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16 May 2023

2 min read

NEAR Selects Wormhole as an Official Bridge and Launches ZK-Enabled Cross-Chain Communication with Ethereum


Wormhole has been selected as the next official bridge for NEAR, and plans to launch the first trustless Zero-Knowledge (ZK) NEAR <> ETH corridor. Once launched, this will enable all major NEAR assets to be seamlessly bridged to the 20+ Wormhole-connected chains and bring the communities from hundreds of Wormhole-powered apps into the NEAR ecosystem.

NEAR Bridging Today

The NEAR ecosystem first pioneered in the cross-chain bridge space with Rainbow Bridge, a NEAR-ETH bridge built by the NEAR core team and launched in 2021. Rainbow’s architecture leverages optimistic verification, meaning that messages sent through Rainbow are assumed to be correct unless verifiers submit valid fraud proofs during the verification window (at which point the originators of the attempted fraud are penalized/fined).

Bridges like Rainbow and Wormhole are built to minimize the potential for fraud and abuse from bad actors, but they ultimately require apps and bridge users to put some level of trust in the entities that secure the protocols (like the 19 Wormhole Guardians).

The ZK Bridging Future

While trust assumptions are required when using today’s bridges, the bridges of the future will be trustless and will rely on cryptographic techniques (Zero Knowledge Proofs) instead of external actors to maintain their security.

Wormhole core contributors will be joining Zpoken and other contributors across the NEAR ecosystem to develop the first ZK light clients that can prove and verify Ethereum and NEAR state without the same trust assumptions required today. These ZK light clients will serve as the backbone for the first trustless NEAR <> ETH corridor, enabling a safer bridging experience for users through the new official NEAR bridge powered by Wormhole.

We will share more updates on these exciting new developments in the coming weeks. but we’re confident that this will be a new paradigm for enabling trustless cross-chain messaging and state access across the crypto ecosystem.

About NEAR

The Near Foundation is a Swiss non-profit that supports the on-going growth and development of the Near Protocol, a high-performance carbon-neutral blockchain that is designed to be super-fast, incredibly secure, and infinitely scalable. Near is built by an award-winning team of engineers and entrepreneurs to be simple to use, inclusive and good for the environment. For more information, please visit: near.org

About Wormhole

Wormhole is the industry standard cross-chain messaging protocol powering applications across Web3. Wormhole provides developers access to liquidity and users on over 20 of the leading blockchain networks, enabling use cases that span DeFi, NFTs, governance, and more. Wormhole enables a growing suite of products to build on its messaging layer. Wormhole Connect is an in-app bridging widget that can be integrated in as few as 3 lines of code. The wider Wormhole network is trusted and used by teams like Circle (USDC) and Uniswap, and to-date, the platform has facilitated the transfer of over 35 billion dollars through hundreds of millions of cross-chain messages.

Join the Wormhole Community

If you have questions, need support, or simply want to connect, join the Wormhole community and keep up-to-date with our upcoming announcements. We’re always happy to hear your feedback.

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