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cross-chain bridge

What Is Cross-Chain Bridge and Which One Is The Best?

Published On: November 5, 2022
Blockchain interoperability has become an essential part of the crypto space. Among all the interoperability solutions, cross-chain bridge is the most popular application that everybody in DeFi uses. But how did we get here and what is the cross-chain bridge? Moreover, which one among all those bridges is the best to use?

Before we answer all that, we need to know the basic definition. Cross-chain bridge is a blockchain application that connects two different blockchains and helps users to “bridge” digital assets from one blockchain to another.

Years ago, people had big issues with blockchain applications due to their inability to connect with other chains. Unlike non-blockchain apps where usually you can use across multiple devices and operating systems, blockchain apps were “sandboxed” in just one blockchain without the ability to move and interact with other chains.

The brilliant dapp developers started to realize they needed to go beyond just one chain if they wanted to grow. There are multiple interoperability solutions that they offer but cross-chain bridge is the most popular nowadays.

The Mechanism Behind Cross-Chain Bridge

While there are multiple mechanisms behind different cross-chain bridges, the most famous one is the lock-and-mint mechanism. Most cross-chain bridges work like this, you lock your token from the first blockchain and you issue the identical copy of that token on the second blockchain. 

This is how most of them work. They mint the “wrapped” version of the crypto asset you are bridging, they don’t actually move out the native crypto asset from the first blockchain. The wrapped token represents 1-to-1 valuation to the original asset.

Take a look at wBTC (wrapped BTC) on Ethereum for an example. It does not move BTC from Bitcoin blockchain itself, but it just “locks” the BTC inside Bitcoin blockchain and then a corresponding smart contract on Ethereum mints a wBTC at 1-to-1 valuation to the locked BTC. This means you get 1 wBTC for every 1 BTC that you lock.

When you want to unlock your BTC back, you just reverse the process. You send back the wBTC to the same bridge, and it will burn the wBTC that you send, while your previously-locked BTC gets unlocked. By using this mechanism, they can keep the wBTC valuation at 1-to-1 forever.

Even though there have been newer technologies and novel ideas introduced to the world of crypto bridging technology recently, most of the mainstream bridges still use the concept of wrapped and synthetic tokens.

Which One Is the Best Cross-Chain Bridge?

Now we understand how cross-chain bridges work, it’s time to learn which ones you are more likely to use.

1) Multichain (previously AnySwap) is one of the most popular cross-chain bridge solutions that people have been using since a long time ago. It supports over 30+ chains, and most EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine) compatible chains are already supported as well. Most people use Multichain since they already trust the security of the Multichain app. You can say they have been tested through time when many other bridging solutions had shown some type of vulnerabilities.

Try Multichain here

2) Celer cBridge

Celer has built a very good cross-chain bridge as well, and it is even directly endorsed by the BNB Chain official bridge page. They can move your assets cross-chain within just 5-10 minutes, and the fees are usually very fair as well. While Celer cBridge does not offer as many chains as multichain, it’s definitely one of the more widely utilized bridges across the entire crypto space.

Try Celer cBridge here

3) Stargate Finance

Stargate Finance tries a new approach to cross-chain bridge and so far it looks like their adoption rate has been slowly growing despite stiff competition. Stargate Finance introduces the novel idea that you don’t have to lock your wrapped and synthetic tokens in order to move your assets across multiple chains. They use what they call a unified liquidity stablecoin pool to make sure every cross-chain transfer is guaranteed. They are less popular than multichain when it comes to cross-chain activities but they are slowly becoming more famous.

Try Stargate Finance here

What’s Ahead of Cross-Chain Bridge Industry

Cross-chain bridge is still a very new and young industry in the broader crypto ecosystem but it’s definitely evolving and only continuing to get better. Despite massive reports about hacks and vulnerability exploits that have stolen huge amounts of money from bridge applications, we believe the future of cross-chain bridges is almost a certainty at this point.

We at Despace will develop our own bridge solution that will allow users to move their assets from one chain to another. It will be part of the broader Despace DeFi ecosystem. Stay tuned!
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