A super short and fun article to bring everyone up to speed on Blockchain Bridges, their usage and basic mechanisms. Even grandma will get it. No need to be a rocket scientist to understand the basics of Blockchain Bridges! 😁
Heads up: this is not a technical article, but a very beginner-friendly article.
Why Use Blockchain Bridges?
Also called Crosschain Bridges, Blockchain Bridges allow you to transfer your crypto from one chain to another. For instance transfer your USDC from Ethereum to Polygon blockchain.
Why Would You Want To Use Switch Funds From One Chain to Another?
Because each blockchain has different DApps running on it and each blockchain comes with its pros and cons.
Can You Give Examples Of Pros And Cons Between Different Blockchains?
One might be fast transactions (i.e. Polygon or Solana) but maybe less battle-tested than another (i.e. Ethereum). Other criteria may include: transaction cost, decentralization level, team behind the project, etc.
There are many other criteria to pick a chain, but this is off-topic for this article. This is a very deep rabbit hole to get into.
Where Do I Find All The Available Blockchain Bridges?
There is no one single source to find them all. However, I gave a stab at listing as many as possible in this article and “blockchain bridges mega spreadsheet” 👉 https://adrienbe.medium.com/blockchain-bridges-mega-spreadsheet-4ad0099e2986
So Let’s Say I Want To Switch My USDC From Ethereum To Solana, How Can I Pick A Decent Blockchain Bridge?
- Go to my Blockchain Bridges Mega Spreadsheet
- Filter by blockchains supporting Ethereum and Solana. At the time of writing (Nov 30) that leaves only 3 bridges.
- Out of the 3 bridges, find out which ones support USDC
- If several are left, I usually pick the bridge according to these criteria:
- Team: Anon or Public? If public, strong or not?
- Volume: Strong Volume? If not, forget it.
- Community: Smart people in the community channels? Strong backers? Endorsement by highly regarded crypto figures?
- Execution Style: Check out the App, their Socials, etc. Does it look like professionally executed or does it look like a bunch of amateurs at the command?
What The Coin I Want To Transfer Does Not Appear On Any Bridge?
You might have to temporarily convert this funds to another cryptocurrency (i.e. a stablecoin such as DAI, USDC, or USDT), bridge these funds to the other chain, and finally convert these funds in the original coin.
Wow. Sounds Cumbersome!
Yes indeed. That’s the opportunity cost I suppose for being an early adopter. Welcome to Web3! 🤷♂️
However, the reward for being an early adopter are high, do I need to mention the endless amounts of airdrops early adopters have had? And the amount of funds you can save on transactions by switching to cheaper blockchains?
Yeah True, I Might Save Quite A Bunch Of Cash. But I’m Scared To Get Rekt. Are Blockchain Bridges Dangerous To Use?
They surely can be, like for any other DeFi product always DYOR (Do Your Own Research) when using a bridge with significant amount of funds.
Will Blockchain Bridges Be Here Forever?
That’s a very good question! Bridges are necessary until blockchains can seamlessly interoperate with one another… if ever possible. So yeah, they are here to stay.
Uh…I Heard There Are Cases Where Bridges Will Become Irrelevant Though. Isn’t It True!?
It might be the case for some more recent ecosystems. Those blockchains with less (no) legacy, stronger reasons to team up and higher risk appetite. Let’s see how it goes, we are still at the very beginning of our multi-chain journey. ✨