Bridges have big problems — How can cross-chain swaps be quicker and safer?

    2023.11.20 | exchangesranking | 278onlookers

    Presented by Magpie

    A big problem when transferring assets from one blockchain to another concerns bridges. Between 2020 and 2022, data from Token Terminal revealed that more than $2.5 billion had been stolen by hackers — all because of vulnerabilities within bridge infrastructure.

    In some cases, inadequate levels of security were to blame. The Ronin bridge — responsible for powering the popular Axie Infinity game — suffered an exploit worth over $600 million last year, which took six days to detect, but this wasn’t the only problem. At the time, the bridge operated with nine validator nodes, and just five signatures were needed to initiate withdrawals, a hurdle that the attacker managed to overcome.

    Even if security concerns are dealt with, there can be other limitations. Bridges may only support a small number of tokens, and because each platform operates slightly differently, end users may have to contend with a few added steps before a swap is finalized, which is not ideal when a transaction needs to be completed in a hurry.

    For cryptocurrencies and decentralized finance to become more widely adopted, it’s crucial for the user experience to be more streamlined and as intuitive as more old-fashioned platforms. Delivering cross-chain swaps in a couple of clicks would eliminate headaches for users and make it easier to onboard new consumers. Better still, ensuring people retain custody of their crypto at all times.

    The final issue that needs to be resolved concerns pricing. Volatile crypto markets mean the price of flagship cryptocurrencies is continually changing — and this means the providers of cross-chain swaps need to scour the industry to deliver the best possible deal.

    Cutting out bridges

    Magpie is one of the projects tackling the pain points associated with bridges. This decentralized liquidity aggregation protocol aims to deliver a fast and secure solution to cross-chain swaps that support top blockchains. Bridges are included in its architecture, but their role is to communicate swap signals between networks and provide liquidity to swap in and out of each chain. Ethereum, Polygon, BNB Chain, Avalanche, Arbitrum, and Optimism are all supported — delivering strong coverage across the blockchains most commonly used by DeFi protocols. Magpie also claims to be the first aggregator to deliver on-chain swaps on Polygon’s zkEVM chain.

    Source: Magpie

    Source: Magpie

    Through Magpie Protocol, users simply select the token they want to swap and the chain it’s currently on, then choose the token they wish to convert to, as well as the network they want it on, and hit Swap. All of this is done in a noncustodial, permissionless manner.

    Source: Magpie

    Source: Magpie

    Magpie has launched a beta version of its DApp with a unique order routing system. This algorithm considers key factors, including the value of the asset being swapped, the network fees associated with a real-time trade, and routing through any token to find a great price.

    Additionally, multiple liquidity sources across major decentralized exchanges are examined to deliver cost-effective transactions, and Magpie will pull from multiple liquidity sources for a swap as well. All of this is achieved automatically and quickly, meaning users won’t have to manually search for the best deal.

    Looking ahead

    The public beta launch was preceded by an alpha test with over 5,000 participants and a successful seed round. Support for new chains continues to expand, with the addition of Arbitrum, Optimism, and the distinction of being the first aggregator for the Polygon zkEVM chain, representing and consolidating a significant portion of the total value locked (TVL) within the DeFi sector.

    Magpie launched an evolving NFT campaign called ‘The Magpie Mafia,’ which currently boasts over 9,000 members, as a way for users to have a fun and interactive way to earn XP in the Magpie ecosystem. The Mafia Bird NFT acts as a way to join Magpie campaigns and upgrades its look and weapons based on how much XP the user has, which is representative of how much they’ve swapped on the protocol. In the future, the users will be rewarded based on the XP and Mafia rank with Magpie ecosystem rewards.

    The Magpie Protocol team has recently introduced a revamped user experience, incorporating many enhancements within its existing user-friendly and intuitive interface. This update includes a cross-chain portfolio tracker, detailed transaction history, simplified access to the Magpie Mafia NFT, and numerous back-end optimizations to enhance app performance. As a result, the app now offers seamless cross-chain swaps across all eight supported blockchains. Additionally, this update introduces over 90 new liquidity sources, aggregation capabilities, and both on-chain and cross-chain swaps for the Base blockchain.

    Magpie is expanding its reach by adding support for more blockchains in the coming months, further broadening the scope of its cross-chain swap capabilities.

    In the future, Magpie plans to facilitate B2B client onboarding, enabling seamless integration of the Magpie API into their protocols. This initiative aims to make cross-chain transfers as effortless and convenient as on-chain swaps, regardless of transaction size.

    Magpie’s founder and CEO, Ali Raheman, shared:

    “I believe Magpie to be the next step in how we transact in a multichain DeFi. It’s an incredibly user-friendly, efficient and secure way to swap cross-chain and on-chain while providing the best prices you could ask for.”

    Learn more about Magpie

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