Biconomy
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Biconomy

Introducing Hyphen: Missing cross-chain bridge to bring mass adoption to multi-chain web3.0

As dApps migrate to various scaling solutions, they form isolated ecosystems severely reducing network effects, composability & interoperability. Hyphen is the missing cross-chain superhighway infrastructure to unify the multi-chain world!

In the last few months, protocols and dApps such Aave, Curve, Sushiswap etc. have migrated to various scaling solutions. While none of them plan to leave the Ethereum base layer completely, they have no choice but to find immediate scalability. The exorbitant gas fees have made DeFi & Web3.0 inaccessible to most people, which defeats the crux of ‘banking the unbanked’.

ETH2.0 won’t solve scalability on its own

ETH2.0 alone won’t solve the problem. Sharding will ease the congestion for some time, but the Ethereum base layer will get congested again due to exponentially increasing demand. So on one hand we want mass adoption & on the other we can’t cope up if it comes. And there’s still a long time to go till ETH2.0 phase 1 & phase 2 hit the market.

Moreover, various shards may not be seamlessly composable. Thus, one of the biggest USPs of DeFi & Web3.0 — putting various protocols together like legos to build awesome use cases — won’t work anymore! Protocols will either get stuck in isolation on secluded shards, or all of them will need to be on the same shard which brings us back to square one viz-a-viz congestion.

Thus, the future is increasingly likely to be multi-chain and multi-layer, each with its specialized functionalities.

Layer 2s create fragmented ecosystems & liquidity

But as protocols & dApps move to various scaling solutions, it brings new problems. Currently, various scaling solutions have fragmented ecosystems. Moving between L1 base layer & various L2s, sidechains, & other scaling options is slow, expensive & complicated.

This has severe implications for the ecosystem:

  • If a user wants to use dApps on various layer 2s, they cannot seamlessly move their assets between these layers. Currently, it’s really expensive & time-consuming. They would need to hold funds on different solutions such as Polygon, xDai, ZkRollups etc. depending on what dApps they interact with. Thus, most users will be locked-in to just one preferred solution.
  • If 2 dApps are on different layer 2s, they won’t be able to seamlessly interact with each other. Additionally, if you have 1 Dapp deployed across a couple of chains, how would the DAO of the Dapp be consistent across all the chains it’s deployed on?
  • Due to this friction between various scaling solutions for both protocols & users, each layer 2 solution will act as its own closed economy. This will reduce the network effects for the ecosystem.

To solve this problem, most dApps & consequently most users will need to move to the same L2 scaling solution. This will enable increased network effects & allows dApps to work together as legos. But, as we saw with Binance Smart Chain, once everyone moves to the same solution we face the congestion problem again.

Possibly, we could even see various alliances between dApps & protocols, each with their own choice of L2 solution to ensure high network effects from all their users. We are sure in an industry where decentralization & being trustless is so important, ‘trusted alliances’ aren’t the best solution. And that way too, each alliance will be its own community.

Thus, the only other solution left is to exist as isolated communities with weakened network effects & low composability.

Isolated communities lead to low flow of trade & capital between them

Think of it like the various settlements spread across the ancient world. A town in the Middle East, a settlement in Central Asia, a city cluster in Northern India, a bunch of villages in Greece. Spread among these were some major cities with huge populations. But the economies of all these settlements were mostly isolated. Occasionally there would be trade between them. But this trade route would take months.

Similarly, the Ethereum scaling landscape is currently like this. Some solutions have more protocols & users. But they are isolated from the dApps on another solution & even from megacities like the Ethereum base layer. The flow of trade, commerce & money between these is low. If you are a farmer in one of these L2 scaling ‘villages’, you can only realistically sell your product to people in your own village. This is because current bridging solutions take hours or even days to move funds between various layers. This is a brilliant ‘cities, suburbs & farms’ analogy for Ethereum scaling, put forward by Haseeb Qureshi.

Isolated communities of Mongolia

Various scaling solutions will co-exist — each catering to specific use cases

In the future, we will have multiple scaling solutions & blockchains, each specializing in their own activities, economics & use cases. And accordingly, dApps & protocols can choose where they wish to be. Or if they wish to be on multiple solutions & provide the option to choose to their users.

The existence of various Ethereum scaling communities is actually desirable. It gives dApps, as well as their users, the flexibility to choose the solution best suited to their needs. Some use cases need high throughput and low fees but are ready to compromise a bit on security or decentralization. Other use cases benefit more from being in ‘populated’ networks but are ready to compromise on speed and cost of transactions.

Moreover, the same dapp may have different use cases that are better catered to different scaling solutions. So they need to seamlessly integrate on multiple chains at the backend. On top of that, some of their users may demand a feature on Ethereum & be ready to pay the higher fees while the other fee-conscious users might demand the same feature on a L2 sidechain.

This not only improves accessibility and usability for web3.0, but a plethora of scaling options also ensure highly scalable networks even with increasing demand. As more users and dApps come, they can easily expand to the solution best suited for their needs. Thus, the ‘demand’ will decentralize and prevent a single network from being too congested.

Thus, what the industry needs is a superhighway network to seamlessly connect all these L2 communities together. Just like how road networks & faster means of transport brought the ancient world together.

This is definitely how web3.0 is envisioned — a multi-chain, multi-layer world with high compatibility and interoperability. Hyphen is the missing superhighway infrastructure for this connected web3.0.

Introducing ‘Hyphen’ — instant cross-chain transaction infrastructure!

Hyphen solves the critical problem of fragmented & isolated L2s by enabling almost instantaneous cross-chain value transfers. It provides simple APIs that lets you easily offer instant transactions between EVM chains, various L2s & allows quick onboarding from Ethereum to L2s & sidechains.

As a dApp scales to various scaling solutions, Hyphen provides easy access to inter-blockchain liquidity on supported EVM chains. Thus, the end user enjoys the network & composability of Ethereum as well as cheaper & faster transactions of layer 2s. The superhighway network breaks barriers & brings together ecosystems to encourage collaboration & interoperability.

Integrating Hyphen makes the multi-chain experience on any dapp frictionless. Currently, onboarding onto L2s is a nightmare. It’s expensive, slow & complicated. Hyphen enables easy on-ramp to L2s through fast, cheap & gas-efficient inter-chain transactions. Moreover, scaling to a multi-chain architecture adds unnecessary complications for the end users. Hyphen ensures seamless experience for your users as they navigate effortlessly between Ethereum & various layers.

Thus, Hyphen will make the entire web3.0 network into one seamlessly interconnected ecosystem! That’s our vision for Hyphen. No Dapp, protocol or scaling solution will exist in isolation. It can easily connect to the globalized web3.0 ecosystem through Biconomy’s superhighway & bridge infrastructure!

Start integrating Hyphen in your dApp!

This is not wishful day dreaming, Hyphen is actually here!

We have launched the testnet between Ethereum & Polygon. We already have various partners working on testing and integration. We will announce them on our twitter in the next 3–4 days! Since we are in a private alpha, if you’re a dApp that wants access, please contact aniket@biconomy.io

Currently, we have carefully restricted the functionalities for security and testing purposes. But once this proof of concept is tested and improved, it’s not long before we launch the mainnet with extended functionalities and support multiple L2 scaling solutions & tokens. Moreover, in our V2 or V3, dApps can easily send smart contract calls between their components on various chains.

Join our discord & follow on twitter for further updates!

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Aditya Khanduri

Aditya Khanduri

Marketing @Biconomy | Interested in Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Biotech & emerging tech startups | Tea aficionado