Vitalik Buterin gives thumbs down to cross-chain applications

In a Reddit put up on Friday, Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum (ETH), outlined important safety considerations surrounding cross-chain bridges within the blockchain ecosystem. As advised by Buterin, storing native property directly-chain (Ethereum on Ethereum, Solana on Solana, and so on.) offers a sure diploma of immunity in opposition to 51% assaults. Even when hackers handle to censor or reverse transactions, they can not suggest blocks to remove one’s crypto.

The rule additionally applies to the Ethereum utility. For instance, if hackers launch a 51% assault (by controlling 51% of all circulating ETH provide) whereas an investor swaps 100 ETH for 320,000 DAI stablecoin, the top state stays invariant, i.e., the investor would at all times get both 100 ETH or 320,000 DAI.

Nevertheless, Buterin continued, that the identical stage of safety doesn’t apply to cross-chain bridges. Within the instance he raised, if an attacker deposited their very own ETH onto a Solana (SOL) bridge to obtain Solana-wrapped Ether (WETH) and then reverted that transaction on the Ethereum side as soon as the Solana side confirmed it, it would incur devastating losses on other users whose tokens are locked in the SOL-WETH contract, as the wrapped tokens are no longer backed by the original on a 1:1 ratio.

Buterin further outlined how the security exploit could scale negatively as more bridges are added into a cross-chain network. In a theoretical network comprising 100 chains, the high level of interdepency and overlapping derivatives would mean that a 51% attack on one chain, especially a small-cap one, can cause a system-wide contagion. According to Crypto 51, it costs as much as $1.78 million an hour for hackers to mount a 51% attack vector against the Ethereum network. However, the cost drops to as little as $13,846 per hour for blockchains such as Bitcoin Cash.

Associated: Vitalik proposes new ‘multidimensional’ Ethereum charge construction