Under the Bridge

Why secure Blockchain bridge architectures are important and Cosmos is leading when it comes to bridge security.

Trusted Bridges

As the name suggests a trusted bridge depends upon a central entity. A very simple procedure for such a bridge application is, for example, if we make an ETH deposit from the Ethereum mainnet on a central crypto exchange and then withdraw that ETH back to Polygon. We are giving ownership of our cryptos to an external entity and how exactly our tokens are bridged is not clear to us.

Trustless Bridges

Completely trustless bridges are considered the holy grail among bridge implementations and are very difficult to implement because any bridge is only as secure as its weakest link.

1. Locally Verified (Atomic Swaps)

2. Externally Verified

3. Natively Verified

Cosmos IBC

To link independent blockchains together, the Inter-Blockchain Communication Protocol (IBC), an open-source module for message relaying between separate distributed ledgers, was developed. Cosmos blockchains do not need to directly communicate with one another, which is a critical aspect of IBC. Instead, they are able to communicate data packets through specific channels that employ smart contract modules and a light client for completely confirming the veracity of the state transmitted by the other blockchain. Any party can operate a relayer because of the trustless and permissionless nature of IBC, and the participating blockchains do not have to trust the parties transferring the information. This is a crucial element for achieving blockchain sovereignty without isolation, which is one of the Cosmos ecosystem’s main goals.


Here we are now at the current usable state of the art. We are still not quite there for “perfect” bridge solution. But as more research is done and more exploits are being discovered, the mechanism used are getting better and more secure. For example, just after the Binance bridge exploit happened, another security issue in IBC has been discovered & fixed as well. However, the great majority of cross-chain bridge attacks this year have taken place on blockchains powered by the Ethereum Virtual Machine compared to few security breaches in the IBC ecosystem of Cosmos.

written by Flo



Validator operator in 20+ PoS blockchains. Visit us at www.blockscape.network.

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