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Polkadot Bridges

TOP 10 Polkadot Ecosystem Bridges

Polkadot bridges are enabling blockchain interoperability with decentralized and trustless communication methods across diverse blockchain networks.

hyperbridge
Hyperbridge

Bridge
Hyperbridge is a hyper scalable, interoperability coprocessor. Powered by zkSNARKs.
Polkadot Appchain

Wormhole

Bridge
Bridge between Moonbeam, Acala and 30+ chains.

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Interlay

RWA
Swap, lend, borrow against your BTC or multiply your exposure. Bitcoin DeFi Hub. Decentralized, collateralized, multi-chain.
Polkadot Appchain

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Composable Finance

Bridge
Trust-minimized interoperability meets cross-chain execution.
Polkadot Appchain

snowbridge
SnowBridge

Bridge
A general purpose, trustless and decentralized bridge between Polkadot and Ethereum.

SubBridge

Bridge
Bridge by Phala Network powered with Sygma.

Celer Network

Bridge
Bridge on Moonbeam, Moonriver and Astar Network. Announced Polkadot Parachain.

Axelar
Axelar

Bridge
Bridge on Moonbeam

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Pendulum

Bridge
Unified Liquidity Standard for DOT & KSM Staking and Crowdloan Derivatives.
Polkadot Appchain

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Darwinia

Bridge
Darwinia is a cross-chain programmable network that provides two essential solutions: Darwinia Chain and Darwinia Msgport.
Polkadot Appchain

Exploring Polkadot Bridges: Enhancing Blockchain Interoperability

Polkadot, a pioneering blockchain platform, is designed to enable a high degree of interoperability between different blockchain networks. A crucial technology underpinning this capability is the blockchain bridge, which allows two economically sovereign and technologically diverse chains to communicate seamlessly. The Polkadot ecosystem, favoring decentralized and trustless bridge designs, has developed various methodologies to facilitate this communication, ranging from bridge pallets and smart contracts to higher-order protocols.

Purpose of Blockchain Bridges

Bridges in the Polkadot ecosystem aim to make the network compatible with external blockchains such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Tezos, among others. While Polkadot’s native interoperability technology, XCM, allows parachains to communicate trustlessly within the Polkadot network, bridges extend this capability to external blockchains. This extension is critical for broadening the utility and reach of the Polkadot ecosystem.

Polkadot Bridging Methods

1. Bridge Pallets

For chains that are Substrate-native, such as Polkadot and Kusama, bridge pallets are the recommended methodology. A bridge pallet can be deployed as a system-level parachain or a community-operated parachain on Polkadot, facilitating direct communication between Substrate-based networks. For example, a bridge between Kusama and Polkadot leverages this method, given their common Substrate foundation.

2. Smart Contracts

For blockchains that support Turing-complete smart contract languages, such as Ethereum, bridging is achieved through smart contracts. The historical Parity Bridge exemplifies this approach by connecting PoA sidechains to the Ethereum mainnet. This bridge comprises two smart contracts, one on each chain, allowing for cross-chain value transfers. Such a methodology can be adapted for bridging Polkadot to Ethereum, where transactions on one chain trigger corresponding actions on the other.

3. Higher-Order Protocols

In scenarios where the blockchain does not support smart contracts, higher-order protocols like XCLAIM are utilized. This protocol is particularly relevant for Bitcoin, which lacks native smart contract capabilities. XCLAIM facilitates a two-way bridge between Polkadot and Bitcoin, allowing BTC holders to convert their assets to iBTC on Polkadot and vice versa, ensuring a seamless asset transfer between the networks.

Polkadot Notable Bridge Implementations

Polkadot <> Ethereum Bridge

There are multiple strategies for bridging Polkadot with Ethereum, including the Polkadot <-> Ethereum Public Bridge, the Substrate <-> Parity Ethereum Bridge, and leveraging the Substrate EVM module. These approaches enable the integration of Polkadot’s robust ecosystem with Ethereum’s extensive DeFi infrastructure, fostering greater liquidity and application interoperability.

Polkadot <> Bitcoin Bridge

The Interlay team’s implementation of a Bitcoin bridge, based on the XCLAIM protocol, exemplifies how higher-order protocols can be applied effectively. This bridge allows for the two-way transfer of assets between Bitcoin and Polkadot, with the iBTC token representing Bitcoin on the Polkadot network. The bridge comprises an XCLAIM component that manages iBTC accounts and a BTC-Relay that verifies Bitcoin transactions.

Additional Resources and Examples

Numerous other projects and teams have contributed to the development of blockchain bridges within the Polkadot ecosystem. These include:

  • Substrate/Ethereum Bridge: Developed by ChainSafe and Centrifuge, funded by the W3F Grants program.
  • EOS Bridge: Built by the Bifrost team, facilitating communication between Polkadot and EOS.
  • Tendermint Bridge: Developed by ChorusOne, integrating Tendermint-based chains with Polkadot through a GRANDPA light client.
  • Interlay BTC Bridge: Another trust-minimized BTC bridge funded by W3F grants.
  • ChainX BTC Bridge: Implemented by ChainX for its parachain.
  • Celer cBridge: Enables asset transfers between Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain, and Astar Polkadot EVM.

Conclusion

Polkadot bridges are instrumental in enhancing blockchain interoperability, enabling seamless communication between diverse blockchain networks. By leveraging a combination of bridge pallets, smart contracts, and higher-order protocols, the Polkadot ecosystem can integrate with a wide array of external blockchains, expanding its utility and fostering a more interconnected blockchain landscape. As these technologies continue to evolve, they promise to unlock new potentials for cross-chain collaboration and innovation.

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