ConsenSys Debuts MetaMask ‘Custom Networks’ for Layer 2

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In Brief
  • Users can now add L2 networks to MetaMask

  • Gas saving swaps enabled within the wallet

  • Transaction prices are creeping up again

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The firm behind the wildly popular crypto wallet MetaMask has revealed a new way for users to access Layer 2 networks.



The rush to get off the slow and expensive Layer 1 Ethereum network is not abating as average transaction prices turn north once again. Acknowledging this, ConsenSys has enabled a new Custom Networks API for MetaMask.

This allows developers to recommend a variety of chains to their users, including Layer 2 networks.



Accessing Layer 2 on MetaMask

The firm touted the success of Ethereum. It stated that the fundamentals are stronger than ever with 1.3 million transactions settling more than $12 billion every day. But it has also become a victim of its own success and the need to enable more off-chain Layer 2 processing has never been greater.

“What’s missing is a simple user interface for switching between [Ethereum] Mainnet and the various Layer 2 networks that an application might require.”

Any Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) enabled chain can now be added to MetaMask as a custom network via the API. The networks are then added to the user’s menu with a simple confirmation. The user can then switch between networks using the familiar network switching menu, the blog post added.

ConsenSys stated that Layer 2 networks like Polygon (formerly Matic), Arbitrum, and Optimism can be added in addition to sidechains such as SKALE and xDAI.

The firm issued a warning about untrusted networks and advised users to read the documentation on setting them up. Being one of the most popular crypto wallets out there, MetaMask has become a magnet for scammers and bad actors recently.

The most recent platform to take advantage of MetaMask’s new functionality is Fantom which has just ported the SushiSwap DEX. In a March 3 blog post, Fantom explains how to set up a custom network in MetaMask. Using this, token swaps can be carried out on SushiSwap using its high-speed blockchain instead of Layer 1 Ethereum.

Gas Prices Creeping Up  

Following a brief period of respite during the crypto market correction, gas prices have settled down somewhat. However, now that crypto prices and DeFi activity is on the up again, transaction costs are increasing.

BitInfoCharts reports the average at $13.50 after falling from a peak of over $40 on Feb. 23. Etherscan is reporting higher figures of $15 for regular ERC-20 transactions and $46 for a Layer 1 Uniswap token swap.

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Martin has been writing on cyber security and infotech for two decades. He has previous trading experience and has been actively covering the blockchain and crypto industry since 2017.

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