Cross-Chain Mining Opens Up New Opportunities

We have all seen what could happen when cross-chain combined with liquidity mining. The cross-chain mining of Binance’s smart-chain (BSC) has attracted a lot of attention since its launch. BurgerSwap, the first DeFi liquidity mining project of Binance, has reached a liquidity of 8.8 million BNB in 48 hours, worth $260 million USD.

On BSC, apart from BNB, any ERC-20 tokens on Ethereum, BEP-2 tokens on the Binance chain, including USDT, BUSD, etc., can be exchanged for BEP-20 tokens to participate in BSC mining. The problems of Ethereum, such as high gas fee, slow network and being unfriendly for small transactions, find a perfect solution on BSC. Users only need to transfer the assets to BSC with cross-chain tech, and they are ready to go.

It can be predicted that cross-chain will become the next big trend of DeFi mining. Huobi has already announced that it will provide Ethereum cross-chain for mainstream cryptocurrencies including OT, LTC, HBTC, and might soon make its foray into cross-chain liquidity mining.

When it comes to cross chain, the first thing that comes to our mind might be Cosmos and Polkadot. However, in the field of liquidity mining, aelf’s AESwap has come up with the concept of cross-chain mining for quite a while.

Cross-Chain Protocols of Cosmos and Polkadot

With cross-chain infrastructure gradually improving, Cosmos and Polkadot are back under the spotlight. Polkadot’s ecosystem continues to grow as Phala was launched on Huobi, Stafi completed the auction, and DOT has made its first cross-chain transfer. Cosmos’s IBC protocol was 83% complete and will be finished soon.

The IBC cross-chain protocol allows heterogeneous blockchains to transfer token and data, so as to realize cross-chain communication and interoperability between heterogeneous chains. In IBC’s cross-chain architecture, information cannot be sent between chains directly through the network infrastructure. Instead, the information is scanned off the chain by the “relay chain” after the information is created. The relay chain will continuously scan the status between chains, and will execute cross-chain transactions when it finds a packet that has been verified and submitted.

Recently, Polkadot also released the parallel chain testnet ‘Rococo’ to test its cross-chain protocol ‘XCMP’, and collected the feedback of parallel chain developers on the use of XCMP. XCMP’s cross-chain logic is that if communication channels have been opened or connections have been established between parallel chains, they can interact directly. If there is a common full node between the parallel chains, they can also pass the gossip information through the full node. Otherwise, the verifier of the relay chain will be responsible for the transmission of the information. The information itself will not be transmitted by the relay chain, only the published proof of the information and the state of the channel will enter the relay chain.

aelf’s Cross-Chain Protocol

Based on its Cross-Chain Transfer Protocol (CCTP), aelf launched a hacker bounty with a reward of up to $100,000. CCTP realized cross-chain transfer, asset transfer and existence proof between incompatible independent blockchain systems. If any hacker can break the CCTP and swap the ELF test token to his account address during the event, the aelf Foundation will issue an equivalent amount of ERC-20 ELF Token reward.

With the successful transfer of 1 million ELF Token to the aelf testnet, this cross-chain transaction has also been recorded in the ledger of cross-chain transfer transactions. This is the biggest cross-chain transfer between heterogeneous chains in the blockchain history. It is also the first successful implementation of aelf’s Cross-Chain Protocol (CCTP).

aelf’s Cross-Chain Transfer Protocol (CCTP) is a general protocol for cross-chain transfer. Under the protocol, tokens on the source chain are locked into the smart contract, and a merkle tree with the lockup proof is created, after the Merkle tree root is imported into the aelf network, users can use the merkle path obtained from the source chain to collect an amount of generated token equivalent to the previous locked amount on the aelf chain.

The Cross-Chain Transfer Protocol (CCTP) can ensure that the assets can be transferred between different blockchains safely without centralized guarantors, while providing high performance. The best proof is aelf’s hacker bounty. aelf believes that the cross-chain transfer of assets will be in high demand in the future, as it can not only take DeFi to another level, but also make the various side-chains interconnected in the future for commercial use.

