The Merge: what impact on blockchain bridges?

The Merge upgrade of the Ethereum network will play a central role in the future of cross-chain bridges, he believes Andriy Velkyyco-founder ofAllbridge.

Blockchain bridges: what is it?

Before we get started, it’s worth remembering what blockchain bridges are. A bridge or blockchain bridge is a platform that allows the transfer of resources between multiple networks. For example, you can use a bridge to transfer USDT from BNB Chain to Ethereum.

In this example, BNB Chain is a so-called EVM compatible blockchain (Ethereum virtual machine). However, there are also what we call EVM incompatible chains, which have a particular architecture and are significantly more difficult to integrate. Some of these blockchains include Solana and Near Protocol, just to name a few.

What impact will The Merge have on EVM-enabled blockchains?

The merger – the merging of Ethereum’s current execution level with a new Proof of Stake consensus level called Beacon Chain – will have a significant impact on blockchain bridges.

Once the update is deployed, some users will begin transferring their resources from EVM-enabled networks to Ethereum. However, most people will wait before the network is stressed out for fear of losing their assets. In fact, it’s entirely possible that critical issues will be detected after the network has switched to a PoS consensus mechanism.

That said, over time, and if Ethereum passes the stress tests, we will see a decline in the user base of EVM networks.

Long-term Ethereum 2.0

If we think about the long term and if Ethereum becomes scalable as promised after the third phase of The Merge, the scaling protocols, in particular Arbitrum and Optimism, will suffer greatly. Furthermore, the decline in interest in other EVM blockchains will increase transfers to Ethereum, where the majority of users will remain.

While this could initially lead to an increase in the volume of transactions and transfers, the benefit would be short-lived as other networks could become useless after Ethereum’s full migration.

Merge and blockchain interoperability

I think that when Ethereum attracts users from other EVM networks, the bridges that connect it to them will start to play a more important role. Indeed, users are interested in transfers between Ethereum and other non-EVM blockchains, such as Solana. Existing blockchain bridges will therefore have to adapt to support non-EVM protocols after The Merge.

Allbridge Core, our new bridge solution, anticipated the changes The Merge could bring to the DeFi ecosystem. Through our stablecoin-based bridge, we enable a smooth cross-chain exchange between Ethereum, BNB Chain, Tron and Solana.

We believe this transfer solution, which covers both EVM and non-EVM networks, will remain an important tool for users even after The Merge.

About the author

Andriy Velkyy is co-founder and CEO ofAllbridge. An experienced cryptocurrency entrepreneur, Andriy is Cisco Network certified and has worked in IT since 2002, primarily in data center architecture and networking. Andriy entered the world of cryptocurrencies in 2015, starting by setting up mining farms before going further with technological innovations such as integrating cryptocurrency payments into point-of-sale devices, cybersecurity, and non-custodial multi-chain crypto wallets. In 2021 he co-founded Allbridge, a blockchain bridge that allows the transfer of tokens and / or arbitrary data between EVM-enabled and non-EVM-enabled blockchains.

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