Arbitrum Updates: Standing up an Ecosystem

Offchain Labs
5 min readJul 9, 2021

It’s been a bit over a month since we opened Arbitrum One to developers, and what a month it’s been! There’s been a surge of activity getting infrastructure stood up, dApps deployed, and assets bridged, readying the Arbitrum One ecosystem for prime time. In this post, we’ll catch our breath for a second and update you on everything that’s been going on and what’s to come.

First off, thank you! Thanks to all the teams that have been building, thanks to the broader Ethereum community for your incredible support and enthusiasm. Your energy is infectious and we would not be here without you. We’re extremely grateful for your support as we work together to scale Ethereum and bring it to the masses 💙.

Alright, let’s dig in.

Deployments and Infrastructure

We’ve onboarded over 300 projects onto Arbitrum One including many of the largest dApps deployed on Ethereum, and at this point we’ve offered access to every project that’s applied for deployment. (If you think we’ve missed you, please reach out! We’ve done our best to filter out individual user applications and granted access to all developers that want to deploy dApps or infrastructure on Arbitrum One, but it’s definitely possible that we miscategorized someone in the process). We will also be soon releasing an ecosystem portal highlighting all projects that are joining the Arbitrum ecosystem. Stay tuned for that!

We remain committed to our goal of having an L2 ecosystem that is fairly launched and open to all. Dozens of teams have already completed their deployments, and if you want to follow along on which projects have deployed, we’ve been pushing announcements on Twitter and have also recently created a dedicated “lab-works” channel on our Discord for teams to highlight their deployments.

While many teams have already completed their deployments, there are a few commonly used infrastructure components and projects that are core dependencies for many dApps which are quite close but not yet live on Arbitrum One. We’re working closely coordinating with these projects, all of which are actively working and quite close. Indeed, we expect one of the remaining ones to go live early next week, so look out for an announcement on Twitter and Discord.

A Look Under the Hood

To give you an idea of how things are going, here are some graphs of activity on Arbitrum One since we first opened it to developers. You can see substantial and growing activity as more teams have deployed and tested their products.

Bridging Assets

One other key component that we are coordinating closely on is bridging assets into Arbitrum One. We’ve designed Arbitrum One with a single, canonical bridge, and we believe that standardizing on a single bridge leads to a much better and safer user experience as users can easily look up, verify, and agree upon token addresses on L2. The alternative would be to have each project launch its own custom bridge into Arbitrum, but we believe that this would lead to user confusion as there would end up being various representations of the same asset on Arbitrum One that are not fungible.

We’ve been working closely with popular stablecoins and other token projects to make sure that the canonical bridge suits their needs, and we’ve received lots of feedback since our developer mainnet launch. In the process, several teams requested that we add more customization features to our bridge. Over the past month we’ve responded to this feedback and re-architected parts of the bridge to meet these needs, ensuring that all teams would be able to standardize on the canonical bridge. If your project has a token that is not a standard ERC-20 and requires custom support, please get in touch ASAP to make sure our bridge works for you, as making changes will be much harder and more complex once the system is open to users.

Even for those apps that are already deployed, having various commonly-used tokens bridged is a key component in order for the apps to be most useful. We’re taking great care to make sure that when we open up to users, there will be a critical mass of tokens already bridged, and we’re coordinating with many teams on this. Check out our canonical token list for exact details on the various tokens that have already been bridged and for the L2 addresses of those token contracts. If you have a standard ERC-20 that has not yet been bridged and added to this token list please let us know and we will work on getting that bridged across as well!

What’s next?

Central to the magic of Ethereum is the synchronous interaction between apps, infrastructure and tokens, and it takes great coordination to stand up an entire ecosystem. We’re well underway in this process and are committed to a fair launch, and also a full and usable ecosystem launch, and critical to this is making sure core infrastructure dependencies are in place and popular tokens are bridged. This obviously all takes time and as we continue to make decisions balancing a vibrant ecosystem and opening up to users there will come a point where we won’t be able to accommodate all projects prior to opening up Arbitrum One to users.

We’ve been seeing many in the community asking “wen public mainnet” and the short answer is we don’t have a precise date yet but are still very much looking forward to DeFi Summer 2.0. There are still enough core components that have not completed their deployments to inform that decision, but we are constantly assessing balancing waiting with opening up to everyone. We know the community is itching for this, and trust us when we say this, so are we! We’re quite close, and we guarantee that from Day 1, Arbitrum One will be a full, vibrant ecosystem with the complete DeFi experience that you know and love. (Except for the fees. Those will be much lower.)