The blockchain ecosystem is always growing, and there are more and more ways to use it to benefit investors. One of them is creating the best crypto bridges. They can exchange any type of data, including calls to smart contracts, decentralized identities, off-chain data like stock market price feeds, and much more.
In the past, very few developers bothered to use other blockchains at all. Users would probably utilize Bitcoin for high-value transfers, or Ethereum for dApps. The drawbacks of these well-known blockchains, such as Ethereum, encouraged the creation of fresh platforms, though. The term “blockchain bridges” refers to these new chains. They provide advantages including lower transaction costs, increased network capacity, and accessibility to novel yield-earning opportunities.
They also make it simpler to use a dApp across many blockchains. There are many cross-chain bridges available. But you will learn about the top eight in this article with the best security, support options, and other features.
8 Best Crypto Bridges in Blockchain
Best crypto bridges might be useful in providing support for several blockchain variations, albeit at differing levels of support from one provider to the next. The best cross-chain bridges could aid in transferring the value of smart contracts, NFTs, and tokenization to other networks outside the Ethereum blockchain. Here are the top 8 cross-chain bridges that you can use right away.
1. Binance Bridge
- Simple process
- No transaction fees. Pay only the gas fees on the source and destination blockchain networks.
- Having a Binance account isn’t mandatory
The well-known Binance Bridge is the top pick among the best crypto bridges. It is a reliable platform for facilitating the movement of assets from Ethereum to the Binance Smart Chain. The Binance Bridge might assist anyone in transforming cryptocurrency tokens into formats compatible with Binance Chain and BSC as a reliable Ethereum-Binance Smart Chain bridge.
It can also assist in re-formatting the tokens so they are compliant with Ethereum. Binance bridge supports exchanging ERC-20 tokens and a few other coins on other networks. The following cryptocurrencies are supported on Binance Bridge: XRP, ONT, LINK, XTZ, DOT, and ATOM.
Converting bridge tokens procedure between networks is simple and may be finished in a few minutes. The Binance Bridge is an interesting option among the cross-chain bridges because it levies no transaction fees. Only the gas fees on the source and destination blockchain networks should be paid by users. In addition, anyone can utilize the Binance Bridge interface without requiring a Binance account.
2. Avalanche Bridge
- Maintains a seamless transfer of assets among the two networks.
- Uses ChainSafe’s ChainBridge.
- Easy to use. Users can deposit and lock their assets in the ChainBridge Smart Contract.
The Avalanche Bridge is the next well-known addition to the list of the most well-liked cross-chain bridges in crypto. It is a two-way cross-chain crypto bridge that connects the Ethereum and Avalanche blockchain networks. The Avalanche Bridge, also known as the Avax Bridge, is a superior replacement for the conventional Avalanche-Ethereum Bridge, or AEB. The smooth movement of assets between the two networks might be made possible via the Avalanche Bridge, which would promote the expansion of Avalanche.
You can verify that Avalanche Bridge is the best cross-chain bridge available in the crypto industry at the moment by looking at how it functions. It allows two-way transfers of NFTs and crypto tokens by utilizing ChainSafe's ChainBridge. In the Avalanche dApp ecosystem, users could request cross-chain swaps or use ERC-20 tokens. Simply depositing and locking tokens in the ChainBridge smart contract is all that users need to do.
The bridge generates a proposal and sends it to the relayers after the assets have been deposited and locked. Relayers on Avalanche Bridge like Hashquark, Avascan, Protofire, and POA Network work to keep the bridge secure. Relayers would vote on whether to accept or reject the proposal by comparing it to information on the Avalanche blockchain. Avalanche provides the advantage of extra security in asset transfers by guaranteeing a voting process.
3. Synapse Bridge
- Facilitates seamless transfer of tokens and assets among multiple blockchain networks.
- Multi-party computation validators are responsible for the security of the bridge.
In the DeFi ecosystem, Synapse is a novel layer-decentralized protocol designed to promote cross-chain bridge interoperability. The Synapse AMM and Synapse Bridge are the two key components of the protocol. Through a programmable cross-chain messaging system that supports smart contract calls, multiple assets, and many other features, Synapse connects blockchains.
Synapse Bridge can facilitate the smooth transfer of cryptocurrency tokens and assets between several blockchain networks. The Synapse Bridge supports several well-known blockchains, including Avalanche, Polygon, Arbitrum, Binance Smart Chain, Harmony, Fantom, and Boba.
Synapse's capabilities as one of the top cross-chain crypto bridges include the ability to exchange stablecoins seamlessly between various blockchain networks. Synapse Bridge's infrastructure includes multi-party computation validators in charge of the bridge's security. The validators can respond to various events occurring on Synapse-related blockchain networks concurrently.
