Vitalik Buterin is skeptical of cross-chain bridges

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin said that security restrictions are the main reason why cross-chain bridges will not be able to thrive in the crypto space.

I shared link to a post on Reddit, which affirmed his belief in a multi-chain future, but expressed doubts about the cross-chain ecosystem.

Cross-chain vulnerabilities

In his argument, Buterin cited the “basic security limitation of the bridge” as the main reason why he did not adopt a cross-chain environment.

Buterin emphasized he disagrees with the argument that all security mechanisms fail if a blockchain is 51% attacked. The goal of a 51% attack is to manipulate the integrity of transactions in a blockchain by controlling more than 50% of the network’s hashrate or computing power.

The creator of Ethereum alleges that in the event of a 51% attack, the attackers cannot propose a block that takes away the user’s ETH because the block would violate the consensus rules and thus be rejected by the network. In other words, even if an attacker manipulates 99% of the hashpower with the aim of illegally taking away another wallet’s ETH, the nodes will obey the remaining 1% because the blockchain is the only set of blocks that obeys. according to protocol rules. As a result, Buterin claims, “honest” blocks will maintain the consistency of state on the blockchain.

According to Buterin, security issues arise when users connect content from their native blockchains to a non-native (or target) blockchain. If the original blockchain is attacked by 51% that reverts the bridge transaction, that same transaction is still confirmed in the target blockchain, and the asset can be “frozen”, thus, the contract user is informed. Smart is no longer fully supported in the original blockchain.

Furthermore, Buterin went on to explain that the same principle applies to any Layer-2 built on top of the Ethereum main chain. In this regard, he said:

“If Ethereum gets 51% hacked and reverts, then Arbitrum and Optimism will also revert, and so cross-rollup applications will still stay consistent across Arbitrum and Optimism, even if Ethereum is hacked 51% attack. And if Ethereum is not subject to a 51% attack, there is no way to attack 51% Arbitrum and Optimism separately.”

The Ethereum co-founder went on to say that using interrelated dApps between different chains can create a “contagion effect,” where a 51% attack can compromise the entire world. ecosystem set. To further support this idea, Buterin said he favors zones of sovereignty, in which some native Layer-1 applications are closely linked to each other rather than interacting with other blockchain environments.

Buterin concluded by saying that he doesn’t expect this problem to arise immediately, but as the volume of cryptocurrency held in the bridge increases, so will the incentive for hackers to attack.

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Viet Cuong

Theo Cryptobriefing

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