A blockchain bridge is a protocol that connects two blockchains and allows interoperability between them.
Bridges are the backbone of interoperability in the blockchain industry, allowing isolated ecosystems to come together and create an interconnected network of blockchains with seamless exchange of tokens and data.
▶️Bridges can have different uses:
🔵calling smart contracts
🔵receiving information from oracles
🔵token transfer between two networks
To transfer a token using a bridge, a «wrapped» token is used — a copy of the crypto-asset that exists in another blockchain, but is tied to the value of the token originally sent.
▶️Types of bridges:
1. Custodial — security is provided by a central management body (e.g., an exchange).
2. Non-castodial — work decentralized and manage the processes of blockchain and cryptocurrency mining using smart contracts, and therefore do not require the services of a bridge operator. In this case, the security of the system depends entirely on its code.
One-way bridges only transfer assets to the destination blockchain, not back. Two-way bridges work in both directions.
▶️Pros of bridges:
🔵Load balancing and scaling
🔵Expansion of available assets
🔵Integration between blockchains
▶️Cons of bridges:
🔵Possibility of centralization
🔵Risks of vulnerability from attacks on the network or contract
Bridges take blockchain interactions to the next level, enabling a more flexible, scalable and interoperable future. However, it's worth remembering that they still come with risks and need to evolve.