Polkadot launches cross-chain communications protocol as a solution to blockchain’s bridge problem

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The famous blockchain platform 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.

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. In other words, XCM will allow communication between parachains and smart contracts.

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

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According to data produced by Chainalysis and cited by Bloomberg, bridge attacks have cost the crypto sector more than $1 billion in the last year, highlighting significant security vulnerabilities of modern technology. The exploit of Ronin bridge by Axie Infinity is likely the most well-known, with the criminals stealing 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.

Polkadot avoids parachain communications issues

“Most bridges today rely on a few weak foundations, primarily over-reliance on centralized multi-signature schemes, meaning they aren’t trustless or spaghetti smart contract code that opens users up to attack,” Peter Mauric, public affairs head at Polkadot developer Parity Technologies, told in an interview when asked about the most significant security flaws of bridges.

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“On Polkadot, communication between parachains avoids these issues,” he noted.

Real interoperability is the capacity to trustlessly assemble programs across numerous chains, exploiting functions from each, said Mauric in response to “interoperability” becoming a standard industry phrase with little application. 

“Because of Polkadot’s modular shared security architecture, this is only possible between its parachains, starting today with the launch of XCM.”

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