Blockchain Bridges: What They Are and How Do They Work?

Dive deeper into the domain of web3 and find out the significance of a blockchain bridge for the future now. Just like physical bridges, the blockchain bridge connects two separate blockchain networks or applications. Blockchains are not inherently interoperable, meaning that data and assets on one blockchain can’t be transferred to another blockchain.

  • Now, multiple blockchain networks are being developed today, and a blockchain bridge is your key to achieving interoperability between these blockchains.
  • The bridging process essentially ‘locks’ the ETH on the native Ethereum network via a smart contract or trusted network participant.
  • However, Bitcoin can be wrapped in Ethereum to create WBTC, which allows Bitcoin to interact with DeFi applications as an ERC-20 token.
  • The foreign exchange market and derivatives such as CFDs , Non-Deliverable Bitcoin Settled Products and Short-Term Bitcoin Settled Contracts involve a high degree of risk.
  • The project establishes a set of criteria for which someone can qualify to become part of the federation that manages and oversees bridge transactions.

In actuality, the coins move nowhere, the BTC you want to want to transfer gets locked in a smart contract and you get access to ETH tokens of equivalent value. When you want the ETH tokens converted back to BTC, the ETH tokens will be burned and the BTC locked in the smart contract will be released into your wallet. A blockchain bridge provides a connection that allows for the transfer of tokens or data between two different blockchain ecosystems. For instance, wrapped bitcoin tokens enable users to send Bitcoin to Ethereum as an ERC-20 token, but it doesn’t let you transfer the ETH token back to the bitcoin. You can transfer bitcoin to a polygon blockchain, but the other way around is impossible. The trustless blockchain bridge functions using smart contracts and advanced algorithms, including the underlying blockchain protocol.

Binance Bridge:

This allows users to take advantage of lower fees, faster transactions, or other unique features offered on other blockchains. Bridges help create a more liquid Web3 ecosystem and foster development activity by making it easier for developers to test the relative strengths of different platforms. When it comes to bridge development, the importance of smart contracts cannot be understated. This is particularly true for decentralized bridges, which rely on self-executing programs to power their core functionalities, such as the minting and burning of wrapped tokens.

We’re moving to Centrifuge next, because through a collaboration with ChainSafe, the project offers a modular, asset agonistic, multidirectional bridge for fungible tokens or NFTs. Centrifuge says it can bridge assets like invoices, real estate, royalties, and DeFi. Borrowers can finance real-world assets without banks or another third-party intermediary.

Rollups execute transactions in a new environment (i.e. off-chain) and bundle them together, before sending the updated state and transaction data back to Ethereum. They achieve security using proofs—some solutions use mathematical validity what is a blockchain bridge and how it works proofs applying techniques from zero-knowledge cryptography while others use game theory and staked value to allow for fraud proofs. Blockchain network has its own native crypto, used to reward miners and to pay for things, including fees.

The number of users, bridges, and overall transaction volume on these bridges have all increased exceptionally. As the Internet transitions to Web3, the blockchain bridge will also keep expanding in the future. Some do not find much success, while others establish themselves highly successfully. The ecosystem functions better as a whole when these bridges support it by making it more interoperable and cohesive. This creates a poor user experience, forcing users who wish to put their assets to work across multiple chains to use separate wallets and different wrapped versions of the same asset on various blockchains. In the same way that tangible bridges connect two physical locations, blockchain bridges connect different networks or token ecosystems.

How To Understand Blockchain Bridges Through Four Questions

Recently this has led to cyber-attacks that raise the reliability and security of centralized bridges, such as the Ronin bridge hack that resulted in a loss of $540 million. Centrifuge collaborated with ChainSafe to develop a modular, asset-agnostic and multidirectional bridge between Substrate-based blockchains and Ethereum. The ChainBridge allows Centrifuge to move fungible and NFTs between chains.

What Are Blockchain Bridges

In this way the user could use their BTC to take part in a decentralized finance smart contract on Ethereum via Polkadot. For one, you can bridge tokens from one blockchain to another with lower fees and faster transaction times. This is especially the case on the Ethereum network where fees are higher and transactions slower than scaling solutions like the Polygon network. Bidirectional bridges are another example of a blockchain bridge variant, working exactly opposite to the functioning of unidirectional bridges.

