Came across something which I thought was an rather interesting product use case within the interoperability space. It was for a product called Bridge Pay by Bridge Network but seeing how there wasn’t a great deal of information about it, I decided to look into Bridge Network instead.
The project describes itself as a “trustless ecosystem of cross-chain applications powering seamless transactions across various blockchains in the world of defi”. Doesn’t really say much imho so let’s dig in.
Founded on the 8th August 2021 and domiciled in Bridgetown, the capital of Barbados, Bridge Network is still a comparatively new startup in the cross-chain and interoperability space. Based on Crunchbase, the company currently has between 11-50 employees and is led by co-founders Kimberly Adams (linkedin), Favour Uzoaru (linkedin) and Samuel Eke (linkedin).
The project announced a seed funding raise on 6th April 2022 for $3.8 million which was participated by Abed Group, Block Theory, Blockfinex, Croc Capital (inaccurately tagged as CORC Capital on Crunchbase), Crypto Oasis, FTX Ventures, Fork Ventures, GDA Capital, GRIT Capital, Master Ventures, MEXC Global, TDeFi and Vulcan Forged. An announcement of the funding raised can be found here.
With its mainnet launched on 27th June 2022, Bridge Network currently provides a few services to its users. Currently available through its dApp are token bridging, yield farming and its token import feature.
Bridge Network currently connects to 14 blockchains and include Arbitrum, Avalanche, BNB Chain, Boba Network, Dogechain, Ethereum, ELYSIUM, Fantom, Harmony, KCC, OKC, Optimism and Polygon.
There currently isn’t much shared about the architectural structure of the protocol, its security assumptions or even validator environment structure and consensus mechanisms. Only a brief chart of the Bridge Network system architecture was available in the documents.
Based on the available documents, the protocol consists of 3 layers.
All dApps that are built on and connected to Bridge Network’s Blockchain and Protocol layers.
Contains the blockchain smart contracts that Bridge Network has deployed and data relay oracles.
Environment for Bridge Network’s validators.
There are some additional information provided in the documents but personally found them to be too general. You can explore their documents here.
This was what caught my attention and why I decided to take a deeper look into the project. Bridge Pay is positioned as a simple way to utilize crypto irl in a way that’s multichain compatible and non-custodial.
It’s however only open for waitlist currently and there isn’t much details available on its technicalities either at the moment.
Three separate audits are reported by Bridge Network.
Certik – Link
Zokyo – Link
QuillHash – Link
For those more technically inclined, the projects Github can be found at https://github.com/bridgeNetworklabs
There is a total supply of 500 million $BRDG token, which is a BEP20 token on the BNB Chain (contract address: 0x1562c99ad7179b7D1d862fF4E8BfF6CC016a97ee).
Token utility covers network security (validator & delegator staking), governance voting and fee payment for asset registration on the token bridge via the deployer. It’s interesting to note that all fees collected through the deployer will be burned quarterly.
My scepticism with regards to the burning mechanism is when taking into consideration the token supply. It was however not indicated whether the stated 500 million tokens represents the maximum supply that will be available.
The Bridge Network itself looks interesting on the surface, but the currently available information raises more questions than it answers. The lack of detailed explanations on key areas of the protocol are worrying considering that bridges and interoperability protocols have been the target of hacks of late.
Detailed below are the key areas that I look into when evaluating any project. Do note that the following is merely my thoughts and opinions and not investment advice. Please do your own research.
Of the three co-founders, only Samuel Eke who is the current CTO comes from a technical background. Besides his 5 months stint with TDeFi (who also happens to be one of the investors in the seed round) as a blockchain developer, his prior experience was with Iconet which was involved in IOT and machine learning. His Linkedin states his position as Software Engineering Lead but other sources available online has his position as the CEO (Source).
Did not look too much into the other two co-founders as focus was on the key technical leadership of the team. As mentioned earlier, primary concerns would revolve around technical capability considering the complexity of the product and the likelihood of hacks faced by projects within the sector face. While a point of concern, it need not necessarily be a red flag.
Lack of Technical Information
The amount of available information lacking in the project is the biggest concern and raises so many other questions, none of which the answers are readily available in the project documents. This would be a key gap that the team will need to address.
Questions to be addressed would be things such as:
- Does Bridge Network rely on its own bridge mechanism’s or is it utilizing a 3rd party (ex. layerzero, axelar, celer, etc…)?
- How does Bridge Network secure transactional information and on which blockchain?
- What sort of security assumptions and mechanisms are currently in place?
- What is the protocol layer built on?
- How many validators are there currently and who operates these validators?
- What is the minimum token stake to create a validator?
- If the current validator set is small, what are the plans to decentralize it?
- What is the quorum needed for validators to validate transactions?
- Are audits conducted whenever there is a product enhancement released?
- Who is the issuing partner for the debit card?
- What are the security assumptions for debit card utilization of crypto balances in-wallet? Is it for funds accessible on a specific blockchain only?
The above are just some of the questions I had when looking through the project. The lack of information and clarity surrounding the project is a big cause for concern as it represents uncertainty of the foundational state of the project.
Marketing & Communications
The team has excelled in this area. Communications put out on twitter and on the site is easily understood even if you had limited crypto knowledge. Medium posts are well written and seem prepared specifically with end users in mind.
The dApp interface was well designed and easy to navigate. Load times could be improved but thats more a technical matter. There isn’t really much more to add on the marketing & communications front.
In closing, the team needs to improve its communications of the more technical aspects of the project and protocol design. This information represents a critical disclosure of the risks associated with the project. Failing which, a lack of information could be construed as the project being of higher risk when compared to others within the sector.