Last week, Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum (ETH), expressed his disapproval of the emergence of cross-chain bridges, citing security vulnerabilities due to their interdependence. In the days that followed, however, developers working on cross-chain technologies largely dismissed his skepticism. In a statement to Cointelegraph, Kadan Stadelmann, chief technology officer of atomic exchange blockchain Komodo, responded to Vitalik’s criticism:
“What we ultimately need is true decentralization. For example, instead of relying on one or two bridges of trust that have a single point of failure, it would be better to work towards a future where we have many secure, trustless, censorship-resistant bridges.”
Erik Ashdown, Head of Ecosystem Growth at Data Analytics and blockchain indexer Covalent, confirmed:
Vitalik is a smart cookie who has clearly done his thinking about the condition of the bridges. However, his statement that bridges are a bad idea and won’t work is the equivalent of the Bitcoin community in 2015 saying that Ethereum and smart contracts were a bad idea.
Stadelmann further reiterated that “cross-chain interoperability is the future” and that multi-chain ecosystem networks like Polkadot (DOT) and Cosmos (ATOM), as well as decentralized atomic exchanges, could disrupt the size economy of Ethereum. In support of this claim, Stadelmann cites high gas fees on the blockchain as why users would prefer alternatives.
Nevertheless, there are unresolved issues regarding cross-chain blockchains. Ashdown cites an example of smart contract composability, where sending a token across one bridge will not have the same contract address if it goes through another bridge. This means that anyone else sending a token through another bridge will not be able to interact with the original tokens sent from the main bridge.