Users can now test the application of Cross-Chain Transfer Protocol (CCTP) on aelf’s testnet.

When Alice (on aelf’s main-chain) transfers ELF to Bob in the side-chain tDVV, their addresses are in different formats:

Alice: ELF_2oSMWm1tjRqVdfmrdL8dgrRvhWu1FP8wcZidjS6wPbuoVtxhEz_aelf

Bob:ELF_25CecrU94dmMdbhC3LWMKxtoaL4Wv8PChGvVJM6PxkHAyvXEhB_tDVV

When Alice inputs the address with the suffix _tDVV, the wallet will recognize that Alice wants to transfer money from aelf’s main-chain to chain tDVV (Bob). Now Alice initiates the cross-chain transfer.

After the transfer is initiated, the next step is to confirm receiving. After the two chains reach a consensus on the cross-chain transaction, the wallet will prompt Alice to confirm the transfer in the chain tDVV. After Alice has confirmed, Bob will receive the ELF from Alice on the chain tDVV. At this time, Alice can query two cross-chain transfer related transactions signed by herself on the aelf chain and chain tdvv.

Since the cross-chain process requires two index operations, for network security, the index needs to wait for block confirmation, thus cross-chain transfer will be a bit slower than normal transfer.

In the meantime, aelf’s heterogeneous cross-chain is also under testing, which will allow external chains such as Bitcoin and Ethereum to transfer and lock tokens into smart contract and generate the corresponding mappings. Then, the corresponding tokens are generated on the aelf chain through contracts to form a cross chain. At present, the heterogeneous cross-chain protocol has been determined, and the contract is now under testing.

Although Cosmos, Polkadot and aelf are on the same track, they have different ideas and are trying to create different ecosystems.

Cosmos’s idea is to create an Internet belonging to the blockchain. In blockchain 2.0, each chain is an independent island of data, just like the original LAN. Cosmos connects these isolated blockchains through IBC to form a value network with network effect. In the past, smart contracts led the trend of development and innovation. Cosmos, through its development tool ‘Cosmos SDK’, has minimized the difficulty of deploying a new blockchain, which makes it possible for each application to be presented in the form of a chain, and each chain can interact with other chains independently and autonomously.

Polkadot is most proud of its concept of shared security. In the past, both PoW and PoS systems were competing for limited resources (PoW for limited mining resources and power resources and POS for limited verification node resources…) to ensure the security of the system. Before the creation of a large community to support its network, it is vulnerable to attacks. Polkadot unifies the security management of all parallel chains and threads in the system, and the applications in the system can enjoy the same security. Meantime, Polkadot also avoids the risk of unnecessary forking caused by application upgrade through transparent on-chain governance. All parallel chains can freely design their governance mechanisms, and the chains in the system will not affect each other.

aelf is committed to creating a high-performance multi-chain ecosystem supporting a variety of business scenarios. This means that aelf’s multi-chain ecosystem will meet the demand of many sectors: there will be different side chains such as finance, supply chain and government services, and each side chain will have different characteristics, for example, most of them are public chains and some are consortium chains. At the same time, a large number of private chains based on aelf’s technology will also run in different enterprises, and will gradually be integrated into the public chain ecosystem in the future. The digital economy will be connected. aelf’s aim is to help developers customize easily based on their needs without spending time on the underlying technology. They just need to focus on developing the best applications.

After the Binance smart chain BSC was launched, cross-chain mining will likely be the next big thing. Not only will the public chain of trading platforms get involved in the cross-chain game, public chains with cross-chain function will also become the heatly-contested main battlefield of cross-chain mining. Compared with the cross-chain models of centralized organization gateway, Cosmos, Polkadot and aelf offer safer alternatives and I believe we have much to expect from these new cross-chain models.

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