Polkadot rolls-out a cross-chain communications system to tackle the blockchain's bridge problem

In the crypto sector, bridges have become one of the most common places of failure. Polkadot wants to get rid of them.



Polkadot has announced the creation of a new cross-chain communications protocol that it claims will eliminate the need for complex bridging procedures that have cost the crypto industry billions in cyber attacks.


Furthermore, Polkadot's multichain ecosystem, which is founded on the idea of full interoperability, will benefit from the newly announced XCM messaging system.


XCM channels are stated to be secure at the same level as Polkadot's core hub, called Relay Chain, and can be used by parachains.


To put it another way, XCM will allow communication between parachains and smart contracts.


Messages will be sent between parachains without having to be stored on the Relay Chain in future iterations of XCM, enhancing scalability and removing individual chain governance processes.


According to data produced by Chainalysis and cited by Bloomberg, bridge attacks have cost the cryptocurrency sector more than $1 billion in the last year, highlighting severe security vulnerabilities of the new technology.


The Ronin bridge exploit by Axie Infinity is likely the most well-known, with the criminals stealing more over $600 million in digital assets in just two transactions.


Bloomberg also stated that as of March 30, more than $21 billion was held on Ethereum bridges, citing data from Dune Analytics.


Peter Mauric, public affairs director of Polkadot developer Parity Technologies, briefed Cointelegraph about the most serious security weaknesses in bridges,


“Most bridges today rely on a few weak foundations, primarily over-reliance on centralized multisignature schemes, meaning they aren’t trustless or spaghetti smart contract code that opens users up to attack.”

He added that “communication between parachains on Polkadot avoid these pitfalls.”


"Real interoperability is the capacity to trustlessly assemble programs across numerous chains, exploiting functions from each," Mauric replied when asked about "interoperability" being a common industry phrase with little application.


"This is only conceivable between its parachains, starting today with the launch of XCM," he continued, "because of Polkadot's modular shared security architecture."