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. Smart contracts enable users of trustless bridges to keep control of their finances. A blockchain bridge is a connection that allows for the transfer of tokens or arbitrary data from one chain to another.

Risk Management: What It Means for Financial Markets

By the time it gets there, you’d have incurred more fees than probably what you planned to do in the first place. The information provided does not constitute, in any way, a solicitation or inducement to buy or sell cryptocurrencies, derivatives, foreign exchange products, CFDs, securities, and similar products. Comments and analysis reflect the views of different external and internal analysts at any given time and are subject to change at any time.

An equivalent amount of wrapped tokens are produced on the blockchain to which the assets are “sent” . Once the user decides to claim their assets, the new tokens are destroyed while the original ones are unlocked. How blockchain bridges work” by reflecting back on the basics of blockchain.

On trustless bridges, users don’t have to worry about a third-party risk from a centralized organization. Instead of manually monitoring crypto transfers, trustless bridges rely on autonomous smart contracts to fulfill transfer requests. Wormhole is yet another bidirectional communication bridge between Solana and other top decentralized finance networks. Existing projects, platforms, and communities are enabled to move tokenized assets seamlessly across blockchains and benefit from Solana’s incredibly high transaction speeds and lower transaction costs.

How and Why to Replace Your Ethereum Address with a User-Friendly Name

Although blockchain bridges can be used for other things like converting smart contracts and data transfer, the most common use case is token transfer. Trustless bridges are much more complicated on a technical level than some custodial bridges. This type of bridge can include many ins and outs across the blockchains they operate.

Converse to the above type, bidirectional bridges are those which allow crypto transfers to happen in both directions. They are a more seamless way to transfer data and crypto between two networks and it also becomes convenient for a user who frequently uses two networks to send and receive crypto. Blockchains operate in accordance with unique protocols, rules and governance models. For blockchains to cross-communicate, solutions called bridges are necessary. Bridging solutions make it possible for otherwise disparate blockchains to interoperate.


Moreover, they can not constitute a commitment or guarantee on the part of PrimeXBT. It is specified that the past performance of a financial product does not prejudge in any way their future performance. The foreign exchange market and derivatives such as CFDs , Non-Deliverable Bitcoin Settled Products and Short-Term Bitcoin Settled Contracts involve a high degree of risk. Most of finance exists in those big cities, but beyond their borders all kinds of business exists. It is decentralized and insured by design, offering a unified standard for cross-chain transfers. It also integrates easily within any existing application, and is ready for NFTs and the Metaverse.

What Are Blockchain Bridges

Furthermore, trusted bridges may also carry additional censorship and custodial risks since they depend on third parties. The bridge operators can theoretically decide to stop some users from transferring assets on their bridge . As such, it could introduce vulnerabilities that would not be present on either network. Connecting blockchains could potentially allow malicious actors to exploit the bridge and access assets or information stored on either chain.

Blockchain Bridges and Interoperability

They can be used for transactions, have created new markets, and may have more use cases in the future. The Celer cBridge uses the Celer State Guardian Network to enable liquidity across different blockchains. The blockchain bridge will continue to grow in the future, too, as the Internet is moving to Web3. The bridge operator’s long-standing reputation is a crucial decision-making factor that most users rely upon while opting for a trusted bridge.

The bridge is a replacement of the previous bridge design, called Avalanche-Ethereum Bridge , and boasts fees that are approximately five times lower than those of its predecessor. These so-called “guardians” bring tokens from one chain to another by locking up or burning tokens on one chain and minting or releasing them on another. Learn more about Consensus 2023, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3.

How do Blockchain Bridges Work?

To send this token from A to B, the bridge blocks that amount of coin in blockchain A. It then mints the exact amount on the blockchain B to send to the destination address. So, to send the bitcoins, you need a bridge that can communicate with both networks and take care of the process. The enormous demand for blockchain solutions has led to an increase in blockchain protocols and the need for blockchain communication. A DApp or protocol can take advantage of each chain’s specific benefits by porting a token cross-chain.


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