Bridges allow rhino.fi users to move their funds between ecosystems and explore a range of opportunities around DeFi. They complement our cross-chain swap feature by allowing users to port the same assets between different blockchains, rather than swapping one chain-specific asset for another. In this post, we explain how our bridges work in detail.
Core technology Rhino.fi’s bridges are collateralised, using liquidity outposts we’ve established on different chains. Bridges on other platforms often ‘burn and mint’ tokens. In other words, they destroy a token on the origin chain and create an equivalent on the destination chain. Our bridges are more simple: Essentially, a user supplies rhino.fi with funds on one chain and then rhino.fi provides funds from our own pool on another chain. The reason we have chosen this approach is because the methodology can be applied to any chain, which means it is simple to on-board new chains, and the bridging process is quick: as soon as the user deposits, we give them funds on Rhino, and as soon as they withdraw we give them something on-chain. Deposits may take a minute, while withdrawals can take just a few seconds.
Smart contracts The contracts that underpin our bridges are essentially the same as those built for cross-chain swaps:
Rhino.fi builds a bespoke smart contract to move funds between our platform and each new chain we add.
These contracts enable users to deposit their funds on the bridge, and rhino.fi then provides an equivalent value of the same token on their chain of choice.
Our Layer 2 scalability engine, StarkEx, provides the central hub in this system. Users supply tokens to StarkEx and receive tokens in return, rather than interacting with their chosen chain directly.
Security Our bridge is authorised, which means that only rhino.fi can issue withdrawals to our bridges. We use our own funds as collateral, so even if the bridge were to be hacked, the liquidity would come from rhino.fi, not the users. Trusted and self-custodial elements There is a small trusted element in the bridging process. As mentioned, the bridging process involves the user giving rhino.fi assets on their origin chain and rhino.fi providing their desired assets on their destination chain. In other words, the user gives us tokens and trusts that we will give them tokens on another chain. This trusted element is necessary to ensure speed: if the process were totally trustless, it could take as much as 20 minutes to move from one side of the bridge to the other.