Blockchain Bridge: The Connection of Blockchain
Dec 26, 22 | Bakhtain Afzal
Looking back to the time when Bitcoin's whitepaper was introduced, Blockchain has indeed undergone some major upshifts. On the other hand, Web3 has transformed into a network of L1 blockchains and L2 scaling solutions.
These all come with individual capabilities and trade-offs. However, the number of bridge protocols is increasing, and so are the demands of moving assets across chains. Catering to these demands, the need for bridges arises.
That’s exactly what this blog explores. Let’s dive in with understanding what a blockchain bridge is, its role in crypto and the different types of blockchain bridges.
Crypto bridges, aka cross-chain bridges, work the same way that bridges in the real world do. Crypto bridge protocols connect two blockchain ecosystems just like a physical bridge connects two places. Bridges allow blockchains to share information and assets and talk to each other.
Every blockchain project has its own set of parameters that define it, and this makes it hard for different blockchain projects to work together. A crypto bridge is the proven solution to this problem since it can send different transactions and data sets in a trustless, trusted, bidirectional, or one-way way.
A blockchain bridge allows the exchange of decentralized identities, information from outside the Blockchain, and calls to smart contracts. In simpler terms, it connects two blockchains and allows users to send cryptocurrency from one chain to the other through a bridge.
And, that’s quite an overview that we’ve precisely covered under the heading of crypto bridges explained.
What are the Types of Blockchain Bridges?
The definition of a blockchain bridge protocol and its reasoning give a clear picture of its importance.
In the decentralized applications (dApps) industry, one bridge could only support and work with some blockchain networks or assets. For that, different bridges must be available to meet the ever-expanding user needs.
There are many types of blockchain bridges, whereas most bridges fall into two groups:
- Trusted bridge
- Trustless bridge
A trusted bridge, basically a blockchain bridge would be the first type on the list and it’s a protocol that a single operator, entity, or method runs. The trusted bridge got its name because users have to believe in the reputation or identity of a centralized bridge to put their money on it.
Some of them have easy-to-use interfaces, which results in more people relying on them to complete their transactions.
A trustless blockchain bridge would be the second type of blockchain network. The trustless version is different because it uses algorithms and smart contracts over a blockchain network. As a result, any bridge for blockchain that doesn't need to be trusted has no central intermediaries or custodians.
Users don't have to put their assets in the hands of a central authority if they don't trust. Also, a trustless blockchain bridge is completely honest because it uses mathematics, computer science, and cryptography to make sure transactions are safe. On top of that, users always have complete control over their assets.
Why is Crypto Bridging So Important?
Let’s understand the significance of the Crypto bridge as the traditional consensus mechanism or "Proof of Work" provides better security but uses more energy and costs more money. So, with the help of new consensus models like Proof of Stake, new blockchain networks have been growing.
As new blockchain networks grew, they focused on ensuring that decentralization, scalability, and security all worked well together. So, you can see how big the walls are between different blockchain networks and ecosystems. This exactly shows how important it is to build blockchain or cross chain crypto bridges that stand to crypto bridge protocols, which determine the future of the blockchain landscape.
Blockchain networks use different parts of code to help developers deploy apps, tokens, and smart contracts over a network. Also, each blockchain network has its standard and framework for tokens, which allows for development.
When blockchain projects grow, like in the Defi landscape, they need bridges to connect them. As the number of Defi projects continues to grow, users will need to be able to use assets from different networks together through a Defi bridge. Interoperability between dApps and crypto ecosystems could improve with the help of bridges on the Blockchain.
How Do Blockchain Bridges Work? The Connection Between Blockchain and Bridges
While we mainly explained crypto bridging, here, we'll describe how blockchain bridges work.
Blockchain networks are a global community of nodes communicating in a shared environment to manage, validate, and store data exchanges and financial transactions. The different things about each blockchain network set them apart and make them separate communities.
