How To Implement Orb Labs’ Multi-bridge Solution By Using Modular Principles
- Orb Labs received $4.5 million in financing to focus on developing a cross-chain bridge model.
- Its two primary products are Earlybird, a universal cross-chain messaging protocol for transmitting data between blockchains, and MagicLane, an omnichain token and messaging platform built on Earlybird.
- The funding amount represents the future development trend of the cross-chain bridge.
Cross-chain bridge developer Orb Labs recently announced that it had received $4.5 million in financing led by Bain and participated by SevenX. It will focus on developing a cross-chain bridge model to ensure a low-cost exchange of messages and funds on different chains.
The blockchain interoperability company Orb Labs creates protocols and tools for programmers to create cost-effective, safe cross-chain applications. Its two main offerings are MagicLane, an omnichain token and messaging platform based on Earlybird, and Earlybird, a general cross-chain messaging protocol for exchanging data between blockchains.
The difference from previous cross-chain bridge projects is that Orb Labs puts economic cost and security in the same position and will design products following the balance of three factors such as cost, speed, and scale. Currently, it plans to launch Earlybird as a cross-chain message delivery protocol that focuses on meeting the need for cross-chain communication and messaging.
The second is Magiclane, which was developed based on Earlybird. It will have the function of cross-chain Token exchange in addition to the messaging function, but its basic functions and framework will be consistent with Earlybird, reusing existing assets and code resources at the lowest cost.
The two products will be available for project parties to choose from according to their own needs. They can deploy high-security cross-chain dApps at low cost and quickly, eliminating the high cost and security risks of calling cross-chain bridges.
Building cross-chain bridges with modular thinking
First, start with the design idea of the cross-chain bridge. There are currently three methods:
- Safety first, implemented using a light client based on a consensus protocol, representing IBC such as Cosmos;
- Based on the validator consensus system, it is verified off-chain, and the chain is only responsible for delivering the results, such as LayerZero and Wormhole;
- Optimistic Rollup-like cross-chain bridges based on punishment mechanisms rely on validity verification during the dispute period and automatic release without disputes, such as Nomad.
The above three categories have their own advantages, but at the same time, they have all suffered from security crises and even suffered from a total of more than $1 billion in stolen funds. Even the safest IBC will face trade-offs in terms of efficiency.
The idea of Orb Labs is not to solve the above three problems but to introduce the idea of combination and modularization. Under the framework of Earlybird, it builds four different cross-chain protocols, which are used for projects with different needs.
Drawing on the ideas of L2 or modular public chains, it can transfer large-scale calculations to lower-cost public chains, such as various Layer 2 or modular public chains, while still storing assets in the underlying L1 public chains, such as Ethereum. On the chain, it is only responsible for the settlement and final confirmation.
The goal of Orb Labs is to provide an aggregation endpoint. Different developers can choose different development libraries to build their own cross-chain protocols according to different needs. For example, for message delivery of $100,000, Gas Fee is the first choice. But for $1 billion messaging, security is the number one priority.
- Thunderbird: Extremely optimized for Gas Fee consumption and speed, and the cost can be reduced to 20 times compared with the current mainstream protocols;
- Rukh: Nomad-like protocol, cross-chain bridge based on penalty mechanism, while avoiding the existing problems of Nomad;
- Caladrius: IBC-like protocol, based on the trust minimization mechanism, can run on Ethereum and is cheaper than IBC;
- Griffin: Thunderbird+Rukh+Caladrius, combining the characteristics of the first three, and very flexible.
From the above mechanism, it can be found that the idea of Orb Labs is to continuously superimpose and decouple, integrate all the current mainstream cross-chain bridge features in its Earlybird product line, and reorganize and call them to meet the flexible combination of different developers Require.
Before Earlybird, choosing a cross-chain bridge was a “one-and-done” thing. Any cross-chain bridge has its own characteristics and limitations, and Earlybird allows different dApps to make trade-offs in terms of block size, transaction size, and transaction type, if it is a relatively fixed demand, such as DEX, transfer, etc., you can choose safety first, and if it is a relatively flexible demand, you can choose a more flexible cross-chain protocol.
“Informatization” of cross-chain assets
In a sense, Orb Labs’ ability to capture trends is keen. In fact, the cross-chain bridge has been replaced by the term “interoperability,” which more appropriately describes the equal status of both parties in the cross-chain, and the unilateral operational capability cannot represent the future of the cross-chain.
As for interoperable objects, Orb Labs believes that assets such as tokens will become as simple and secure as information in the future and will eventually become a special message format without strictly distinguishing the types of cross-chain objects.
On this basis, Orb Labs will launch MagicLane, an earlybird-based asset cross-chain protocol, which is responsible for the transfer and swap of tokens between different chains and plans to support Ethereum, Moonbeam, Evmos, Polygon, Arbitrum, Optimism, and Fantom, basically covering the most mainstream EVM, Cosmos, and Polkadot ecology at present, meeting the basic needs of users.
Its most important function is to simplify the current complex cross-chain protocol, allowing developers to use a single contract to interact with Token/dApp of different public chains, allowing developers to easily build OmniChain applications. What is finally achieved is that all data on the chain becomes cross-chain messages. No matter which public chain the user enters from, no matter which public chain the dApp runs on, the back-end can transfer the calculations, transactions and information involved in it back to mobile to the public chain with the best performance.
From the perspective of the user side, it will directly simplify the way to access multi-chain, cross-chain, and full-chain dApps. What interacts with users is a unified data format and information type. This is also the only effective way for large-scale users to enter Web3. Only if it is cheap enough and easy to use can the application potential on the chain be unleashed, such as building nearly free and efficient multi-chain DEXs.
After this financing, Orb Labs stated that it would release white papers and official development documents as soon as possible for developers to test products. The problem with realizing this grand vision is that the current Orb Labs only has two technical founders, Richard Adjei, and Felix Madutsa. People are still recruiting full-stack engineers and BD personnel. For its complex product architecture, the current number of developers is seriously insufficient.
The amount of financing in this round of Orb Las is not high, but it represents the future development trend of cross-chain bridges, that is, to build true multi-chain interoperability. For this reason, cross-chain bridges must be flexible enough while maintaining sufficient Security, which can not only meet the load requirements of large-scale calls but also ensure that its security is not affected.
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