Responding to the rising concerns on the safety of cross-chain bridges, Bitcoin-based cross-chain decentralised exchange Portal chairman Chandra Duggirala has said that the company believes in a multi-chain future without wrapped tokens or third-party custody.
The true cross-chain DEX has proposed a framework where each party’s funds are locked only during trade execution and not re-bonded or replicated onto other chains in order to ensure the safety of users’ assets
In a Reddit post last month, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin explained that he was pessimistic about a cross-chain blockchain ecosystem in the future. The crypto stalwart pointed out that cross-chain bridges have fundamental security limitations, especially their vulnerability to 51% attacks.
Buterin argued that cross-chain bridges open the possibility of attackers stealing funds by moving tokens to another chain and added that it's better for the separate blockchain communities to live separately than all fight over influence on the same thing.
Duggirala agreed with Buterin ‘s vision, elaborating on why bridges are difficult to secure:
“Wrapping assets on other chains basically inherits the guarantees of an IOU. When hundreds of Millions and Billions of dollars are being secured by poorly engineered systems and custodians with untested security practices, it becomes hard to secure user funds.”
The “code is law” nature of public blockchains makes ensuring security all the more important, the executive said.
The simplicity of Bitcoin along with its proven ability to create lasting contracts and transaction models make it an ideal solution when compared with all the experimental approaches in the market, he added.
Cross-chain solutions not only increase the number of attack vectors for the assets across a wider network surface area but also facilitate transfer through a variety of external federations that may no longer be decentralized and trustless.
Portal solves this by peer-to-peer atomic swaps. Users can transfer assets across blockchains without delays, blocked funds, exploits or even a central server, making it highly resistant to such attacks.
Explaining how a peer-to-peer atomic swap allows secure transfers between blockchains, Johnny Dilley, the inventor of Liquid Federation said:
“….Users without the capacity to evaluate the trustability of the systems will continue to be robbed blind. The industry needs a smarter, permanent answer for cross-chain asset movement, and Portal represents the best step forward on that path.”