For example, each blockchain network has a consensus model, which ensures that all nodes can agree on certain transactions.
What is a Cross Chain Bridge?
Cross chain bridges are software programs that make it possible to make transactions between different blockchains. Cross-chain bridges are needed if someone wants to move cryptocurrency, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), or other digital assets between blockchain networks.
Most digital assets are tied to a specific blockchain, but its cross chain bridges make transactions between networks possible. This powers a much larger digital ecosystem. Using a crosschain bridge, people who own cryptocurrency can use the value in their portfolios for a broader range of real-world purposes. A cross chain bridge makes it possible for many new things to happen, but they raise security concerns as these apps can be hacked and money can be lost.
Due to their mode of operation, it's best only to use them if you know how they work and what you're doing. Through these, you won't lose crypto in ways you didn't expect.
What are Cross Chain Platforms?
A cross-chain is an ability for two blockchains primarily separate from each other to talk to each other. In other words, it lets blockchains speak to each other because they are all built similarly.
A few examples of cross chain platforms include the following:
- Binance Smart Chain
Users can also swap between stablecoin assets on these cross chain platforms without any trouble.
Blockchain Bridge Contract: Briefly Explained
Bridges contracts are a combination of 2 different smart contracts, and one is put on each chain so that value can be moved from one chain to another. When Ether is put into the contract on the main net, the sidechain will show a balance in (say) ERC-20 tokens.
Taking the example of Ethereum crypto bridging, when ERC-20 tokens are put back into the contract on the sidechain, Ether can be freed up on the leading network. Besides this, blockchain bridges function as bridging crypto, which will be explained later.
What is a Polygon Technology Bridge?
Polygon technology bridge is a two-way, trustless, cross-chain transaction channel that helps two networks talk to each other. The bridge on the Polygon Network uses smart contracts to help users move NFTs and ERC tokens to the Polygon side chain through the polygon technology, which then bridges token in different networks.
What is a Solana Bridge?
The wormhole is Solana's, along with other top decentralized finance (Defi) use Defi bridge to communicate with each other. Existing projects, platforms, and communities can use Solana's high speed and low cost to move tokenized assets quickly between blockchains.
While Solana's bridge focuses on the communication factor, you can also use Solana to arbitrum bridge to move your tokenized assets between blockchains.
Here's how you can do it in 4 simple steps:
- You can connect your Solana Wallet by going to Portal Bridge.
- Choose Ethereum as the chain you want to end up on, choose the tokens you want to bridge, and confirm your transaction.
- Once your money is on Ethereum, go to Stargate Finance and connect your Ethereum Wallet.
- Choose Arbitrum as your destination chain, pick the tokens you want to bridge, and confirm your transaction.
That's all you'll need to transfer your tokenized assets through Solana to arbitrum bridge, as that's now easier than ever.
What is a Token Bridge?
The Token Bridge is an interoperability protocol that lets people quickly and cheaply move their own RSK or Ethereum ERC20 Tokens from one network to another. In short, it bridges token from one network to another.
In the next heading, we'll cover the best blockchain bridge list you need to know about to understand blockchain and crypto bridges better.
The 5 Best Crypto Bridges
Here is the best blockchain bridge list that helps with efficient and safe Crypto transfers:
- Polygon Bridge
- Synapse Bridge
- Tezos Wrap Protocol Bridge
- Portal Token Bridge
- Avalance Bridge
How Long Does Bridging Crypto Take?
After you know about the best crypto bridges, we now move on to learn how long it takes to bridge crypto. A bridge is made up of two points. It all starts with locking the cryptocurrency in a smart contract that’s already present on the blockchain network - you are working to connect or bridge. Moving on, you gain access to your cryptocurrencies from the blockchain network bridge you connected to.
For instance, when anyone bridges an Ethereum to Polygon, the initial transaction will take approx. 10 to 20 minutes. After that, the marketing on Polygon happens much more quickly, usually in just a few minutes. When you add everything up and consider how busy the network is, the total time for a bridge can change.
