What Are Blockchain Bridges? And Why Are They Needed?

Learn more about Consensus 2023, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. In detail in this blog will surely help you better understand the role of blockchain cross chain bridging. Offer broad scope to users when it comes to decentralized apps, Blockchain and other sophisticated technologies. But bridges also have some problems, which everyone in the blockchain landscape should focus on. That’s all you’ll need to transfer your tokenized assets through Solana to arbitrum bridge, as that’s now easier than ever.

Variants of Blockchain Bridges

However, if we break things down into smaller pieces, it starts to get easier. With this in mind, let’s break down the concept of blockchain bridges and understand it in simpler terms. Blockchain bridges are important because they enable users to move and leverage their digital assets in a more efficient and effective manner, what is a blockchain bridge and how it works as well as scale up to support growth and change. The two-way bridge allows you to freely trade assets between different blockchains. In addition to the direction in which bridging allows you to freely send and receive assets, the custodian of bridging also changes, or who controls the assets used to create bridging assets.

What are Blockchain Bridges, and how do They Work?

The trustless blockchain bridge functions using smart contracts and advanced algorithms, including the underlying blockchain protocol. On top of it, the community of blockchain developers believes that the best design for a blockchain bridge has not been created yet. In addition, the risks with a blockchain bridge depend on the type and have a different impact on users and the blockchain community.

Variants of Blockchain Bridges

Therefore, transferring message data and other resources becomes much easier while also enabling cross-chain asset transfer. It also provides general message bridging for cases such as cross-chain DEX and NFTs. Other exciting features include secured bridge node service, flexible security models, and native gas token unwrapping.

What is a Solana Bridge?

An example of a cross-chain bridge is the Cosmos Network, which uses a system of interchain communication to enable the transfer of assets between different blockchain networks. The Cosmos Network uses a proof-of-stake consensus algorithm and allows users to build customised blockchain applications that can interact with other blockchain networks. A blockchain bridge is a connection between two separate blockchain networks that allow them to interact with each other. Interoperability has the potential to be the catalyst for Internet innovation. Improving blockchain networks’ interoperability and their widespread adoption depends on using blockchain bridges.

Having a token only on a particular chain limits the token to that chain’s specific capability. Georgia Weston is one of the most prolific thinkers in the blockchain space. In the past years, she came up with many clever ideas that brought scalability, anonymity and more features to the open blockchains. She has a keen interest in topics like Blockchain, NFTs, Defis, etc., and is currently working with 101 Blockchains as a content writer and customer relationship specialist. Some novel decentralized bridges are relatively untested and even those that have been tested are subject to exploits. The most notable recent example is Wormhole, but a week before that attack, a bridge called Qubit was exploited for $80 million.

What are Blockchain Bridges?

Therefore, it can help in transferring assets to Ethereum from Binance. The Binance Bridge helps users utilize Ethereum-based assets on the BNB Smart Chain by wrapping tokens in the BEP-20 token standard. Bidirectional bridges are another example of a blockchain bridge variant, working exactly opposite to the functioning of unidirectional bridges. A bidirectional blockchain bridge helps in ensuring seamless transfer of assets and information between two networks. Therefore, bidirectional bridges serve as a favorable alternative to using two different unidirectional bridges. Unidirectional bridges take the direction of transactions into account.

Variants of Blockchain Bridges

Trustless blockchain enables users to keep Custody of their crypto assets and funds throughout the process. Seamless transfer of assets to and fro different blockchain networks can also help developers overcome conventional barriers in dApps development. As the popularity of blockchain applications such as DeFi apps, NFTs and DAOs continue to grow; bridges can offer seamless user experiences.

FBI accuses North Korean government hackers of stealing $100M in Harmony bridge theft

However, unless your funds are already on an exchange, it would involve multiple steps, and you’d likely be better off using a bridge. If you have ETH on Ethereum Mainnet and you want to explore an alt L1 to try out their native dapps. You can use a bridge to transfer your ETH from Ethereum Mainnet to the alt L1. Let’s say you have ETH on Ethereum Mainnet but want cheaper transaction fees to explore different dapps. By bridging your ETH from the Mainnet to an Ethereum L2 rollup, you can enjoy lower transaction fees. TheFBI confirmedon Monday that North Korean-sponsored hackers known as the Lazarus Group were behind the theft of $100 million worth of cryptocurrency from California-based crypto firm Harmony.

  • Cross-chain bridges are needed if someone wants to move cryptocurrency, non-fungible tokens , or other digital assets between blockchain networks.
  • Cross-chain technology enables the seamless transfer of assets between blockchain networks, reducing traffic and gas costs.
  • Transferring data from one blockchain to another that has a greater or lesser number of miners or validators could result in third-party tampering of the ledgers or other issues.
  • Alternatively, you might own BTC and want to use it in Ethereum DeFi protocols.
  • The following discussion offers a detailed introduction to a blockchain bridge and its working alongside the value advantages it presents for the blockchain community.
  • Another possibility is that you have Bitcoin and want to use it with Ethereum-based DeFi protocols.

