Wednesday, January 26, 2022
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Vitalik Buterin gives thumbs down to cross-chain applications


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In a Reddit put up on Friday, Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum (ETH), outlined important safety considerations surrounding cross-chain bridges within the blockchain ecosystem. As advised by Buterin, storing native belongings directly-chain (Ethereum on Ethereum, Solana on Solana, and so on.) supplies a sure diploma of immunity against 51% attacks. Even if hackers manage to censor or reverse transactions, they cannot propose blocks to take away one’s crypto.

The rule also applies to the Ethereum application. For example, if hackers launch a 51% attack (by controlling 51% of all circulating ETH supply) while an investor swaps 100 ETH for 320,000 DAI stablecoin, the end state remains invariant, i.e., the investor would always get either 100 ETH or 320,000 DAI.

However, Buterin continued, that the same level of security does not apply to cross-chain bridges. In the example he raised, if an attacker deposited their own ETH onto a Solana (SOL) bridge to acquire Solana-wrapped Ether (WETH) after which reverted that transaction on the Ethereum aspect as quickly because the Solana aspect confirmed it, it will incur devastating losses on different customers whose tokens are locked within the SOL-WETH contract, because the wrapped tokens are now not backed by the unique on a 1:1 ratio.

Buterin additional outlined how the safety exploit may scale negatively as extra bridges are added right into a cross-chain community. In a theoretical community comprising 100 chains, the excessive stage of interdepency and overlapping derivatives would imply {that a} 51% assault on one chain, particularly a small-cap one, could cause a system-wide contagion. According to Crypto 51, it prices as a lot as $1.78 million an hour for hackers to mount a 51% assault vector towards the Ethereum community. Nevertheless, the associated fee drops to as little as $13,846 per hour for blockchains equivalent to Bitcoin Money.

Associated: Vitalik proposes new ‘multidimensional’ Ethereum fee structure