What are the Risks of Blockchain Bridges?
So far, it might look like blockchain bridges or bridges contract are the best way to get real value out of the blockchain ecosystem. But bridges also have some problems, which everyone in the blockchain landscape should focus on.
These cross chain bridges are still in the early stages of development, just like the web3 industry. On top of that, the community of blockchain developers strongly believes that the best design for a blockchain bridge still needs to be developed.
Also, the risks of a blockchain bridge depend on the type of transaction, as it affects users and the blockchain community in different ways. For instance, the trusted blockchain bridge raises concerns about censorship because a single group controls it. Additionally, users could be affected by the risks of putting assets in the hands of malicious bridge operators.
At the same time, a trustless bridge would also put smart contract code at risk of having malware or bugs.
Also, a trustless bridge puts the responsibility for assets on the users, which means that funds could be lost because of user error.
What is the Scope of Crypto Bridges?
The unique features and different kinds of crosschain bridge make it clear why they are important for the future of Blockchain. Bridges are an excellent way to move quickly between different blockchain networks. Along with the blockchain networks that the bridge connects, developers and investors can benefit from blockchain bridges. They surely make the network user-friendly, allowing easy access to the network and building things along with moving assets.
Users can talk to other blockchain networks and use the applications that go with them. For example, people who own Bitcoin could also use apps in the Ethereum ecosystem.
Also, people can use bridges to get the most out of applications on different blockchain networks. When the best blockchain bridges are used, assets from the main blockchain networks can be used better on layer 2 networks. Since layer 2 solutions offer cheaper and faster transactions, blockchain bridges can also help reduce transaction fees and improve scalability.
Developers can also use the basics of how blockchain bridges work to get valuable benefits that look promising. When a blockchain bridge is built into a dApp, it could make it easier to use and benefit from different blockchain networks. With the help of interoperability, scalability, and utility, bridges can encourage developers to come up with new ways to build decentralized applications. Indeed, the best crypto bridges offer broad scope to users when it comes to decentralized apps, Blockchain and other sophisticated technologies.
What Does Wrapped Crypto Mean?
When a coin is wrapped, it can be used on a Crypto bridge that is not its native. Wrapping a token is like swapping one token for another of the same value using a smart contract, which is a piece of code on the Blockchain that stores and sends money.
What Is the Best Blockchain Bridge?
Binance is one of the most popular blockchain bridges. Currently, it supports XRP, LINK, ONT, DOT, etc.
Is There a Blockchain Bridge Hack?
There are two main types of hacks on blockchain bridge: code attacks, which take advantage of flaws in smart contracts, and attacks on how a network is set up, which are often done by tricking people.
- Bridge construction is still in its infancy. It's possible that the best bridge design has yet to be found.
- The blockchain community can use the bridges to take advantage of the interoperability and scalability benefits and the true decentralization they offer.
- With growing blockchain projects, the web3 ecosystem is also getting more robust, giving users a more immersive experience.
- The software programs called "cross-chain bridges" enable transactions between several blockchains.
- Interoperability, scalability, and utility are three factors that bridges might use to inspire developers to create fresh approaches to creating decentralized apps.
- The Polygon technology bridge is, in fact, a two-way, trustless, cross-chain transaction channel that offers support to two or more bridges.
Blockchain and crypto bridges explained in detail in this blog will surely help you better understand the role of blockchain cross chain bridging.
The seamless transfer of assets between several blockchain networks can also assist developers in getting over common roadblocks while creating dApps. Bridges can provide seamless user experiences as blockchain applications such as Defi apps, NFTs, and DAOs increase.
While blockchain development is thriving, different top software development companies can assist you with blockchain development services. And you can avail of them through any B2B service provider. Among them, one of the leading B2B service-providing platforms is Distinguished, where we've got a list of top software development companies worldwide. Find the best company to partner with and transform your project into reality today!
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