Cross-Chain Message Passing

August 3, 2022
min read
An introduction to cross-chain message passing

What is cross-chain message passing?

Put simply, cross-chain message passing (aka cross-chain messaging) utilizes smart contracts to allow information to flow freely between blockchains that are otherwise silo'd within the confines of their own networks. This is the current landscape of Web3, where users must manually navigate between chains in order to utilize assets and engage with dApps, often through the use of cross-chain bridges.

Cross-chain messaging however, can be connect users to other chains through a verifiable, trust-less network, supported by on-chain validators. This creates a decentralized network where users can interact with dApps without having to navigate cumbersome bridge transfers and the added steps that accompany the current cross-chain landscape. The end result, is a truly interoperable and decentralized Web3, where users and dApp developers alike can benefit from one-click in-dApp experiences.

To better understand the impact on users, let's examine two distinctive use-cases that would benefit from cross-chain messaging.


One-Click NFT Purchases

IndiGG NFT with a single CTA

Imagine if you could purchase your favourite NFT without a second thought of switching chain or assets required to complete the transaction (not to mention gas fees!)

NFT demonstrating a network change required

With cross-chain messaging users can keep their funds on the chain of their choosing and instead, use an SDK to enable the movement of assets and NFT purchase all in one bundled transaction without having to manually switch, bridge, and interact with the dApp as a separate transaction. The end result is an instantaneous, one-click NFT minting experience that’s as intuitive as checking out on Amazon.

Yield Farms and Liquidity Pools

One of the strongest use-cases for cross-chain messaging is when it’s applied to DEXs, liquidity pools and yield farms, specifically.

To illustrate a typical liquidity pool, let’s look at this Arbitrum one shown below on Hyphen.

In its current state, in order to contribute to this pool I first need to connect my wallet and switch to Arbitrum as per the CTA shown above. Let’s also assume that my ETH is held on BNB instead of Arbitrum. The typical process for overcoming this would be to use the Hyphen bridge in order to transfer ETH from the source chain, in this case BNB, to the destination chain which is Arbitrum. Doing so however, requires that I leave the current pool page and switch to BNB in my wallet resulting in 3-added steps before I can even add liquidity to the pool, not to mention switching back to Arbitrum once again before I can add my ETH post-transfer.

With cross-chain messaging, I would’ve been able to deposit my ETH into the above pool without going through these 4-added steps, despite my assets being stored on BNB.

The future is cross-chain

As we continue to increase interoperability within the Web3 landscape, it’s imperative that user-experience remains the core focus if we hope to achieve mainstream adoption. This is not a noble concept, as the addition of intuitive experiences and simplified transactions have been largely responsible for driving the billion plus user-count of web2, across all platforms and verticals.

In our next post, we’ll be dissecting additional cross-chain messaging use-cases.