4. Multichain Bridge
- Supports multiple token types and networks
- The processing time ranges from 10 to 30 minutes, hence faster conversion
- Ensures cost-effective interoperability
- A cross-chain bridge transaction fee of 0.01%
Multichain Bridge is a promising competitor for promoting blockchain interoperability in the group of cross-chain crypto bridges. Fantom Anyswap was a cross-chain bridge protocol that allowed flexible data and asset exchange between several blockchain networks.
The ability to support a variety of token kinds makes Multichain Bridge one of the greatest cross-chain bridges. Additionally, it supports several networks, including Terra, Polygon, Clover, BNB Chain, Avalanche, and Optimism, as well as Bitcoin, Terra, and Polygon. Faster conversions are ensured by the Multichain Bridge's processing time, which is between 10 and 30 minutes. Additionally, it guarantees affordable interoperability with a 0.01% cross-chain transaction fee.
5. Polygon Bridge
- Popular for transferring NFTs and ERC tokens to the Polygon sidechain.
- Two distinct types of bridges are available - Plasma bridge, Proof of Stake Bridge
- Lower gas fees
The Polygon Bridge is a standout addition among the best cross-chain bridge crypto platforms. For transferring NFTs and ERC tokens to the Polygon sidechain, it is a well-liked crypto bridge. The Plasma Bridge and the Proof of Stake Bridge are two different sorts of bridges that are present in a Polygon.
With different security infrastructures, the two bridges can assist in transferring assets between Ethereum and Polygon. To transfer ETH and ERC-20-compliant tokens, for instance, the PoS Bridge uses Proof of Stake consensus and is secure.
On the other hand, by utilizing the Ethereum Plasma scaling approach, the Plasma Bridge offers additional security advantages. Transfers of ETH, ERC-721, ERC-20, and MATIC tokens are all possible. The promise of reducing gas costs is the main argument in favor of the Polygon Bridge. Additionally, it doesn't use any third-party protocols, allowing for quicker processing.
6. Tezos Wrap Protocol
- Decentralized, Permissionless, Bi-directional
- Can transfer assets between Ethereum and Tezos blockchain network
- Helps in wrapping ERC-20 tokens in the FA2 standard for using them in the Tezos blockchain ecosystem.
Tezos Wrap Protocol is a decentralized, open-source, and bidirectional cryptocurrency bridge that makes it easier to move assets between the Tezos and Ethereum blockchain networks. For use in the Tezos blockchain ecosystem, the cross-chain bridge protocol aids in the FA2 tokenization of ERC-20 tokens.
Owners of ERC-20 tokens may be able to take advantage of scalability, reduced transaction fees, and increased network speed with the aid of the wrap protocol. Additionally, the wrap protocol supports wrapping ERC-721 tokens, allowing for flexibility in NFT transfers.
7. Portal Token Bridge (formerly Wormhole)
- Guardians, special validator nodes, to provide users with the best cross-chain swap experience.
- Extremely low transaction fees of $0.0001 per transfer
- Beginner-friendly interface
One of the most well-liked crypto cross-chain bridges in the business is the Portal Token Bridge. For bidirectional crypto token transfers between the Solana Network and Ethereum, this decentralized bridge was initially constructed on the Solana platform.
Portal, which connects seven of the top DeFi blockchains—Solana, Ethereum, BSC, Polygon, Terra, Avalanche, and Oasis—and represents 88% of the DeFi market, has subsequently grown into a multichain network.
For the best cross-chain exchange experience, Portal uses unique validator nodes called Guardians. Guardians keep an eye on what happens on the bridge and confirm user requests.
Due to its incredibly cheap transaction fees of $0.0001 per transfer and its user-friendly interface, Portal Token Bridge stands out from the competition. Total Value Locked (TVL) for the bridge is 177 million. At the time of writing, it had processed over $400K in transactions.
8. Arbitrum Bridge
- Lower gas fees
- Secure transactions
The final entry in the list of best crypto bridges you should use would be the Arbitrum bridge. It is a Layer 2 (L2) solution for Ethereum's congested network that was introduced in 2021 by Off-Chain Labs. As a scaling solution, Arbitrum was developed to speed up transactions on the Layer 1 (L1) blockchain of Ethereum. The largest names in the DeFi industry, like Uniswap, Curve, and SushiSwap, hopped on the Arbitrum bandwagon right away to take advantage of its advantages and Ethereum's security.
Arbitrum offers lower gas costs for secure transactions by utilizing the idea of optimistic rollups. Smart contracts that "roll up" off-chain transactions into bundles are known as optimistic rollups. As a result, gas prices are cheaper and there is less network congestion while still maintaining high-security standards. This spreads the expenses of the bundled transactions.
Supported cryptocurrencies on the bridge include YFI, USDT, ETH, WETH, Ethereum Assets, UNI, SUSHI, CRV, USDC, COMP, Dai, and WBTC. However, you must first connect the Arbitrum Bridge with a cryptocurrency wallet to bridge your ETH assets. As of the publication of this article, the bridge has a total value locked (TVL) of more than $1 billion.
