Bridge Hacked Again – The Call For Change

Axie Infinity’s Ronin bridge was hacked for over USD 600M

Axie Infinity’s Ronin bridge and Katana Dex have been halted after suffering an exploit for 173,600 Ethereum (ETH) and 25.5 million USD Coin (USDC), worth a combined USD 612 million at current prices by a hack attack. As told by Ronin developers, the attacker utilized hacked private keys to forge fake withdrawals, draining the funds from the Ronin bridge in just two transactions.

How did hackers attacked Ronin bridge

Sky Mavis’ Ronin chain currently consists of 9 validator nodes. In order to recognize a Deposit event or a Withdrawal event, five out of the nine validator signatures are needed. The attacker managed to get control over Sky Mavis’s four Ronin Validators and a third-party validator run by Axie DAO. The validator key scheme is set up to be decentralized to limit attack vectors that is similar to this one, but the attacker found a backdoor through the gas-free RPC node, which they abused to get the signature of the Axie DAO validator.

Centralized bridges are time bombs

Ronin bridge’s underlying technology is MPC(Multi-Party Computation) and there are many cross-chain bridges using this technology. Almost all cross-chain bridges existed in the market are a kind of third-party custodial bridge that is governed by an MPC or multi-sig (multi-signature) wallet.

Bridges based on MPC architecture are extremely vulnerable when facing security issues. Honestly, they are just too centralized. Although MPC is based on multi-sig, it is yet controlled by a small circle of people designated by the project. The custody and contract of users’ cross-chain asset contracts are more similar to the management of centralized cold wallets. This same approach has been adopted by CEXs. Obviously, existing cross-chain bridges cannot stand the test of users and time because of the defective MPC architecture. Only the cross-chain bridges with blockchain-level security can survive.

Another centralized bridge – Celer cBridge

CBridge, another cross-chain project developed by Celer network, is also designed with MPC mechanism. According to data on Celer’s analytic site, the cBridge currently has a total value locked of more than USD 526M and a 24-hour transaction volume of USD 78M, which means that the daily asset usage rate was surprisingly lower than 15% in their USD 526M vaults. Let me tell you why it matters.

The increase in TVL is often used as a useful indicator when users evaluate public chains and Defi projects. However, it is absolutely not the same way with cross-chain projects. Simply focusing on TVL in a cross-chain project is just a number game. The essence of cross-chain is to solve liquidity problems, not to lock up assets. The main criterion to evaluate cross-chain projects should be the asset utilization rate/turnover rate in vaults. The daily transaction volume should be TIMES more than the total value locked. A cross-chain solution should function like a non-stop SWIFT system, not a central bank. 

To conclude, cross-chain protocols should be truly decentralized to meet the security requirements and Asset Turnover Rate should be the most important indicator of efficiency of cross-chain Projects.

MAP Protocol launching its mainnet: 100% decentralization and the universal cross-chain solution

MAP Protocol is a new and powerful player in cross-chain space. Started in 2019, the team aims to tackle centralization issue and make MAP Protocol a truly decentralized, most efficient and secure cross-chain solution. MAP Protocol is, by far, the only cross-chain interoperability protocol that is truly decentralized empowered by the consensus and immutability of a underlying blockchain (MAP mainnet). MAP Protocol empowers developers to build all kinds of cross-chain DeFi applications and builds a sustainable cross-chain ecosystem. By this way, MAP Protocol helps to solve the interoperability issue facing the blockchain industry and achieve dynamic liquidity migration across the blockchain universe. MAP Protocol is launching the mainnet soon. Let’s wait and see how MAP Protocol will completely change the dynamics of cross-chain space.

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