6 best cross-chain bridges in 2023

There are decentralized blockchain bridges, or trustless bridges, that intend to make users feel safer when transferring their coins. These solutions operate just like an actual blockchain with individual networks pitching in to validate transactions. If you’re worried about your coins falling in the wrong hands, using a trustless bridge will give you peace of mind in that regard. The problem with decentralized bridges is the service is freelance-based.

blockchain bridge

Custodial bridges require users to place their trust in a central entity to properly and safely operate the system. Users should do extensive research to ensure that this entity is trustworthy. It’s pegged to the value of the asset it represents and typically can be redeemed for it at any point. However, this would incur transaction fees and expose you to price volatility.

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The type of risk may be different depending on whether the bridge is trusted or trustless. With a trusted bridge, the risk is that the bridge operator could act maliciously, or the custodian of the bridge funds could be attacked by hackers. Most bridges operate using some variation of a mint-and-burn mechanism.

blockchain bridge

Different systems with different protocols yet transactions are fast and seamless. That’s because interoperability has always kept the financial system in place long before cryptocurrency was a thing. As blockchain technology becomes more prominent and not just for crypto, solutions like cross-chain bridges are a big step towards normalization. Blockchain bridges solve this problem by enabling token transfers, smart contracts and data exchange, and other feedback and instructions between two independent platforms.

Transfer Crypto To A Different Blockchain

As a result, you might have to pay capital gains tax on the asset you deposit to the bridge . Consider the potential tax cost before you start clicking on shiny buttons. Blockchain bridges let you use your crypto in new ways, but they also come with some risks.

blockchain bridge

Your bridged tokens are backed by the original (now-frozen) coins or tokens. The other swaps tokens from liquidity pools that hold both assets, like Cross Chain Bridge. Liquidity pools are markets https://xcritical.com/ where you can swap an apple for an orange or Crypto A for Crypto B in this case. Across.toAcross Bridge uses liquidity pools to manage cross-chain transfers but draws primarily from one pool.


Interoperability has long been a pain point in blockchain technology. While highly powerful technologies by themselves, cross-chain data transfer can be tedious and expensive. But Polkadot also allows parachains and external networks like Bitcoin or Ethereum to interoperate via bridges. According to the official blog post on bridges from Ethereum, this allows dApps to access the advantages of various blockchains, enhancing their capabilities. It also permits the cross-chain transfer of assets and information .

Solana’s Wormhole and Axie Infinity’s Ronin were two examples of well-known bridges that were hacked. Picture a set of closely situated islands connected by bridges, and each island represents a separate blockchain. A blockchain “bridge” connects two blockchains and allows users to send cryptocurrency from one blockchain to another. Think about the steps involved with selling ETH to buy tokens on another blockchain. You have to send your ETH to an exchange, sell it, buy something else, and then send the new tokens to a wallet — paying fees every step of the way. Multichain.orgFormerly known as Anyswap, Multichain lives up to both names.

Types of Bridges

But, as discussed, users can’t transfer cryptocurrency between blockchains. If you want to buy an NFT on the Ethereum blockchain but only have bitcoin, you can use a cross-chain bridge to conduct the transaction. A blockchain bridge is a portal connecting several distinct blockchains, enabling users to transfer data and assets across different blockchains. Some blockchain bridges, such as “Cross-Chain Bridge” and Synapse Protocol, adopt different approaches. For instance, there are liquidity pools for WETH on BNB Chain, Polygon, and so on. Blockchains exist as separate distributed networks with different tokens.

  • A bridge may allow the free transfer of assets between two blockchains, or it may have specialized functionality.
  • On the contrary, those who transfer assets with centralized exchanges cannot benefit from this.
  • The Binance Bridge helps users utilize Ethereum-based assets on the BNB Smart Chain by wrapping tokens in the BEP-20 token standard.
  • In addition, the risks with a blockchain bridge depend on the type and have a different impact on users and the blockchain community.
  • Solana’s Wormhole and Axie Infinity’s Ronin were two examples of well-known bridges that were hacked.
  • Portal Token Bridge can handle either transaction with ease — and can even move ERC-721 NFTs between supported networks.
  • Many bridges are built with smart contracts, which are just computer code.

Through a blockchain bridge, bitcoin users can transfer their coins to Ethereum and do with them what they otherwise could not on the bitcoin blockchain. That can include purchasing various Ethereum tokens or making low-fee payments. For example, trusted blockchain bridge presents the concerns of censorship due to centralized control. On top of it, the custodial risks of exposing assets to malicious bridge operators could also affect users. At the same time, a trustless bridge would also present risks in the form of malware or bug risks in the smart contract code. Furthermore, a trustless bridge entrusts the responsibility of assets to the users, thereby implying possibility of a loss of funds due to user error.

Aramid Finance

As blockchain technology innovates quickly, more cross-chain trustless bridges are created in order to help with bridging assets from one blockchain to another. An example of a trustless cross-chain bridge is XDEFI Wallet’s cross-chain swap functionality using THORChain. You can swap native Bitcoin on the Bitcoin network to native Ethereum on the Ethereum network without trusting a centralized bridge. Wrapped tokens represent the real coin or token but can be used on other blockchains. Cross-chain bridges are programs that can send cryptocurrencies between at least two blockchains. The purpose of a token bridge is to make it possible for people to transfer assets from one blockchain to another, as different dApps may require users to interact with different blockchains.

Popular Blockchain Bridge Examples

You can use a crypto bridge to gain access to an equivalent amount of ETH. Bifrost has developed an EOS network bridge that enables trustless cross-chain asset transfer. Bitfrost is also planning to what is a blockchain bridge work on interoperability with EOS contracts. Centrifuge collaborated with ChainSafe to develop a modular, asset-agnostic and multidirectional bridge between Substrate-based blockchains and Ethereum.