Bridges are a crucial part of the blockchain ecosystem.
As Flipside Crypto analyst @aadharsh2010 pointed out, in last week’s Our Network newsletter, analyzing trends across both directions of these bridges offers a deeper view into DeFi users’ decision-making.
Axie Infinity’s Ronin Bridge, for instance, leads the way in the number of transactions. The Terra Bridge, meanwhile, has increased engagement on the Terra network since its launch in March.
The same relationship between news interest and traffic has applied to Solana’s Sollet Bridge.
But as @aadharsh2010 notes below, some bridges are inherently more complicated than others.
How bridge architecture impacts transactions
The graph below shows that there is only one address that sends transactions to the Matic Ether Bridge’s smart contract. The Matic Ether contract, meanwhile, sends tokens to several addresses.
As the chain of contracts that a transaction is routed through is fully represented by a single transaction ID, reading the origin address sidesteps the issue from the previous graph.
How Routers led to the Thorchain hack
As noted here, Thorchain’s ETH router was the point of contact for the July 9th whitehat hack (as well as the later hacks).
It appears as though the first hack prompted a partial change in router (as well as some security changes). This change lasted until Thorchain shut down for further security changes.
RenBridge as a counterexample
What’s interesting to note about RenBridge is the symmetry with regard to the direction taken across the bridge.
In this case, this symmetry occurs because bridge transactions need to be routed to the genesis address to control the mint/release events for renTokens. These tokens are then given to the same address and are considered as valuable as the inputted assets.
As a whole, it’s clear that bridge traffic and volume increase in both directions with hype and price fluctuations.
How bridges will continue to exist in a world where every blockchain is inherently built to communicate with one another remains unclear. There’s legitimate reason for debate regarding the net benefit of cross-chain networking, even if it has put a spotlight on fledgling chains and allowed innovative concepts to spread.
There does exist a possibility that bridging and total interoperability in blockchains can lead to a future where the failure of one protocol or blockchain lacks isolation. This could result in legitimate market shocks across the DeFi space.
Do more with on-chain data 🔍
Thanks again to @aadharsh2010 for this analysis. Want to get more involved with the Flipside community and see your own analysis on our blog? Join us on Discord to get started. You can also see some of our best bounty submissions here.