Cross-chain security has become a particularly hot topic, and for good reason: $2 billion in cryptocurrency was stolen in cross-chain bridge hacks this year alone, according to blockchain data firm Chainalysis, which called the issue a “major security risk.”
By solving these issues, which primarily surround interoperability – the communication, or lack thereof, between blockchains – Hyperlane intends to create a platform that provides a secure infrastructure that developers can use to build applications. safer cross-channels.
It’s easier said than done, says Hyperlane co-founder Jon Kol Fortune.
“We think that right now the app developer is having such a hard time understanding the nuances of the channel[s], where they can’t spend so much time building the best app,” Kol said. “So we want to give them tools to provide the best experience for their users.”
In pursuit of that mission, Hyperlane, formerly Abacus Network, today announced that it has raised $18.5 million in seed funding, led by early-stage venture capital fund Variant. Other investors include Galaxy Ventures, Coinfund, Circle, Figment, Blockdaemon, Kraken, and NFX.
Cross-chain communication seems “inevitable” as the crypto ecosystem grows, according to Kol and Hyperlane investors, who fully recognize it means providing better security.
Currently, most blockchains cannot talk to each other. This means that an application on a blockchain, like Ethereum, cannot communicate with another application on, say, Solana. Cross-chain bridges allow users to move digital assets from one chain to another, typically resulting in, among other things, wrapped cryptocurrencies. However, these bridges – being the “storage point” between chains – are often targeted by hackers, as Chainalysis notes.
Bridges are vulnerable because they are only as strong as the code behind them, Chainalysis points out. “These varied designs present new attack vectors that can be exploited by bad actors as best practices are refined over time.”
Kol said he and his team plan to use recent funding to create offerings like his “sovereign consensus” model, which allows developers to customize their own security precautions for cross-chain apps when building them. There are also plans for more features such as an application programming interface allowing developers to send messages between chains and another API to query information between chains.
At Hyperlane with Kol, who previously worked at Morgan Stanley and Galaxy Digital, are co-founders Asa Oines and Nam Chu Hoai, both with engineering backgrounds from Celo, and Oines from Google as well as advisers Morgan Beller, the co-creator of Diem, and Zaki Manian, the co-creator of the Cosmos and Inter-Blockchain Communication (IBC) protocol.
Currently, Hyperlane is in “alpha mode”, currently supporting Ethereum, Arbitrum, Polygon, Optimism, Avalanche, Binance, and Celo. In Q4, Hyperlane aims to move into a “mainnet beta phase” and fully launch by Q1 2023. The hope is to continue adding blockchains and, one day, enable anyone to add any new channel to the Hyperlane network.
“That might make me sound too pompous,” Kol said, but “I think if we don’t get something like [Hyperlane]the crypto will not grow to the size that myself and other crypto natives still believe it could be.