wallet and click Send from wallet. Approve the request from your wallet to complete the bridging process.

Confirm swap

Bridge to zkSync Era With Bungee Exchange

Bungee is a bridge aggregator. Like DEX aggregators, it is not a bridge itself. It pools data from supported bridges and presents users with available options and the best route for their bridging process. 

The Bungee exchange is powered by Socket. As described by the project, Socket is an interoperability protocol for secure and efficient data and asset transfer across chains. It is able to perform asset transfers without converting the assets to intermediate forms like hTokens. Socket operates a liquidity layer and a data layer. The liquidity layer utilizes liquidity across bridges and routes funds through them as selected by the users. Users are informed of the changes and processing time of each bridge. The data layer publishes details and proofs of transactions to the target chains.

  1. Visit Bungee Exchange

  2. Connect your wallet

Connect wallet on Bungee

  1. Select the asset you wish to transfer and the direction. Enter the amount you wish to bridge. Bungee will recommend a Bridge Route for the transaction. Click Review Route to verify these details and move on to the next step.

Bridge route on Bungee

  1. Review the route and complete the bridging process. If you are satisfied with the conditions, click Bridge and approve the transaction from your wallet and wait for the funds to arrive at your destination network. You can also click Change to see what other bridging options are available.

Confirm bridge transaction on Bungee

Final Thoughts

Bridges are of significant utility, especially in cases like this where they are the gateway to enjoying a relatively improved experience. You can bridge your assets to the reportedly faster and cheaper zkSync Era, explore decentralized applications at cheaper fees and higher throughput, and move your assets back to the main network. This article guides you through using the official bridge developed by zkSync Era and a handful of other third-party bridges that support the network.

However, considering the security risks of using bridging platforms, it is recommended that you use reputable bridges and apply caution while interacting with any of them. Also, note that the above content is only meant as a guide and should not be considered financial advice.

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Joel Agbo
Joel Agbo
Joel is deeply interested in the technologies behind cryptocurrencies and blockchain networks. In his over 7 years of involvement in the space, he helps startups build a stronger internet presence through written content. Follow the author on Twitter @agboifesinachi

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