DLT, Web3: NEAR Selects Wormhole as Bridge, Launches Cross-Chain Communication with Ethereum

Wormhole Foundation announced that Wormhole has been selected as the next official bridge for NEAR.

Wormhole will launch the first trustless NEAR <> ETH corridor powered by Zero Knowledge (ZK) Proofs.

This corridor will enable all major NEAR assets “to be seamlessly bridged to the 20+ Wormhole-connected chains and bring communities from hundreds of Wormhole-powered apps into the NEAR ecosystem.”

Historically, cross-chain bridges “have relied on optimistic verification.”

This type of architecture “assumes that any messages sent through the bridge are assumed to be correct unless verifiers submit valid fraud proofs during the verification window.”

This style of bridge is “built to minimize the potential for fraud or abuse from bad actors, but they require apps and bridge users to put some level of trust in the entities that secure the protocols, such as the Wormhole Guardians.”

The cross-chain bridges of the future will “rely increasingly on state-of-the-art cryptographic techniques such as ZK Proofs instead of external entities.”

Wormhole core contributors “will be joining zPoken and others across the NEAR ecosystem to develop the first-of-its-kind ZK light clients that can prove and verify Ethereum and NEAR state without the assumptions required by traditional bridges.”

These ZK light clients will “serve as the foundation for the first zero-knowledge NEAR <> ETH corridor, enabling a safer bridging experience for users through the new official NEAR bridge powered by Wormhole.”

Dan Reecer, Head of Operations at Wormhole Foundation, said:

“We are excited to be selected as the next official bridge for NEAR Protocol to launch ZK-enabled cross-chain communication with Ethereum. We’re confident that this will be a new paradigm for enabling trustless cross-chain messaging and state access across the crypto ecosystem.”

As noted in the update, the Near Foundation is “a Swiss non-profit that supports the on-going growth and development of the Near Protocol, a high-performance carbon-neutral blockchain that is designed to be super-fast, incredibly secure, and infinitely scalable.”

As mentioned in the announcement, Wormhole claims it is “the industry standard cross-chain messaging protocol powering applications across Web3.”

Wormhole reportedly “provides developers access to liquidity and users on over 20 of the leading blockchain networks, enabling use cases that span DeFi, NFTs, governance, and more. Wormhole enables a growing suite of products to build on its messaging layer.”

Wormhole Connect is “an in-app bridging widget that can be integrated in as few as 3 lines of code.”

The wider Wormhole network is “trusted and used by teams like Circle (USDC) and Uniswap, and to-date, the platform has facilitated the transfer of over 35 billion dollars through hundreds of millions of cross-chain messages.”

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