The cryptocurrency and decentralized computing landscape has evolved significantly since the inception of Bitcoin in 2009. Initially, blockchain technology was primarily used for transferring funds between users. However, the introduction of Ethereum and smart contracts in 2015 expanded the capabilities of blockchain technology, enabling it to serve as a global computing platform and leading to the development of decentralized applications (DApps).
There is currently a wide range of decentralized applications (DApps) available on smart contract-enabled blockchains, offering various services including decentralized exchanges, decentralized autonomous organizations, borrow-lend platforms, decentralized games, NFT protocols, metaverse platforms, and more. However, these DApps are limited by the restrictions of their underlying blockchains, such as the inability to access off-chain data or communicate with other blockchains. This has resulted in a fragmented ecosystem where each blockchain operates in isolation and assets and services are not easily transferable between them.
To solve interoperability issues and create a more cohesive ecosystem, developers are developing solutions that facilitate cross-chain communication and interaction. One such solution is Wormhole, which enables the smooth transfer of value and information between different blockchains. In the following section, we will explore the history and challenges of achieving cross-chain interoperability and examine the role that Wormhole plays in this constantly evolving field.
Cryptocurrencies are typically confined to their own blockchain, which has been a limitation of the technology. To address this issue, centralized exchanges (CEXs) were developed, but they have their own drawbacks such as being centralized and only supporting certain tokens. Decentralized exchanges (DEXs) were created as a decentralized alternative to CEXs, but they can only use the tokens on their native blockchain. In order to access tokens from other chains, DEXs must be used in conjunction with bridges, which are applications that exchange “wrapped” assets on one chain for the original assets on another chain. However, these bridges are often centralized and incompatible with each other, leading to the creation of complex “double wrapped” tokens that require a complicated process to access the original token. The current ecosystem is fragmented, with isolated user bases and wallet incompatibilities, due to these ad-hoc solutions. Wormhole aims to address these issues by proposing a new approach to developing decentralized applications that takes advantage of the strengths of each blockchain while addressing the limitations of the current ecosystem.
Wormhole is a protocol that allows for interoperability between different blockchain ecosystems. It was initially introduced in 2020 by Certus One as a bridge between Ethereum and Solana, but has since expanded to support other blockchains and smart contract runtimes. In August 2021, Wormhole launched version 2, which serves as a decentralized generic interoperability protocol for multiple blockchains. In addition to being a protocol, Wormhole is also an ecosystem and platform that enables developers to create and build decentralized applications. It consists of modular components that can be used independently and supports a growing number of composable applications developed by various teams.
Esculap, being based on the Solana network, implements wormhole bridge to freely exchange tokens with other projects: Infare, Holon, Holopedia and more to come, to facilitate cooperation between them. Connections between nodes are set up through VPN.
It is creating a base for future implementation of Quantum Internet, where qubits are transmitted between the networks.