Cross-Chain Crypto Bridges in Blockchain Technology
One of the biggest problems with crypto cross-chain bridges is a lack of interoperability. A blockchain bridge is a technology that enables you to migrate assets from one blockchain to another. Blockchain assets are frequently incompatible with one another. So bridges produce synthetic derivatives that stand in for an asset from another blockchain.
One Solana currency will be transformed into a token based on the target blockchain if you send it to an Ethereum wallet through a bridge. In this scenario, a “bridge” version of Solana, transformed into an ERC-20 token, would be sent to the Ethereum wallet. ERC-20 token is the common token standard for fungible tokens on the Ethereum blockchain.
While bridges expand marketplaces and advance a multichain future, they also present unique security difficulties. A massive $326 million exploit on the fledgling Wormhole Bridge in February 2022 shows this.
Different Crypto Bridges You Should Know About
A thorough understanding of a crypto cross-chain bridge's significance can be seen in the definition and underlying logic. You undoubtedly have some concerns regarding the various blockchain bridges and how they operate at the same time. Interestingly, a breakdown of the many blockchain bridge variations could provide more insight into their work. What makes a blockchain bridge unique? Blockchain bridges contain unique characteristics, much like blockchain networks do, which serve as defining parameters.
Every blockchain network or asset used in the decentralized apps sector cannot be supported and made to function by a specific blockchain bridge. A list of blockchain bridges aimed at meeting particular user needs is also available. Here is a summary of the most prominent blockchain bridge options available for transfer.
Trusted Crypto Bridges
A trusted blockchain bridge would be the first form of blockchain bridge listed. It is essentially a protocol controlled by a single operator, entity, or method. Users must trust the identity or reputation of a centralized bridge to deposit funds on it, earning the name "trusted blockchain bridge." Trusted blockchain bridge examples have demonstrated evidence of user-friendly interfaces, which can help to encourage additional users.
Trustless Crypto Bridges
The second sort of bridge for blockchain networks would be a trustless blockchain bridge. Instead of using a trustworthy blockchain bridge, the trustless version leverages algorithms and smart contracts via a blockchain network. A trustless blockchain bridge is thus not dependent on any centralized middlemen.
Users are not required to put faith in a centralized authority to take care of their assets. A trustless bridge additionally provides total transparency by utilizing the benefits of mathematics, computer science, and cryptography for transaction security. Users always maintain complete control of their possessions.
Unidirectional Crypto Bridges
The following form of blockchain bridge would be the unidirectional bridge. Unidirectional bridges consider transaction direction. As their name implies, unidirectional bridges can only ensure ongoing asset transfers from one network to another. These sorts of bridges are only suitable for one-way transactions.
Bidirectional Crypto Bridges
Another type of blockchain bridge is the bidirectional bridge. As the name suggests, it operates in direct opposition to unidirectional bridges. A bidirectional blockchain bridge aids in making sure that assets and information are transferred across two networks without any interruptions. It is therefore advisable to use two separate unidirectional bridges rather than two bidirectional bridges.
How Crypto Bridges Work
Best crypto bridges can transport data and convert smart contracts. But the token transfer is the most often used utility. For instance, the two biggest cryptocurrency networks are Bitcoin and Ethereum. They follow quite different rules and conventions. Bitcoin holders can move their money to Ethereum through a blockchain bridge. They can use them in ways that would otherwise be impossible on the Bitcoin network. That can entail paying nominal fees or buying other Ethereum coins.
Let's say you wish to send some of your Bitcoin to Ethereum. Your coin will be stored on the blockchain bridge, and it will produce equivalents in ETH for you to use. In reality, none of the involved cryptocurrencies changes hands. Instead, a smart contract locks the amount of Bitcoin you want to send. You now have access to an equal amount of ETH. The ETH you had or whatever's left of it will be burned when you try to convert it back to BTC. You receive a similar amount of BTC back in your wallet.
If you wanted to do this regularly, you would need to exchange Bitcoin for ETH on a trading platform. Then you need to withdraw the money to a wallet and deposit it once more into an exchange. By the time it arrives, you would have paid more fees than you had intended.
Consider how PayPal allows you to pay for all your online purchases, regardless of where you make them. Despite diverse systems and protocols, transactions are quick and seamless. Because interoperability has always maintained the stability of the financial system. Blockchain technology gains popularity outside the crypto space. So, Cross-chain bridges and other similar solutions are a significant step in the direction of normalcy.
Cross Chain Crypto Bridges - Advantages
Cross-chain bridges of crypto present a possible method for fluidly switching between various blockchain networks. Along with the blockchain networks it connects, a blockchain bridge's benefits can also benefit investors and developers. Blockchain bridges may present higher chances for user growth as well as additional chances for asset production and transfer.
