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Do you really transfer assets when you cross chain?

2022-06-24 02:39:08Blockbeats

As more and more new public chains go online , Users' demand for asset cross chain also increases simultaneously . This trend after a number of cross chain bridge projects , The number of assets cast through various cross chain bridges has also increased sharply .

As cross chain assets become more widely used , There are more and more problems related to it . such as , How do we evaluate the security of a cross chain asset ? In some new public chains USDC and The etheric fang Medium USDC Is it the same thing ? Why do some platforms have ceUSDC、anyUSDC、madUSDC even to the extent that USDC.e And other stable coins in different formats , In other platforms, there is only one USDC? When a cross chain bridge is attacked , How to judge whether the cross chain assets I hold are affected ?

With these questions , This article will start with the underlying cross chain basic logic , Sort out the whole process of cross chain asset casting , So that readers can better evaluate the real risk of cross chain assets , Choose a more suitable cross chain tool .

So at the beginning of the article , Let's first briefly discuss how assets are defined .

How to define an asset ?

There are two main ways to define assets , One is defined by physical properties , For example, physical gold and precious metal currency commonly used in ancient society . But in modern society , Whether it's money or stocks 、 Financial assets such as bonds , Its definition has basically broken away from the limitation of physical attributes , Change to a more abstract model of defining assets by accounting books .

Such as bank deposits used in our daily life , It is defined by the balance sheet of a country's banking system . As long as your account balance is recorded in the bank statement , Then your savings must exist .

Similar to deposits , The currency Such cryptocurrencies are also defined by accounting books . The only difference , It is bitcoin that adopts a more centralized account book registration mode ( No mistake , It's more concentrated ). All bitcoins are recorded in a single set of books , And there is only one version in the world ( The longest chain consensus ). This unified and tamper proof accounting book is what we call blockchain .

What people often call the decentralization of blockchain , In fact, it is only reflected in the process of recording and keeping the account book, realizing the wider participation of the community . But in terms of the number of books involved in defining assets , Compared with the traditional bank account book registration system , It is undoubtedly a higher degree of centralization , And more efficient ( Frequent reconciliation between multiple bookkeeping entities is not required ) Account book registration method .

Can assets really cross the chain ?

Mentioned above , Every blockchain , In fact, they are independent accounting books that can define their original assets . But sometimes , People want assets to move away from the original books that define them , And then freely circulate in different accounting systems .

Such as cross-border remittance ( Books across different banking systems )、 Issue stable money ( From bank ledger to blockchain ledger ) Or recharge to the trading platform ( From blockchain ledger to trading platform ledger ) wait . All these operations of transferring assets across the ledger , Across the broad chain .

But the problem is , Since the existence of an asset is determined by the original account book that defines it , In theory, no asset can exist independently of the original account book . in other words , The real cross chain of assets cannot happen in theory .

Just as physical gold can't really get into your bank account , Bitcoin cannot exist independently of the blockchain that defines bitcoin . therefore , People often say that assets cross the chain , In fact, the cross chain is not the asset itself , It's the value that assets represent .

therefore , Asset cross chain is essentially a value transfer process across different accounting systems . But for ease of expression , We will continue the process of transferring this value across the ledger later , Referred to as 「 Assets cross the chain 」.

Then the next question is , How can we transfer value across different accounting systems ?

There are two basic modes of asset cross chain

1. Lock the casting mold

Lock in casting model is the most basic model of asset cross chain . Back in the era of metal money , People use locked casting models , By locking the gold in the gold shop , At the same time, it will cast and issue gold redeemable certificates that are easier to carry and circulate ( Later evolved into paper money ) Conduct daily transactions .

In the process , The golden shop is equivalent to a cross chain bridge , The safe in the gold shop is equivalent to a smart contract that locks assets in the transfer out chain , The paper money is the cross chain assets issued by the cross chain bridge in the new chain .

similarly , In real blockchain cross chain activities , Almost exactly the same lock casting logic is still used . Cross chain bridge locks assets in the original chain , And issue the assets of the original chain in the transfer chain 「 Redeemable certificate 」, That is, cross chain assets , Then complete the cross chain transfer of asset value .

Step out of the chain A Side lock the original asset , Step into the chain B Redeemable certificates of original assets are issued on the side

At present, all existing cross chains ( Cross ledger ) assets , Basically, the original assets issued by different cross chain intermediaries 「 Redeemable certificate 」. Including the balance you recharge into the trading platform , US dollar foreign exchange held by multinational companies , Bitcoin anchor currency traded in various public chain platforms , Even by locking ETH And received WETH And so on belong to the broad cross chain assets .

The only drawback of this model is , Cross chain intermediaries using this model are often difficult to meet the requirements of users in terms of efficiency and cost . therefore , Such cross chain bridges often link only a few public chains ( Such as Ethereum to the new chain ) In order to introduce mainstream cross chain assets to the new chain . And this kind of cross chain bridge is often supported by the new chain official or directly developed , Therefore, this kind of bridge is often called official bridge .

But for ordinary users , Improving cross chain transaction efficiency and reducing costs are what they are more concerned about . therefore , The third-party bridge using the two-way capital pool model came into being .

2. Two way fund pool model

The two-way fund pool model is not difficult to understand . As the main efficiency bottleneck of the official bridge comes from the locking casting process , So as long as we can bypass this mechanism , Cross chain efficiency can be greatly improved .

therefore , These third-party bridges choose to set up capital pools on both sides of the bridge in advance , One side gathers a large number of original assets of the original chain , One side collects cross chain assets that have been issued by the official bridge .

