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10 Mar 2023

5 min read

Summary: Discord AMA with Carrier


We extend a big thank you to "melynx" from the Automata Network team for participating in our Discord AMA and providing valuable insights into what it means to be building in Web3, upping the ante in privacy protection and bridging in general. Automata Network is developing Carrier, a new token and NFT bridge for advanced users that is built on top of Wormhole.

To read the full AMA, head over to our dedicated Discord channel. Below you can find a summary that has been shortened and slightly edited for better readability:

Q: What makes Carrier different from other bridge protocols? What advantages does it have over competitors?

A: When we looked at existing bridges, we asked ourselves how we could differentiate ourselves. For Carrier, we wanted to create a cohesive, intuitive user interface that is currently lacking in the space. This guided our design and technical approach with regards to the features we wanted.

For example, Carrier supports concurrent bridging transactions, allowing users to perform multiple transactions at the same time. No need to wait for a transaction to complete before starting another. Since we wanted to support concurrent transactions, the Carrier UI had to be designed in a way that makes it easy for users to have a birds eye view of their assets and transaction status. This is why Carrier has a comprehensive wallet dashboard for users.

Q: What challenges or obstacles did you encounter during the development process, and how did you overcome them?

A: Carrier is user-centric, so a significant part of our design process was ensuring that the user experience and flow was as seamless as possible. The best user experience is often one where intrusive details are hidden out of sight unless they are wanted by the users. To achieve this, we had to take a step back and consider how all the features we wanted were supposed to work together to complement the user journey.

Q: Are there any fees to use Carrier?

A: With regards to that question, there are 2 things that are inescapable in this world - a) heat death of the universe and b) gas fees. Jesting aside, one of the fundamental principles we have for Carrier is being user-centric, and to do that is to make sure that journey is led and decided by the user. Part of that means the flexibility in deciding how you would like to bridge your assets. There might be additional fees associated with the relayers to help with the work of moving the transaction across the chain. However, if you like to monitor and pay for all the transactions yourself, there are no additional fees incurred in using Carrier for all your bridging needs. Just note that there are still gas fees.

Q: Could you tell me a few words about Carrier's safety? Has Carrier been audited? Plus, what is the relationship between Wormhole and Carrier?

A: You can think of Carrier being a user facing product that is built by Automata, powered by Wormhole. A good analogy would be to think of Wormhole as the foundation, while Carrier is the house that is being built on top of it by us. Wormhole provides a strong, stable base (token and nft bridging primitive) that supports what Carrier needs to do, while Carrier improves the value of the land by providing the valuable interface that users of the Wormhole ecosystem can use. Carrier inherits the same technology primitives from Wormhole, which means that we share the same industry-proven technical environment as the protocol. Wormhole's Guardian network is made up of 19 of the world's top validator companies, observing and producing signed attestation of events (VAAs) that are happening on different chains to ensure the integrity of the bridge. The unfortunate reality is that no one can ever quite make an absolute statement when it comes to matters of security, and you should be doubtful of those who do, but the fact that Wormhole has already been battle-tested in the live environment of Web3 is, in my humble opinion, an accomplishment.

Q: Today Carrier supports 12 chains. What new chains do you plan to integrate in the near future?

A: Carrier developers are always working on expanding the list, and NEAR is one of the networks that Carrier will be aiming to support in the near future.

Q: What is Automata Network, and what is its vision and mission for building Carrier?

A: Automata is working towards building a fairer Web3 for everyone through the development of middleware services. The goal is to enable developers to natively and seamlessly integrate our fair technology into their own products or prototypes. Automata and Wormhole share the common goal of users first. Carrier, which focuses on privacy protection, was built to enable users to feel comfortable performing bridging without the need to worry about potential compromises to their privacy. This is done with the help of 1RPC, a private relay that we developed to prevent metadata exposure and leakage. Requests made from Carrier are actually relayed through this service. Carrier also doesn't store and sensitive or personally identifiable information when you use it.

Q: What is the roadmap for Carrier's development and expansion, and how does the team plan to differentiate itself from other cross-chain solutions in the market?

A: Carrier has some really cool plans for the longer term and in the near future. Carrier is looking at adding more networks and expanding the wallet support. Carrier also plans to enable cross-chain swaps and a native USDC bridge via Wormhole's CCTP integration. Oh by the way, coo-ed into my ears that something exciting is happening next week. It's going to be super fun and you guys are the first to know about it. Keep an eye out on our Twitter and Discord.

Q: Does Carrier support ZK technology? If not, will this technology be added in the future?

A: We have some really exciting ideas with respect to ZKPs that we would love to explore in Carrier. These ideas are experimental in nature and we are not sure if they will end up in Carrier proper. That said, rest assure that if there are any updates on it, we will be updating you guys about it.

Q: Please tell us more about Carrier's zero-tracking policy and how does it protect user privacy?

A: Carrier respects your privacy by not having any web trackers - 0, nil, zilch - such as Google Analytics or cookies, on our platform. We also do not store any data or metadata during the bridge journey. Additionally, Carrier reads data from the blockchain using our private relay service, 1RPC, to prevent sensitive metadata, like your IP, device information, and location, from being sent along with the request. 1RPC performs multicall disassociation and random dispatching to further improve privacy. After completing the relay, all identifiable information about the relay is discarded. For more information on 1RPC, please see this article: https://medium.com/atanetwork/breaking-down-the-tech-behind-1rpc-223ccc3e5dac

Q: Can you explain how Automata Network's involvement enhances Carrier's capabilities?

A: Automata and Wormhole share the common goal of users first. Wormhole provides a strong, stable base that supports what Carrier needs to do, while Automata improves Carrier's privacy and fairness middleware services for Web3.

Q: Where can we learn more about Carrier?

A: Check out Carrier's Twitter or Discord for more information. Carrier's documentation is also a great resource.

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