In January of 2021, the Avalanche-Ethereum Bridge (AEB) launched to enable users to move assets between Ethereum and Avalanche, empowering greater interoperability between these two ecosystems.
Last week, The Avalanche Bridge (AB) was launched, ushering in the next generation of cross-chain bridging. The AB was built from the ground up to meet the following requirements:
- Secure: the bridge must be audited and built with security first technologies,
- Cost Effective: the cost for bridging assets should be as low as possible,
- Fast: the transaction should take the least amount of time possible.
- Transparent: the user should be informed of the transfer status at every step of the process,
- Intuitive: users new to crypto asset transfers should easily understand the steps necessary to use the bridge,
- Ecosystem-supportive: upon crossing the bridge, users should understand all of the capabilities of the Avalanche ecosystem and experience minimal friction in seizing opportunities.
- Multi-chain: the bridge will support a growing number of blockchains in the future to center Avalanche as a core hub of DeFi.
After many months of hard work and several revisions, the bridge meets all of the above requirements and delivers additional features to not only support, but accelerate the growth of applications and assets on Avalanche.
The Avalanche Bridge is built using Intel SGX Enclave technology, a breakthrough in secure computing that facilitates all operations in a closed environment. It establishes a consortium of trusted partners called Wardens, and shards the enclave key using Shamir’s secret sharing for secure maintenance and recovery. Wardens ensure the integrity of each transaction, but do not have as high of a technical burden as operators of other bridges. This should greatly enhance the reliability of the bridge operations.
The Avalanche Bridge has also passed thorough audits from Halborn. As a result of SGX’s tamper-proof technology, the independent parties can verify that the version of the enclave code is correct. Any future code changes need to be approved by these parties in order for them to take effect.
The Avalanche Bridge uses a minimal amount of contract calls to ensure the gas fees are as low as possible. It is estimated to be 5X cheaper than the legacy Avalanche-Ethereum Bridge.
Avalanche’s unique consensus algorithm is at the heart of the bridging process and ensures finality in seconds. It is estimated to be 10X faster than the legacy Avalanche-Ethereum Bridge.
Each transaction provides transparency into the time and cost as the assets move from Ethereum to Avalanche. Confirmations on each chain are monitored and communicated to the user in real time. Those confirmations are timed per chain and clearly displayed to the user.
The gas fees associated with each network are also displayed to the user to easily understand an itemized breakdown of fees. Lastly, a summary is presented to the user upon completion of the asset transfer. Lastly, there is a proof of assets page to see a breakdown of assets crossing the bridge by asset type.
The interface is simple and requires very little interpretation of necessary actions on the users part. Simply enter the token, the amount and you are on your way.
Upon crossing the bridge the user can easily navigate to their intended destination in the new Ecosystem page. Along with a clear summary of the transaction details, the user can explore ecosystem promotions and a filtered list of all the projects within Avalanche’s rapidly growing ecosystem.
The bridge is designed to easily support the integration of additional chains; both EVM compatible and beyond. In the near term, and foreseeable future, the Avalanche Bridge will continuously expand to welcome users from other crypto communities onto Avalanche.
Bonus Feature: Promotion Engine
The bridge has a built-in promotions engine designed to facilitate incentives with projects joining the Avalanche ecosystem. The promotions engine can airdrop tokens directly to users after crossing as a welcome to the Avalanche ecosystem.
In addition to this robust set of features, the Avalanche Bridge is designed to provide users with seamless integrations to other core Avalanche tools including the Wallet and Explorer. Both applications are currently undergoing dramatic next generation improvements to provide Avalanche users a seamless on-chain experience across desktop and mobile devices.
To ensure a cohesive experience, existing assets from the AEB will be migrated. The new Avalanche Bridge is built with capabilities to make converting legacy assets extremely easy for existing users and developers to update assets to the new bridge standard.
In crypto, it’s not good enough for technology to be better than its peers. It must continue to outpace itself, never settling or resting.