So far the trust is limiting the ability to send tokens between chains.
Designing bidirectional communications between networks is the main objective to achieve.
Making bitcoin (BTC) transactions possible on the Ethereum network is one of the goals that is keeping developers awake. Although today there are some methods that facilitate this activity, it is still not possible that the pioneer cryptocurrency can interact with the smart contracts of other chains without exposing their security or losing their decentralization. A pending task.
This was commented by James Prestwich, designer of cross-chain protocols, during his talk “Building bridges not walled gardens”, which was part of the first day of the Blockchain Summit Latam 2021 event, held this Monday, September 6.
Prestwich commented that a disconnect persists between blockchains, although Today there are alternatives to use BTC in the different decentralized finance platforms (DeFi) and decentralized applications (DApp) that exist on Ethereum. One of them is WBTC or Wrapped BTC, a token of the ERC20 standard that works as a bridge between both chains.
It means that with WBTC we have a bridge that allows us to use bitcoin on Ethereum, but we can also generalize that to say that we could go from Ethereum to Polygon, Avalanche, Solana or any of these other cool chains where things are happening. However, we must bear in mind that the fundamental thing that a bridge does is allow two-way communication, that is, it can go and return from one chain to another.
James Prestwich, Cross Chain Protocol Designer.
Beware of the walled gardens
Several alternatives that exist today to bring bitcoin to the Ethereum ecosystem are nothing more than walled gardens, Prestwich warned. He used that metaphor to refer to options that still do not offer all the decentralization that characterizes the ecosystem.
It’s because WBTC, for example, comes from an initiative driven by centralized custody startup BitGo and, like other bridges, does not offer a bidirectional channel that communicates to both chains.
This type of project has generated controversy due to its support methods, since they demand that users should trust the honesty of the developers. Above all, in the management of bitcoins, as well as in the processes used to adjust the relationship of the anchored funds and collateral deposits.
From Prestwich’s perspective, the main problem that exists today is that there must be the ability to view and access information across the chains that will be interoperable.
So far we have two unidirectional channels and duplex bridging is impossible. Actually, you cannot create a two-way channel. Not to communicate between blockchains. So we have to start by designing two-way communications because trust limits limit our ability to send messages between blockchains, and we need to figure out how to avoid them.
James Prestwich, designer of cross-chain protocols.
The other problem that Prestwich notices is that users do not own private keys when sending tokens between chains, although there are a lot of external actors participating in that cross communication.
So the key takeaway here is that strings are very passive. They cannot reach outside of themselves. Therefore, they need actors outside the chain that are active, and therefore they need untrained actors to be analyzing the state of the first chain for messages destined for the second chain. The problem is that actors outside the chain can lie.
James Prestwich, Cross Chain Protocol Designer.
The best is yet to come to integrate blockchains
The developer adds that the bridges that exist to offer interoperability between chains are only “the first drafts of the advances that are to come, because the second generation of bridge technology is coming very soon.”
That’s why you think The best is yet to comeIn fact, he noted that much of the work he’s been doing with his team over the past two years is finally paying off.
“We are starting to see a lot of things like the Rainbow Bridge that allows the transfer of any token, NFT or asset between the NEAR and Ethereum blockchains. We’re starting to like this more, ”Prestwich said.
As the next generation of projects arrives, Prestwich says the bridges that exist so far offer a trusted federation where there is a multiple firm in control of the funds. It is a method that allows one chain to be checking the entire consensus process and all the headers of the other chain.
As reported by CriptoNoticias recently, other experts also consider that a lot of work still needs to be done when it comes to interoperability between chains. To continue moving forward, a common protocol is being worked on with the idea of being able to share information such as data and assets among the various public channels that exist. The barriers these chains pose is that they have different “languages” and cannot “communicate” with each other.