Blockchain Bridges | Enabling Cross-Chain Interoperability

Published : Jun 17, 2022

Blockchain Bridges (Cross-Chain Technology)

  • Easy engagement and interoperability are essential for decentralized blockchain app development. As the blockchain community grows, constraints in inter-network communication and data sharing have emerged. It has cast doubt on the concept of decentralization. In reality, multiple stakeholders should govern blockchain networks rather than a centralized organization. Because programs designed for one network only work on that network, this has resulted in a lower adoption rate.

    Over time, many breakthroughs such as cross-chain technology (Blockchain bridges) have emerged to connect networks, allowing for the seamless flow/exchange of data from one blockchain to another while also raising adoption rates.

    Continue reading to learn how blockchain bridges connect, share data, and move assets in the blockchain ecosystem, as well as how they provide interoperability.

    Interoperability on the Blockchain: What You Need to Know

    Interoperability refers to a blockchain's ability to communicate with other blockchains that have the same underlying architecture to promote information sharing. It's the ability to look at and interact with data held on another blockchain. When information transmits to another blockchain, interoperability allows a user on the other side to access it and react efficiently.

    The technology that permits the interoperability of two relatively independent blockchains is known as cross-chain or bridges. Cross-chain technology aims to eliminate the need for middlemen or third parties to connect two blockchain networks, boosting interoperability and assisting in the decentralization of blockchain technology.

    Also, Read | Making Blockchain Solutions Scalable with Sidechain Technology

    What are Blockchain Bridges?

    A blockchain bridge (also known as a cross-chain bridge) is a platform that connects two blockchains, similar to a real bridge. It aids in the movement of data and digital assets between two blockchain networks, making communication easier. Both chains may have their protocols, regulations, and governance systems, but the bridge allows them to work together safely (i.e., communicate and share data). Smart contract calls, decentralized identities, off-chain information like stock market price feeds, and other types of data can all be exchanged through blockchain bridges.

    How do Blockchain Bridges Work?

    Consider the following scenario with two blockchain networks: Chain A and Chain B.

    The bridge can be configured to lock the token on Chain A and mint a new token on Chain B when moving tokens from Chain A to Chain B. The total amount of tokens in circulation in this case is distributed between the two chains while remaining constant. Chain A would still have fifteen tokens (with five tokens locked) after transferring five tokens to Chain B, but Chain B would have five more.

    The tokens can be burned (or destroyed) from Chain B and unlocked (or released) on Chain A at any time by the owner of the issued tokens. Each token's value has always been based on the Chain A market price because Chain A has always had a locked copy of each token. The amount and cost of tokens exchanged between the two chains are kept constant thanks to this "lock-and-mint" and "burn-and-release" process.

    Also, Read | DeFi (Decentralized Finance) | Emerging Finance Alternative

    Unique Advantages of Blockchain Bridges

    Transaction between chains

    Each blockchain has limits because its development happened in a secure environment with its own set of guidelines and consensus processes. As a result, there isn't any token exchange or direct connection across blockchains. On the other hand, blockchain bridges make it possible to move data and coins between chains.

    Little network activity

    Blockchain bridges aid in reducing traffic on crowded blockchains like the Ethereum ecosystem. Further, they spread it out over other, less crowded blockchains. It increases the scalability of the Ethereum network.

    An improved development experience

    Ethereum network has poor transaction processing speeds and high gas prices. It especially happens during times of high traffic and congestion. Thus, developers building DApps have frequently had a bad experience. Blockchain bridges, on the other hand, make it possible to process and transfer tokens to different blockchains more quickly and cheaply. Such new user platforms are still in development by developers from various blockchains.

    Decreasing monopolization 

    Cross-chain technology also helps to keep markets stable by decreasing monopolization by large corporations. The most popular cryptocurrencies, for example, are Bitcoin and Ethereum. They account for more than 70% of the global market share. As a result of this hegemony, there is limited opportunity in the market for new businesses to test their strategies and get a footing in the current market.

    Also, Read | Understanding Blockchain Oracles for Smart Contracts Advancement

    Types of Blockchain Bridges

    Bridges on the blockchain come in two types: trust-based bridges and trustless bridges.

    Trusted Bridges

    Trust-based bridges, or federation or custodial bridges, are centralized bridges. A single body or federation of mediators must manage them. Users must rely on the members of the federation to verify and confirm transactions to transfer money into another cryptocurrency. Members of the federation are primarily motivated to keep transactions going; they are not concerned with detecting and preventing fraud. When moving a big amount of cryptocurrency, trust bridges can be a rapid and cost-effective option. It's important to remember, though, that federation members receive rewards for keeping transactions going. They do not get rewards for detecting and preventing fraud.

    Untrusted Bridges 

    Decentralized bridges that rely on machine algorithms (i.e. smart contracts) to operate refer to as trustless bridges. Individual networks contribute to transaction validation in this form of bridge, which functions similarly to a true blockchain. When it comes to transporting cryptocurrency, trustless bridges give customers significant security as well as more flexibility.

    Also, Read | Cross-chain Defi Development: The New Big Thing for Future

    Blockchain Bridge Examples

    Binance Bridge 

    Users can utilize Binance Smart Chain wrapped tokens to move assets between the Binance Chain and other chains, like Ethereum. The Binance Smart Chain (BSC) is an Ethereum-compatible blockchain that, like Ethereum, offers smart contracts but at a cheaper cost. BSC uses BEP20 standard blockchain Bridges | Enabling Cross-Chain Interoperability tokens.

    Portal by Wormhole

    Portal offers unlimited transfers of assets between Solana and several other DeFi blockchains, such as Ethereum, Terra, Binance Smart Chain, Avalanch, oasis, and Polygon.

    Why do We Need Blockchain Bridges?

    Bridges enable:

    • The cross-chain transfer of assets and information
    • Dapps to access the strengths of various blockchains. It thus enhances their capabilities (as protocols now have more design space for innovation).
    • Users to access new platforms and leverage the benefits of different chains.
    • Developers from different blockchain ecosystems collaborate and build new platforms for users.


    In this article, we investigated the topic of blockchain interoperability, reviewed the benefits of blockchain bridges, examined how blockchains communicate and share data, and discussed some of the challenges for cross-chain applications.

    Have a project in mind? Connect with our blockchain experts to plan and develop blockchain bridges like Wormhole.

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