Vitalik Buterin gives thumbs down to cross-chain applications

Vitalik Buterin (co-founder of Ethereum) posted a Reddit message on Friday highlighting critical security concerns around cross-chain bridges within the blockchain ecosystem. According to Buterin, native assets can be stored directly on the blockchain (Ethereum, Solana and Solana, among others). This provides some protection against 51% attacks. Even hackers can censor and reverse transactions, they can’t propose blocks to remove crypto.

This rule applies to Ethereum applications as well. If hackers launch a 51% attack to control 51% of all circulating Ethereum supply, and an investor swaps 100ETH for 320,000 DAI stabilitycoin, the end status remains invariant. The investor would still get 100 ETH or 320,000 DAI.

Buterin said that cross-chain bridges do not have the same security level. He gave an example of how an attacker could deposit their own Ethereum onto a Solana bridge (SOL), to obtain Solana wrapped Ether (WETH), and then reverse that transaction on the Ethereum side once the Solana side confirms it. This would result in devastating losses for other users whose tokens were locked in the SOL–WETH contract. The wrapped tokens are not backed by the original tokens on a 1:1 basis.

Buterin also explained how the security exploit could become more dangerous as more cross-chain networks are built. A theoretical network with 100 chains would have a high level of interdependency and overlapping derivatives. This could lead to a 51% attack on a single chain, particularly a small-cap, that can spread the virus throughout the entire system. Crypto 51 estimates that hackers can mount a 51% attack vector on the Ethereum network for as high as $1.78million an hour. For blockchains like Bitcoin Cash, however, the hourly cost is only $13,846.

My argument for why the future is *multi-chain* but not *cross-chain* is that there are fundamental limitations to security of bridges that cross multiple “zones” of sovereignty. From https://t.co/3g1GUvuA3A: pic.twitter.com/tEYz8vb59b
— Vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin), January 7, 2022

Related: Vitalik proposes a new multidimensional Ethereum fee structure

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Eileen Wilson

Eileen Wilson –Technology and Energy My Name is Eileen Wilson with more than 5 years of experience in the Stock market industry, I am energetic about Technology news, started my career as an author then, later climbing my way up towards success into senior positions. I can consider myself as the backbone behind the success and growth of topmagazinewire.com with a dream to expand the reach out of the industry on a global scale. I am also a contributor and an editor of the Technology and Energy category. I experienced a critical analysis of companies and extracted the most noteworthy information for our vibrant investor network.

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