In the fast-evolving world of cryptocurrencies, blockchains were once isolated islands. As the ecosystem expanded, the need for interoperability became apparent, giving rise to “crypto bridges” — the digital pathways that allow for the transfer of assets and information from one blockchain to another. This article will explore what these bridges are and how they function, followed by a brief overview of the top five bridges by volume as of the latest data.
What Are Crypto Bridges?
Crypto bridges are essentially protocols or services that enable the exchange of assets between two blockchains with different protocols, rules, and governance structures. These bridges can be centralized or decentralized. Centralized bridges rely on trust in an intermediary, while decentralized bridges work on a trustless system, using smart contracts and other technologies to facilitate transfers.
Bridges serve various functions, including:
- Asset Transfer: Allowing tokens and cryptocurrencies to be transferred between blockchains.
- Smart Contract Interoperability: Enabling smart contracts to trigger or interact with events on other blockchains.
- Data Sharing: Facilitating the sharing of data between different blockchain projects, which is essential for many DeFi applications.
With these functionalities, bridges enhance the liquidity and utility of assets across the crypto landscape.
Bridges are also getting a lot of daily usage too ($177m in the last 24 hours) as they are a crucial infrastructure to crypto space.
Here’s the diagram from DefiLlama that shows total volume of crypto bridge usage.
Top 20 Blockchain Bridges
The following table shows top 20 blockchain bridges as of 2nd November 2023 by 1 month volume. Some are concerned with only 2 blockchains (Arbitrum or zkSync), some are cross-chains with many blockchains (Stargate, Synapse)
|Rank||Name||1d Change||24h Volume||7d Volume||1m Volume||24h # of Txs|
|1||zkSync Era Bridge||+171%||$52.91m||$203.55m||$1.071b||8668|
|4||Polygon PoS Bridge||-27.80%||$14.98m||$124.56m||$566.82m||984|
|8||Portal by Wormhole||-26.63%||$3.18m||$23.63m||$130.84m||447|
|10||Squid (Powered by Axelar)||+27.31%||$4.76m||$17.56m||$72.5m||1808|
|11||Core Bitcoin Bridge||+217%||$3.18m||$12.81m||$64.17m||56|
|15||Polygon zkEVM Bridge||-85.48%||$380,071||$10.79m||$40.37m||530|
|17||Satellite (Powered by Axelar)||-75.25%||$1.02m||$8.95m||$30.43m||49|
Top 5 Crypto Bridges by Volume
Based on the most recent data, here’s a short summary of the top five crypto bridges:
- zkSync Era Bridge
- Chains: Connects Ethereum to other blockchains using zkRollup technology.
- Notable Volumes: Peaked with a 171% increase in daily volume, reaching a total of $52.91m in 24h volume and an impressive $1.071b in one-month volume.
- Arbitrum Bridge
- Chains: Bridges Ethereum to the Arbitrum Layer 2 network to scale Ethereum’s capabilities.
- Notable Volumes: Despite a 64.08% decrease in daily volume, it still maintained a substantial $21.61m in 24h volume and a total of $951.14m over one month.
- Chains: A multi-chain bridge that focuses on seamless asset transfers with instant liquidity.
- Notable Volumes: Witnessed an 18.96% rise in daily volume, amassing $26.01m in 24h volume and $766.7m over the course of a month.
- Polygon PoS Bridge
- Chains: Connects Ethereum to Polygon’s Proof of Stake sidechain, enhancing scalability.
- Notable Volumes: Saw a 27.80% decrease in daily volume, yet secured $14.98m in 24h volume and a solid $566.82m in monthly volume.
- Chains: A user-centric bridge with a focus on security and efficiency in asset transfer.
- Notable Volumes: Increased by 44.83% in daily volume, hitting $12.78m in 24h volume and $347.92m over a month.
These bridges are a testament to the dynamic and interconnected nature of the crypto world, where assets and information flow across different blockchains, enhancing the overall functionality and reach of cryptocurrencies. As the technology matures, we can expect to see more sophisticated bridges, further knitting the crypto ecosystem together in a seamless and efficient web of interoperability.
If you didn’t know, crypto is risky – nothing here is financial advice, purely educational content!
P.S. some of the links are affiliate.