Wormhole 2.0 ETH-SOL bridge latest in cross-chain boom

Demand for cross-chain bridges for digital assets is surging dramatically

The Solana network’s leading interoperability protocol – Wormhole 2.0 – has officially launched a cross-chain bridge between Solana and Ethereum (ETH).

The bridge will enable the transfer of digital assets between ERC-20 and SPL blockchains.

As the total value locked (TVL) of the top five cryptocurrencies approaches $150bn, demand for cross-chain bridges has absolutely skyrocketed.

This could, in part, be due to the arrival of NFT hysteria, which has seen tokenised digital art race to astronomical prices.

Ethereum has become a favoured chain due to the success of markets such as OpenSea. However, high gas fees have driven collectors to other chains such as Solana which has seen an array of NFT markets launch in recent months.

In one use case, the cross-chain bridge could enable collectors to transfer assets between the two.

This follows the launch of the Wormhole 2.0 mainnet back in August.

The cross-chain boom

In a panel last week – hosted by Sanctor Capital, the founder of leading DeFi platform Yearn Finance (YFI) – Andre Cronje set about trying to explain the sudden surge of demand for cross-chain bridges in the past year.

“The whole DeFi wave gave a reason for people to begin interacting with different blockchains,” he said.

“And the more we’re interacting, the more we are realising that there’s actually a little bit too much activity for any one chain to handle this stuff.

“While I can’t specifically pinpoint a big bang moment, it’s a combination of the maturing of different blockchains and their DeFi ecosystems, and things like NFTs that are giving people more and more of a reason to interact.”

It appears interoperability is going to be a hot topic over the next year, as many speculate that smaller projects could be squeezed out of the market as the big assets solidify market positioning.

Speaking to Coin Rivet, Chad Barraford – tech chief at ThorChain (RUNE) – explained why the industry was so excited about cross-chain capabilities.

“We’re now expanding beyond programmable money to programmable protocols,” he said.

“The next natural evolution of this is to be able to do that cross-chain. Being able to take the idea of programmable protocols to make it interact cross chain is fascinating.

“We didn’t have technologies like we have now during DeFi summer that would make cross-chain even feasible. Interoperability within many ecosystems, or any ecosystem, is a huge leap forward.”

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