An example is Ethereum as an L1 main chain, with Arbitrum as its official L2 side chain. The trustless Blockchain Bridges offer top-notch security when compared to trusted bridges. In fact, the security of the trustless bridge is the same as that of the underlying blockchain protocol.

Ethereum protocol

Cross-chain bridges enable the transfer of assets between two different blockchain networks, but unlike sidechain bridges, they do not require a separate sidechain to facilitate the transfer. Instead, they use smart contracts and other techniques to enable the transfer of assets directly between the two networks. For example, trusted blockchain bridge presents the concerns of censorship due to centralized control. On top of it, the custodial risks of exposing assets to malicious bridge operators could also affect users. At the same time, a trustless bridge would also present risks in the form of malware or bug risks in the smart contract code.

Multichain, formerly known as Fantom Anyswap, is the best blockchain bridge example of such kind. Bridges are either custodial or non-custodial, depending on who controls the tokens used to construct the bridging assets. With trusted Blockchain Bridges, the user has less control over their crypto funds. According to analysis from blockchain analytic firm Elliptic, the Wormhole attack occurred because Wormhole allowed the attacker to mint 120,000 worth of wrapped ethereum without having to stake any ETH. A high-frequency trading firm called Jump Trading covered the losses to bail out the protocol.

Why do we need blockchain bridges?

The first step to take is the amount of crypto you would like to bridge and the blockchain to bridge from. The second step is to lock the crypto in the address the bridge gives you. Once that is done and the crypto is received by the address you will be given the wrapped tokens. The most important benefit of blockchain bridges is the ability to improve interoperability.

Blockchain bridges offer further advantages like access to new protocols on other chains, and the possibility for developers from other blockchain communities to work together. In other words, blockchain bridges will be essential if the blockchain ecosystem has to become interoperable in the future. Best blockchain bridges enables better usability of https://xcritical.com/ assets from main blockchain networks on layer 2 networks. Since layer 2 solutions offer cost-effective and faster transactions, blockchain bridges can also offer conclusive benefits for scalability while reducing transaction fees. A blockchain bridge connects two separate blockchain networks, allowing them to communicate and exchange data and assets.

Types of blockchain bridges explained

Even though these bridges look similar, they differ in their mechanisms, number of tokens, the blockchain networks they support, security model (Custodian or non-custodian), and other parameters. Well, that’s exactly how blockchain bridges work – they let you switch your tokens from one blockchain network to another. In the above analogy, the highway is a metaphor for a blockchain network, and your car is a metaphor for a token. This is why you should always educate yourself about the potential risks of using bridges and the specific bridges you are considering. Obviously, blockchain bridging provides a huge opportunity for the market and a promising future for multi chain interaction. Technically, the operator hosting the Custodial blockchain bridge can seize the funds of all its users, or even close the bridge to prevent users from transferring assets.

Multi-chain multi-token bridge

For example, if you need to exchange $BTC for $ETH, you only need to deposit the $BTC into the bridge and choose to withdraw in $ETH to convert your Bitcoin to Ethereum. The bridge will create an identical quantity of $ETH on the Ethereum blockchain while locking the $BTC in a smart contract. The bridge would employ a mint-and-burn mechanism to limit the number of tokens available, the bridge would employ a mint-and-burn mechanism. The amount will be deducted according to the minting fees of the bridging solution. Firstly, you’ll need to determine the chain you want to bridge and the respective amount. The particular cryptocurrency then need to be deposited to the bridge’s generated address.

It’s worth noting here that chain-specific bridges are usually built by the specific blockchain to facilitate cross-chain asset movement from any other blockchain to the given blockchain. For example, Terra Bridge allows you to move funds from Harmony or Ethereum to Terra and vice versa, but it doesn’t allow you to move funds when neither source nor target blockchain is the Terra blockchain. In this article, we’ll try to understand what blockchain bridges are, their need, and finally, different types of bridges. If a bridge is custodial, this means that only one centralized entity controls the asset. Bitcoins in all packages are held by BitGo, a centralized digital asset trust. The main idea of blockchain bridge is to act as a way of interaction between different blockchains.

In this case, the Ethereum wallet would receive a “bridge” version of Solana that has been converted to an ERC-20 token – the generic token standard for fungible tokens on the Ethereum blockchain. Also, a trustless bridge puts the responsibility for assets on the users, which means that funds could be lost because of user error. Blockchain bridge list you need to know about to understand blockchain and crypto bridges better. For example, each blockchain network has a consensus model, which ensures that all nodes can agree on certain transactions.

Additionally, users must give up control of their holdings as there is a central authority in control. Token network investment firm with the thesis of embedding cryptoeconomic incentives into everything; transactions, computation, storage, prediction, power. Transferring data from one blockchain to another that has a greater or lesser number of miners or validators could result in third-party tampering of the ledgers or other issues.

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