Article by Hiro Kennelly
For the last few years, I’ve spent the majority of my crypto life focused on the Ethereum ecosystem. Bitcoin seemed too singular in its use case as a store of value (this was long before Ordinals and BRCs), and among the hundreds of other chains available, Ethereum was an easy choice; after all, it’s the World Computer. But after four years of calling Etherea my home, I’ve decided that I really need to get out more, to explore the sun and stars. For the past few months I’ve practiced degenerative cryptoeconomics on Solana, staked my way across the Cosmos, swapped for chicken tokens on Tron, and traversed safely over to Avalanche. Suffice to say I’ve been busy, happily so.
Below you’ll find a travel guide of sorts, a short intergalactic instructional manual for getting to Solona, Tron, Avalanche, and Cosmos onchain. To be fair, it’s often faster and less risky to use a centralized exchange for getting native tokens (the token used for transaction fees on a particular chain) across to new chains; it’s also much easier. I try to stay onchain when I can, but I’m not averse to using a CEX to send a few gas tokens to a new chain. But many of us are here, in part, to live a rewarding onchain life, one rich with new friends, experiences, and airdrops, so with some ETH, stablecoins, new wallets, and a number of confirmations, you too can become a well-traveled cryptogalactic onchain explorer!
A Few Notes on Bridges
I have been using Allbridge Core to send funds to Solana, Tron, and Avalanche. For bridging to the Cosmos ecosystem of app chains, I like RocketX and Gravity Bridge. But bridges are novel and complex, and are frequently exploited — as we saw recently with Bungee. When bridging for the first time to a new wallet crosschain, I often send a small test transaction. These transactions can take 30 minutes or more to confirm, so some level of patience is required to ensure you’re all set to properly launch to other celestial bodies.
Crosschain bridges work best when you transfer stablecoins, in fact Allbridge requires it. Allbridge is great because you can set it to swap a small portion of your funds for the native chain’s token (there’s a slider bar on the dApp called ‘Extra Gas’ — you may need to bridge a few times to get enough initial gas), which will enable you to use the network when bridging is complete. Gravity Bridge doesn’t offer this feature and limits the tokens to a few stablecoins and ETH — not helpful for readiness to transact on a new network. Fortunately, RocketX enables swapping of many popular tokens, and it is what I use for crosschain native-token swapping when using a new network for the first time.
That said, for many people it probably makes practical sense to just use CEXs to send native tokens to new chains — it’s just simpler, more secure, and faster. I do it both ways, and don’t imagine a world anytime soon where I can completely abstain from CEX forever.
As a final note on wallet hygiene, it’s always best to set the token approval limit to only the amount you are bridging and to revoke these approvals after bridging either at revoke.cash or Etherscan. Doing so will help to ensure you reduce the risk of using this convenient technology.
Heading for the Sun
The run-up of SOL these past six months has been epic, and has brought attention back to Solana following the FTX fiasco in late 2022. Far from being the death many predicted for Solana, its token has done an easy 10x+ since post-FTX lows, and it hosts the most lively, most degenerate memecoin market of any chain.
Bridging funds to Solana (and crosschain in general) is as simple as bridging to any L2, with one catch. Whereas for an L2 your Ethereum address and L2 address are the same, your crosschain wallet will have a different address (public key). Before bridging, you’ll need to set up a Solana-compatible wallet, so check out either Phantom or Solflare.
Once there, I tend to use Raydium for swapping, and Magic Eden is the most popular NFT marketplace. Solscan is the main block explorer on Solana, but it has limited functionality compared to Etherscan. Recently, however, Solscan was acquired by Etherscan, so expect the block explorer to be upgraded in the near future.
Traversing a New Mountain
The L1 Avalanche doesn’t get a lot of attention compared to its EVM-compatible L2 cousins, but the network has been producing blocks since 2020 and has some of the most ardent supporters in crypto. Unlike with many other chains, there’s no need to create a new wallet, since Avalanche’s EVM-friendliness enables users to simply add the network in an Ethereum wallet’s network settings or by visiting chainlist.org.
Trader Joe is the main DEX on Avalanche, while Joepegs is a popular NFT marketplace. Since the network is EVM compatible, you’ll find many popular Ethereum-native protocols on Avalanche, including Aave, Curve, and 1inch Network.
A New Sun Births a Star
A Sun of a different kind founded the TRON Network in 2017, and seven years later the blockchain regularly hosts more stablecoin transactions than any other network. As with Solana and Avalanche, you can choose to use Allbridge or RocketX to bridge funds to TRON, but if it’s your first time using the network, RocketX will allow you to swap for TRX, TRON’s native token. FYI, the first time I bridged using Allbridge I needed three separate transactions to acquire enough TRX to swap tokens.
TronLink is the primary wallet for TRON, while SunSwap is a popular DEX. Notably, and unlike Solana, Avalanche, and various Cosmos app chains, tokens on TRON are not listed by Dex Screener, so you’ll need to use avedex.cc to view statistics and charts.
Into the Cosmos
Of all the new places I’ve visited these past few months, none have been more surprising than my trips around the Cosmos network. Native tokens are staked, and protocol governance is done via in-wallet voting delegation to network validators. Excitingly, there’s a clear effort to decentralize the network through regular prompts to delegate voting power to minority validators. That’s just awesome. The number of app chains grows daily, burgeoning with DEXs, liquid staking protocols, options/perpetual protocols, and all the rest. If you can do it on Ethereum, you’ll find an analogous app chain within Cosmos.
Keplr and Leap are the two most popular Cosmos wallets. For me, the important distinction is that unlike Keplr, Leap enables you to create multiple wallets for each app chain, while Keplr limits you to one wallet per chain. In that sense, Leap is more like MetaMask or other popular Ethereum wallets.
Many of the trendiest tokens of the last six months, including TIA (Celestia), INJ (Injective), SEI (Sei Network) are found within Cosmos, and it’s been well-reported that TIA stakers in particular have been the beneficiaries of other airdrops.
I particularly like Osmosis DEX, and would recommend beginning your Cosmos journey there by using RocketX to bridge some OSMO to the app chain. From there, you can swap tokens or explore other dApps — an easy landing zone on a faraway planet.
Being at Home When Away
Leaving home is hard, and even more so when you’ve become comfortable within the familiar confines of Ethereum. But the cryptoverse is vast, nearly infinite in some ways, and the innate human need to explore easily transcends fiat space and finds a ready partner in crypto’s vast frontier.
As with all new adventures, make sure you have the proper supplies and a bit of extra time on your hands, as using new technology in distant galaxies requires patience and perseverance. But with this trusty guide and a bit of stardust by your side, you’ll be more than equipped to confidently explore where few Ethereans have gone before.
Hiro Kennelly is a writer and cofounder of IndyPen CryptoMedia. He loves people, Moloch, and degenerative cryptoeconomics.
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