Users can communicate with other blockchain networks and the applications that run on them. Owners of Bitcoin, for instance, might engage with programs in the Ethereum ecosystem.
- Enhanced interoperability.
- Assets from primary blockchain networks can now be used more effectively on layer-2 networks.
- Blockchain bridges can provide definite benefits for scalability while lowering transaction fees, as layer-2 solutions provide more affordable and rapid transactions.
- Blockchain bridges benefit consumers by facilitating speedier and less expensive transactions.
- Simple to use for developers. To boost the scalability, interoperability, and performance of dApps, developers from many fields can work efficiently together to implement bridging functions.
Risks Associated With Crypto Bridge
Crypto cross-chain bridges provide several benefits, but they also have some drawbacks.
- Cyberattacks and hacking attempts: Attackers have used the flaws in smart contracts to steal enormous amounts of money from cross-chain bridges.
- Centralized theft: Since trustworthy bridges have complete control over user assets. They theoretically have the right to take resources whenever they want.
- Bottlenecks that hinder the ability to transact: The limited processing power of a single chain could prevent widespread blockchain interoperability.
- Misaligned security and trust across the relevant chains: Due to misaligned security and trust, blockchain bridges may highlight the dangers related to the underlying processes of the relevant chains. Blockchain bridges connect different blockchains, which causes the resilience of the connected systems to diverge.
- Centralization: Some forms of blockchain bridges depend on a central authority or federation. It eases assets' movement between two networks. Users may not find this appropriate because it can centralize the system.
- Complexity: Implementing and maintaining blockchain bridges can be challenging. Especially if they incorporate several blockchain networks with various technological structures and protocols. Because of this, creating and deploying apps that use blockchain bridges may be challenging for developers.
Best Crypto Bridges Hack - Why So Many Cases?
Best crypto bridges are among the most profitable and vulnerable DeFi technologies. These bridges are the primary nodes for cryptocurrency transfers. There is always a lot of cryptocurrency in these protocols. Because users must lock their original tokens on a bridge to mint-wrapped tokens on another chain. Hackers can steal millions, if not billions, of dollars if they manage to breach a bridge.
Bridges are a lucrative target, but they also have many weak points. Bridges across chains haven't been through as much combat as the Bitcoin blockchain. Bridge developers couldn't perfectly complete the programming to connect two blockchains. Hackers knowledgeable in blockchain code could find holes in a bridge's smart contracts.
Some bridge projects also make their source codes available to promote accountability. Open-source codes promote confidence. But these codes make it easier for hackers to examine, duplicate, or alter a bridge's software.
Not to mention, bridge hackers are better able to dodge legal repercussions. DeFi often operates without regulation and doesn't require KYC (know your customer) documents. There is no established regulatory structure to deal with cross-chain bridge hacking. So even if they find a hacker, they can't do anything about it.
Cross-Chain Bridges Hack Cases
Crypto bridge hacks are very common. Several notable instances of cross-chain bridge attacks are provided below:
- Hack of the Nomad Bridge: The cross-chain bridge Nomad announced a hack in August 2022 that was estimated to have cost $200 million. According to reports, the Nomad team updated its smart contracts, which led to a programming weakness that was exploited by hackers. To steal money from Nomad's reserves, hackers made fake crypto transactions.
- Hack of the Harmony Horizon Bridge: In 2022, a significant hack of the Horizon Bridge connecting the Harmony blockchain, Ethereum, and the BNB Smart Chain occurred. The Harmony team said in June that hackers got into this bridge and stole around $100 million in cryptocurrency.
According to reports, two of the wallet's four multi-signature validators on the Horizon Bridge were compromised. With the aid of this information, hackers may quickly remove cryptocurrency from the bridge.
- Weakness of "Axie" in Ronin Bridge: In 2021, the gaming company Sky Mavis decided to switch the play-to-earn game “Axie Infinity” from the Ethereum main chain to its Ronin sidechain. Tokens could be transferred between these chains by users via an Ethereum to Ronin bridge.
There were only nine validators on the Ronin Bridge network, and four of them worked for Sky Mavis. Five of these validators were compromised by hackers in 2022, giving them access to authorize withdrawals from the Ronin Bridge. The Ronin hackers are thought to have stolen over $625 million in cryptocurrency.
With the correct tools, you can accomplish blockchain interoperability, as the specifics of the most well-known cross-chain bridges demonstrate. In terms of value-based advantages for interoperability across various blockchain networks, each cross-chain bridge is significant. Surprisingly, cross-chain crypto bridges can let you get the advantages of transferring NFTs as well. Crypto bridges' significance for enhancing blockchain interoperability may have wider repercussions for the development of Web 3. I hope that this post helped you to understand what crypto bridges are. But before attempting one of these, please conduct your research.