The web3 revolution
Blockchain technology has enabled new types of networks and dynamics which can be labeled as ‘web3’ and share the following features:
- Distributed: the very idea of blockchain is to replace centralized networks controlled by third-party middlemen with a decentralized, peer-to-peer network that can work more efficiently and fairly.
- Open-source: most protocols are open-source, which means anyone can see how they are built and how they are going to work. Moreover, all transactions on a blockchain are visible to anyone, so there is complete transparency.
- Permissionless: anyone can participate in any app or protocol freely, without having to satisfy any arbitrary requirements set by platforms or other gatekeepers of the sort.
- Censorship-resistant: because the network is distributed and open-source, and there isn’t a central authority regulating it, there isn’t a single point of failure, and it’s impossible for anyone to alter, censor, or shut down the content being distributed.
- Positive-sum: because the network is open-source and permissionless, anyone can build atop other projects, creating a compounding network effect. Composability incentivizes collaboration instead of competition, thus producing more value and faster innovation cycles. Moreover, because users can become co-owners of apps and protocols thanks to tokens, there aren’t value extraction dynamics, and the interests between builders and users are aligned.
- Ownership-ready: thanks to tokens and the public ledger itself, web3 grants provable ownership over any digital assets, thus incentivizing participation and network effects.
The web3 challenges
The values on which web3 is built are why so many people have been moving into the space, attracted by a new technology that is reshaping the way we work, create and collaborate. In this frenzy, the blockchain ecosystem has been growing blazingly fast, with the number of blockchains — Layer 1, Layer 2, and all the other rollups and scaling solutions — mushrooming over the past two years. Each has unique architectures and features that fit different needs and solve various challenges. This is why most web3 users operate on multiple chains and deal with different coins, wallets, and apps in the DeFi, NFT, and DAO sectors.
Unfortunately, the blockchain ecosystem of apps and protocols can be arduous to navigate. The multi-chain architecture only adds to that complexity, forcing users to go through various DEXes, bridges, and other pieces of infrastructure to perform simple tasks. These are just some of the challenges that users need to overcome to interact with their favorite dApps:
- Wallet(s): as there are multiple chains and usually several wallets on each of them, users need to understand which wallet to create, how each of them works (for example, how to add different networks or tokens to the wallet interface), manage multiple private and public key pairs, fund wallets transferring tokens from a centralized exchange (CEX).
- Intermediate steps: an essential interaction with dApps require creating a CEX account (on Binance, Coinbase, FTX, or others) and buying crypto with a credit card or bank account; creating a wallet on the target chain (MetaMask, Phantom, or others); transferring funds from the CEX to the wallet; logging in the dApp with the wallet, and perform the desired task (mint/stake/liquidity or others). If the user wants to perform a task on a dApp built on a different chain (cross-chain operations), a few steps need to be added: create a new wallet on the desired chain; either transfer the correct token from the CEX to the new wallet or bridge assets from the first chain to the second chain and then swap the coins to the desired one on a decentralized exchange (DEX).
- Fees and technical jargon: interacting with wallets and dApps involve cost and knowledge barriers that multiplicate with the number of different chains used: understanding the complex fees’ breakdown such as gas fee (Gwei, priority) in wallets like MetaMask; slippage tolerance, minimum received, price impact, liquidity provider fee, APY when swapping or providing liquidity on DEXes.
- Portability: the vast majority of dApps are web-based and not mobile, limiting adoption.
At its current state, despite the core idea that the cost of participation should be low, web3 still has too many barriers to access and is not ready for mass adoption, which in turn limits the growth potential for all applications. What if there was a way to remove the additional complexity brought by the cross-chain world, by seamlessly connecting all chains so that users don’t even need to know when they are using one or another, just like the sender doesn’t need to understand how money moves to the receiver’s account when making an international wire transfer?
Enter Via Protocol
VIA Protocol sets this goal precisely with its cross-chain liquidity aggregator, which scans over 40 DEXs across 13 networks and 9 of the most popular cross-chain bridges and lets users swap tokens on the fastest and cheapest paths seamlessly. This will bring enormous benefits from a user experience point of view and from liquidity and yield maximization. Instead of siloed apps and chains which prevent earning optimization, the VIA Protocol aggregator allows users to have a quick and immediate snapshot of all possibilities offered by any protocol on any chain, and a seamless way to transfer their capital to the most profitable ones.
On top of this core functionality, which can be accessed by users via a dedicated dApp or directly integrated into specific protocols interfaces, VIA Protocol has built a cross-chain checkout system for dApps like games and NFT marketplaces, which lets users buy NFTs using any token from any chain including Ethereum, Polygon, BSC and more coming soon. This makes users’ journey through apps much smoother, especially for fast-paced action ones like games.
Via Aggregation protocol is an advanced cross-chain liquidity aggregation protocol, networking most liquidity protocols on over 13 networks.
To find the best ways to cross-chain token exchange, we analyze DEXs and cross-chain bridges, and many available routers to offer the user the cheapest and fastest way to exchange.
We support 2 types of routing:
- Basic routing
- Advanced routing
Suppose there are bridges between networks with sufficient liquidity. In that case, the exchange will occur directly from the source chain to the target chain.
Suppose a direct exchange does not exist, lacks liquidity, or is less profitable. In that case, the exchange will occur with several intermediate steps.