Blockchain bridge: a new direction is opening

How does a blockchain bridge help achieve interoperability between different networks?

Nearly 10 years ago, Bitcoin laid the foundation for the blockchain. Today, more than a decade later, there are more than 100 active blockchain public networks.

However, when decentralized applications built on different blockchains cannot interact with each other, this growth also leads to a fundamental flaw. Applications designed on a network can only work within the system, which has led to restrictions on widespread adoption. In the current state, the ecosystem limits technological progress by setting boundaries for innovation.

As the number of networks may further increase, the demand for establishing methods to connect these networks will also increase. One of the attempts to unify the blockchain landscape is the “blockchain bridge”.

What is a blockchain bridge?

A blockchain bridge is a system that helps to transfer information between two or more blockchain networks. Information can include assets, contract calls, proofs, or arbitrary data. Bridging enables interoperability between different networks.

In the decentralized finance (DeFi) space, users can use blockchain bridges to access the privileges of multiple blockchain networks without affecting the advantages of the main chain. This supports various use cases such as cross-chain mortgages, improving network scalability and reducing transaction fees.

How does the blockchain bridge work?

Most blockchain bridges are built on a “make before burn” agreement. When a token is transferred from one network to another, the protocol destroys the token and mints a similar token on the other network. However, in addition to transferring tokens, the bridge has multiple functions. Blockchain bridges can exchange any type of data, including smart contract units, decentralized identifiers, and off-chain information.

There are different types of blockchain bridges, which are roughly divided into centralized bridges and decentralized bridges. The operation of the Federal Bridge relies on a central authority. They work similarly to licensed or private blockchain networks. To be part of the federal blockchain bridge, people need to meet certain standards. The selected individuals will supervise the transactions of the blockchain bridge.

On the other hand, the trustless bridge is operated by a decentralized proxy network. Anyone can join a trustless blockchain bridge to monitor transactions. The agent will be motivated by the effort to correctly verify the bridged transaction. This process is similar to the node function in the Bitcoin or Ethereum blockchain network.

Types of blockchain bridges

Four different types of blockchain bridges will be discussed below.

Blockchain bridge for specific assets

The sole purpose of this kind of bridge is to provide access to specific assets from an external network. Usually, these assets are packaged assets, and they are fully mortgaged in a custodial or non-custodial manner. For example, Bitcoin is a common asset that is connected to other chains through 7 different bridges on Ethereum. Although these bridges are simple, their functions are limited and need to be reimplemented. Examples of assets include packaged BTC and Arweave.

Blockchain bridge for specific chains

The bridge of a specific chain supports simple operations of locking and unlocking tokens on the source chain and creating packaged assets on the target chain. They make the operation faster and less complicated. But they also cannot be extended to the wider ecosystem. The best example of a blockchain bridge for a specific chain is Polygon ‘s PoS bridge. Users can only transfer assets from Ethereum to Polygon through the PoS bridge, and vice versa. Orbiter Finance is also gradually implementing transfers between chains.

Application-specific blockchain bridge

These bridges provide applications for two or more blockchain networks. Application-specific blockchain bridges have lighter and modular “adapters” on each blockchain, rather than having separate instances on each blockchain. This bridge has a network effect because the adapter can access all connected networks. One disadvantage of application-specific bridges is that it is difficult to extend functionality to other applications. For example, a bridge built for exchange applications cannot provide lending applications to its users.

Generalized Blockchain Bridge

These protocols are designed to exchange information across multiple blockchain networks. This design will have a strong network effect, because a single integration of a project allows it to be close to the entire ecosystem of the bridge. However, the main disadvantage of such bridges is that they sometimes compromise security and decentralization for scalability purposes. This may have unintended consequences for the entire ecosystem. IBC is an example of a universal bridge used to send messages between different blockchains.


With the development of various blockchain networks, they will develop their own unique advantages in different aspects, such as security, faster revenue, cheaper transactions, more privacy and specific resource supply. The blockchain bridge is very important because it allows users to access multiple platforms and protocols without having to choose a network. They can interoperate and collaborate to build innovative products.

Interoperability and open collaboration are essential to building an open and decentralized network. Blockchain bridges provide a promising way to unify the entire ecosystem to promote greater innovation and technological relevance. Through cooperation, different blockchain networks can help us move towards the next generation of decentralized networks.

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:
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