Uniswap Taps Wormhole and Axelar For Cross-Chain Bridging After Lengthy Analysis

The Bridges Will Be Used to Govern Uniswap's Non-Ethereum Deployments

By: Samuel Haig Loading...

Uniswap Taps Wormhole and Axelar For Cross-Chain Bridging After Lengthy Analysis

Uniswap published a lengthy analysis of popular cross-chain bridging protocols on Thursday, concluding it will use the services of Wormhole and Axelar for governing its non-Ethereum deployments moving forward.

The Uniswap Foundation’s Bridge Assessment Committee delivered its report evaluating Wormhole, Celer, DeBridge, LayerZero, Axelar, and Multichain based on their ability to facilitate cross-chain governance.

The report approved Wormhole and Axelar (pending an upgrade to its multisig) for use in all cross-chain deployments, and recommended follow-up assessments of LayerZero pending forthcoming upgrades. 

“The Committee finds that the Wormhole and Axelar bridges are currently suitable for use by the DAO for managing governance messaging in future cross-chain deployments, but advise the community to continuously review both them and other bridge providers on an ongoing basis,”  the report said.

Governance Messages

The main use case for Uniswap DAO's cross-chain bridge is the ability to send governance messages from Ethereum to other chains for execution, according to the report.

Governance proposals for all Uniswap deployments undergo a formal voting process on Ethereum. Upgrades for deployments on other chains are then relayed via a cross-chain messaging protocol.

The report added that the bridges deemed unsuitable for Uniswap’s cross-chain governance needs at this time may still meet the requirements of other protocols and applications.

Cross-chain bridges have proved to be an Achilles heel for the web3 industry, with bridging protocols losing billions to hackers in 2022.

According to Rekt, four of the five most costly DeFi exploits targeted bridges for a combined loss of more than $2.1B. An exploit suffered by Wormhole in February 2022 ranks fifth with a $326M loss.

Cross-Chain Challenges

Debate within Uniswap’s community regarding the risks and benefits of various cross-chain protocols emerged as an important topic in December following a proposal to deploy Uniswap v3 on BNB Chain.

Discussions over more than 100 posts fiercely debated the costs and benefits of various bridging protocols, with the teams representing top protocols weighing in on Uniswap’s governance forum.

“The discussion… made it clear that cross-chain messaging and the protocols that enable it occupy a nascent and complex design space,” Uniswap said, adding it would be unreasonable to expect most Uniswap governance delegates to understand the intricacies of each bridging solution presented.

Assessment Committee

The Uniswap Foundation responded by creating its Cross-Chain Bridge Assessment Committee to support governance delegates and the Uniswap community to make informed decisions about cross-chain bridging protocols.

The committee appraised the six bridges on their ability to assure “safety, liveness, and censorship resistance.” The report considered more than 130 assessment questions for each protocol.

The committee also said it would reexamine Celer and DeBridge in the future despite expressing concerns regarding the slashing mechanisms and security assurances of both protocols. The report slammed Multichain for poor transparency and a lack of disincentives to prevent validator collusion.