Arbitrum is a side chain that runs parallel to Ethereum Mainnet. Also known as a Layer 2 (L2) scaling solution, Arbitrum improves transaction speeds and cost compared to the mainnet, making it an excellent solution for Ethereum developers.
Arbitrum was founded by Steven Goldfeder and Harry Kalodner in 2021, and since its creation, Arbitrum has shown evidence of continued growth.
The Arbitrum API allows applications to connect to an Arbitrum node that is part of the Arbitrum network. Developers can interact with on-chain data and send different types of transactions to the network by utilizing the endpoints provided by the API. The API follows a JSON-RPC standard. JSON-RPC is a stateless, lightweight, remote procedure call (RPC) protocol encoded in JSON.
Explained in the Arbitrum API Quickstart Guide.
Arbitrum is a Layer 2 scaling solution that uses optimistic rollups for transactions. One of the things that make Arbitrum optimistic rollups unique is that they use multi-round fraud proofs, focusing on single transaction disputes. Other rollups like Optimism use single-round fraud proofs, which require executing the entire rollup on the Ethereum mainnet for validation.
Yes! Arbitrum is fully compatible with all Solidity smart contracts and Ethereum libraries. As Arbitrum acts as a second layer operating on top of the main Ethereum network, it can utilize the Ethereum Virtual Machine just like Ethereum.
Adding Arbitrum to the Metamask takes four steps:
- Create a free Alchemy account
- Create an API key
- Choose a custom RPC in Metamask
- Fill in the Arbitrum network details
Developers should use the Arbitrum Goerli testnet and a Goerli faucet to get test ETH when testing Arbitrum applications.
If you sign in to your Alchemy account, you’ll get 5x more ETH. On Goerli, developers can get 0.05ETH every 24 hours, and use that on the testnet to make sure their applications are working properly before putting them on the Arbitrum mainnet.
To start building a dApp on Arbitrum, sign up for Alchemy and log in. Then click the “Apps” tab and “Create App”. Then, choose Arbitrum mainnet as your chain and network.
For bridging, use the Arbitrum Bridge. When you connect your Metamask, you will be able to send and receive tokens between Arbitrum and Ethereum. Alchemy’s overview on cross-chain bridges can further help you understand how bridging works.
Developers can use many Web3 wallets on Arbitrum. As Optimism continues to grow, it supports many of the most popular wallets. Some wallets that people choose to use on Arbitrum include Metamask, Ledger Nano X, and SafePal S1.
Arbitrum uses ETH tokens for gas. Compared to Ethereum, Arbitrum typically has lower gas fees because it uses optimistic rollups to process transactions off-chain and then submit a single bundle of transactions to Ethereum’s mainnet.
Some of the most popular dApps on Arbitrum include Aave, 1inch Network, and Yearn Finance. Aave is one of the biggest Peer-to-Peer lending protocols in DeFi. 1inch is a decentralized exchange (DEX) aggregator that helps users find the best value when swapping tokens. Yearn Finance is a DeFi protocol focused on yield optimization when lending or trading crypto assets.
Withdrawing ETH from Arbitrum takes three easy steps: just go to The Arbitrum Bridge, enter the amount you would like to remove from the network, and click “Withdraw”.
Arbitrum uses the JSON-RPC API standard. The Arbitrum JSON-RPC API serves as the backbone for the Arbitrum network and powers any blockchain interaction. In aggregate, this API suite allows users to read block/transaction data, query chain information, execute smart contracts, and store data on-chain. Developers interact with Arbitrum’s base JSON-RPC APIs to communicate with its decentralized network of nodes.
When accessing the Arbitrum network via a node provider, API services like Alchemy require an API key, which allows developers to monitor personal apps and access usage metrics.
For the best development experience, we recommend that you sign up for a free API key! With a dedicated API key, Arbitrum developers can:
- access higher request throughput and increase concurrent requests
- query enhanced APIs, gain access to free archive data, logs, and API abstractions
- leverage individualized usage metrics
Three libraries support Polygon: Alchemy-web3.js, Web3.js, and Ethers. Of these three, Alchemy is an improvement over Web3 and Ethers libraries, providing enhanced API calls, upgraded WebSockets, and many other benefits.
Many programming languages work with Arbitrum, including Solidity, Vyper, and Flint. Basically, Arbitrum works with all EVM programming languages. Any code that can run on Ethereum can also run on Arbitrum.
You can find the list of all the methods Alchemy support for the Arbitrum API on the Arbitrum API Endpoints page.
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