Introducing Osmosis Frontier
Yeeeeehaaawww! Osmosis Frontier is live! Step right up, partner, and get your bridged Ethereum assets and all the CW20 tokens your heart desires.
Osmosis Frontier is the degen playground where chaos reigns and UX takes a back-seat to the full permissionless listing and curation of assets. Caveat emptor. The pools may be shallow, so be sure to check your price impact, and remember that assets that have not been approved for incentives by the DAO will not earn LP rewards.
Why Frontier? It is the best way for Osmosis to combine its commitments to permissionless listing on the one hand and superior UX on the other. It does this by allowing Osmosis to curate the primary front-end (app.osmosis.zone) for the best possible user experience, while at the same time allowing assets to appear permissionlessly on Frontier. Not only that, but the community will also get a chance to test the various bridging UX flows before voting on the canonical bridge for the primary front-end.
The discussion around the canonical Osmosis-Ethereum bridge raised strong arguments for the various bridges, each with its own security, speed, and UX trade-offs. While the market will eventually reveal the best choice, the current reality is that there is no working multi-bridge solution that 1) yields the superior UX provided by a canonical bridge and 2) solves the problem of fragmented liquidity and incentives that comes with using multiple representations of various assets.
Solutions like fungibility pools and multi-bridge designs currently make bridge risk additive: a hack, bug, or de-peg of one bridged asset devalues the others. In time, there will be ways to hedge, insure, or otherwise mitigate these risks, but Osmosis cannot refuse to implement a bridge in order to wait for some imagined perfect solution to be developed.
It is in Osmosis’ DNA to be censorship-resistant, and adding assets to the Osmosis DEX will always be permissionless. Any front-end can list and optimize curation for a set of assets however they choose. Further, even on app.osmosis.zone, a solution similar to token lists will soon allow users to search for and access every token.
Until then, only incentivized assets will be shown by default on the primary frontend. In other words, the mechanism for a token “graduating” from Frontier to the primary front-end will be whether the DAO votes to incentivize it. This means that Osmosis governance not only decides the financial incentives of interchain assets, but the curation of assets on app.osmosis.zone, providing more power to Osmosis governance.
Ultimately, app.osmosis.zone will continue to optimize the user experience around the governance-selected canonical bridge, which is expected to provide the best combination of UX and security, built by a fast-shipping, high-reputation, IBC/Osmosis-aligned team. Running in parallel, frontier.osmosis.zone will provide a permissionless proving ground where the best assets and bridges can demonstrate their thesis to Osmosis governance.
Saddle up, cowpoke. The frontier is calling.