When users cross the chain through a third-party bridge , Just deposit the original assets on one side , And directly take out the cross chain assets cast by the official bridge in advance on the other side , You can complete the cross chain work in real time . As long as the transfer out and transfer in amount of this third-party bridge are roughly equal in the process of operation , The model can run stably .

The only limitation is , The two-way capital pool model needs to use the cross chain assets that have been issued by the official bridge , Therefore, it can only be deployed after the official bridge is established .

What are the factors that affect the safety of cross chain assets ?

Mentioned above , Cross chain assets are redeemable certificates of original assets issued by cross chain bridge . And after every lock casting process , The risk of assets will increase one layer .

We are currently issued in Moonbeam Upper anyUSDC For example , The issuance of its assets needs to go through three stages :

1. Issued by the US banking system USD;

2. Stable currency issuers Circle lock USD, And release in Ethereum USDC;

3. Cross chain bridge Anyswap( present Multichain) Lock in Ethereum USDC, And issue in the new chain anyUSDC;

therefore ,anyUSDC Security is equal to the product of the security of the three , It can be expressed as follows :

Security (anyUSDC)= Security ( dollar )* Security (Circle)* Security (Anyswap)

in other words , As long as any one of the three goes wrong , For example, the collapse of the US banking system 、Circle Roll money to run or Anyswap Be attacked , Will directly affect anyUSDC The intrinsic value of . Therefore, the more lock-in casting process an asset goes through ( The more prefixes in the name ), The higher the risk it carries .

therefore , Cross chain bridge as the initial issuer of cross chain assets , It has become the core node to determine the safety of cross chain assets .

At present, there are two main types of cross chain bridge attacks . Let's take the gold shop as an example , First, the gold locked by the gold shop was directly stolen (PolyNetwork The mode of being attacked ), The other is that the redeemable vouchers issued by the gold shop are forged by hackers , So that hackers can use these forged vouchers to redeem the gold in the vault first (Wormhole The mode of being attacked ).

But anyway , The security of an asset , It is almost entirely up to its issuer . For cross chain assets , To determine whether they are safe or not , Is the cross chain bridge that issued them .

How can a new chain better issue cross chain assets ?

Complete the necessary knowledge , We can better understand how the chaotic cross chain assets in many new public chains come into being .

Let's take a look at Moonbeam Trading platform on Zenlink Types of cross chain assets included in .

It can be seen that , stay Moonbeam In this new public chain , The original issuer of cross chain assets has at least three different cross chain bridges . With USDC For example , Three kinds of cross chain assets have been independently issued by three bridges , They are :ceUSDC、anyUSDC And madUSDC.

It can be seen that ,Zenlink The authorities did not specify the only official bridge , Instead, it accepts all standard cross chain assets for users to choose freely . meanwhile , Because in Moonbeam None of the cross chain assets in China has achieved absolute dominance , Therefore, other third-party bridges also began to use lock-in casting model to issue their own cross chain assets .

Although this open and free competition is more in line with the spirit of blockchain , But for a newly established DEX Come on , There is no doubt that it will also cause a large degree of liquidity fragmentation , The user experience is not friendly .

However, with the Zenlink The difference is , Also deployed in Moonbeam Above StellaSwap And Beamswap, However, there is only one by default in the transaction interface USDC.

After testing, we found that , The USDC Not by Circle A stable currency issued directly by the government . The assets behind it , In fact, in the Zenlink Shown in anyUSDC. in other words , although Moonbeam There is no native USDC, But in order to reduce the confusion of users , Directly changed a more memorable name on the front end to recharge .

This approach unifies liquidity , However, this method of artificially specifying cross chain asset standards by the project party , In fact, it is not in line with the spirit of decentralization . Especially directly anyUSDC Rename the front end to USDC, It will create a kind of for users, which is made by Circle The illusion of official direct distribution . Cause it to ignore Anyswap( present Multichain) Risks that cross chain bridge may bring to user asset security .

So in the initial issuance of cross chain assets , After all, it is man-made to choose a single cross chain bridge as the issuing body , Or allow different cross chain assets to compete freely , In fact, it is also a dilemma . Just as there are various versions of bitcoin anchor coins in Ethereum , As long as there is no bridge to obtain the market monopoly position of cross chain asset issuance , Then this confusion and separation will always exist .

But anyway , Try to keep the name of cross chain assets complete , Don't intentionally or unintentionally mislead users , It is also the basic principle that all project parties need to maintain .

At the end of the article , Let's summarize the core content of this paper :

1. Cross chain bridge constructed by lock casting mode , It is an important asset issuer in the blockchain world . And issue USDT Of Tether The company is similar to , They have never been simple channels , But an important issuer of cross chain assets . Once these bridges are broken , Then its issued assets may instantly return to zero , Therefore, the safety of these bridges is very important .

2. Cross chain bridge constructed by two-way fund pool mode , It is not a simple channel business , It's a liquidity mitigation business . Generally, the security of its fund pool will not directly affect the users who use cross chain bridges , But the theft of the capital pool will directly make LP Suffer a loss .

3. At present, the confusion of cross chain assets largely stems from the random simplification of the naming of cross chain assets . except StellaSwap Directly at the front end will anyUSDC Change to USDC Outside , Similar examples include Near Shown in ETH, Actually it is from nETH(n On behalf of the official rainbow bridge ) Simplify . as well as Cosmos In ecology, it is obtained by crossing the chain through different paths ATOM, It's not the same thing in essence . 

So don't simply be misled by the asset name , Maintain attention to the safety of cross chain asset issuers , It may become a necessary lesson for all encryption investors in the future .

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