Crypto Strategies eBook

Blockchain Bridges

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.

BTW, if you need to start with some ETH on one of the chains or L2, the fastest way is to buy them on a crypto exchange like MEXC (our referral link).

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)

RankName1d Change24h Volume7d Volume1m Volume24h # of Txs
1zkSync Era Bridge+171%$52.91m$203.55m$1.071b8668
2Arbitrum Bridge-64.08%$21.61m$242.06m$951.14m1010
4Polygon PoS Bridge-27.80%$14.98m$124.56m$566.82m984
6Optimism Gateway+57.11%$16.9m$63.73m$250.84m252
7xDai Bridge+6.74%$2.05m$37.58m$250.84m178
8Portal by Wormhole-26.63%$3.18m$23.63m$130.84m447
10Squid (Powered by Axelar)+27.31%$4.76m$17.56m$72.5m1808
11Core Bitcoin Bridge+217%$3.18m$12.81m$64.17m56
13Avalanche Bridge-80.50%$1.87m$18.77m$54.98m88
15Polygon zkEVM Bridge-85.48%$380,071$10.79m$40.37m530$2.15m$11m$33.93m39450
17Satellite (Powered by Axelar)-75.25%$1.02m$8.95m$30.43m49
18Base Bridge-33.36%$344,944$3.66m$27.12m499
19Rainbow Bridge+1166%$1.81m$3.05m$24.95m22
20Mantle Bridge+69.67%$116,211$398,639$23.42m37
Crypto Bridges between Blockchains

Top 5 Crypto Bridges by Volume

Based on the most recent data, here’s a short summary of the top five crypto bridges:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Stargate
    • 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Across
    • 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.

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