Last week, Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum (ETH)’s co-founder, voiced his disapproval regarding the emergence of cross-chain bridges, citing security vulnerabilities due to their interdependency. In the days that followed, however, developers working on cross-chain technologies largely dismissed his skepticism. In a statement to Gist Vile, Kadan Stadelmann, chief technology officer of atomic swap blockchain Komodo, responded to Vitalik’s critique:
“What we ultimately need is true decentralization. For example, instead of relying on one or two trusted bridges that have a single point of failure, it would be better to work towards a future where we have numerous bridges that are secure, trustless and censorship-resistant.”
Erik Ashdown, head of ecosystem growth at data analytics and blockchain indexer Covalent, concurred:
Vitalik is a smart cookie who’s clearly done his thinking about the state of bridges. However, his saying that bridges are a bad idea and won’t work is the equivalent of the Bitcoin community in 2015 saying Ethereum and smart contracts were a bad idea.
Stadelmann further reiterated that “cross-chain interoperability is the future” and that both multi-chain ecosystem networks like Polkadot (DOT) and Cosmos (ATOM), as well as atomic decentralized exchanges, could disrupt the economic size of Ethereum. In supporting the claim, Stadelmann cites expensive gas fees on the blockchain as to why users would prefer alternatives.
Nevertheless, there are unresolved issues surrounding cross-chain blockchains. Ashdown cites one example of the composability of a smart contract, where sending a token across one bridge will not have the same contract address if it crosses from another bridge. This means that anyone else sending a token across another bridge will not be able to interact with the original tokens sent from the main bridge.