Introducing Ad Astra Portal: The Cross-Chain Bridge For Tokens To Leap Forward In Scalability And Performance

Lucian Mincu
·
May 24, 2022
·
5 min read
https://ad-astra.elrond.com/

We are thrilled to announce the go-live of the Elrond Ad Astra Portal! The newly launched token bridge will enable assets to flow freely between Elrond and Ethereum, and soon other EVM compatible blockchains.

“The Ad Astra Portal opens a compelling path for creative DeFi protocols and assets to take an important leap forward in terms of performance, efficiency and scalability. It also sets the premises for Elrond’s internet-scale blockchain technology to take a leading role in orchestrating the multi-chain foundation of the interoperable Web3 enabled virtual spaces that will collectively be known as The Metaverse.” said Beniamin Mincu, Elrond Network CEO.

Bridges between blockchain networks are akin to trade routes between countries - they foster growth for all the involved participants, create opportunities for innovation, and accelerate adoption of Web3 technologies at scale.

Security-First Design

The Ad Astra Portal has a security-first design using audited smart contracts and has been publicly battle tested together with our community, to ensure that all scenarios are comprehensively explored and validated.

“This is a historic moment for the Elrond ecosystem and the broader blockchain space. The robust, secure and decentralized setup that we are running in tandem with our strategic infrastructure partners will open a new era for the Elrond DeFi ecosystem and proliferation of internet-scale blockchain technology.” said Lucian Mincu, Elrond Network CIO.

A Network Of Trust

The Ad Astra Portal is set up as a network of relayers operated in collaboration with Stake Capital, Everstsake, P2P, Staking Agency and Istari Vision, who are jointly operating infrastructure that supports $10 Billion USD worth of staked crypto assets. Our strategic infrastructure partners have joined forces with us to ensure a decentralized, transparent and highly available passage for assets flowing through the bridge.

  • Stake Capital have been our genesis launch infrastructure partners who participated in operating and securing the Elrond Network from day 1. Their founding team has been involved in the creation of Curve Finance, the innovative DeFi protocol that enables large swaps of stable coins with low spread and much less liquidity required than traditional AMM platforms.
  • Everstake is our strategic infrastructure partner and one of the largest staking providers that has been an active contributor to the ecosystem since the mainnet launch. They have extensive experience with cross-chain protocols thanks to the involvement of parent company Atticlab in the development and operation of the Wormhole and Harp bridges.
  • P2P is a Proof-of-Stake pioneer and a leading provider of blockchain infrastructure that is, among other endeavors, involved in maintaining and operating Lido Finance, the platform for providing liquidity for assets staked on multiple chains. They joined Elrond in 2021 and have since been a reliable operator and close collaborator.
  • Staking Agency were amongst the first staking providers on the Elrond Network and have been involved in hardening the security of Elrond Validator software since the early development stages. Their contributions expand beyond the staking area and include an explorer, several tools and security audits.
  • Istari Vision was founded by early Elrond supporters and investors, who have tagged along for the journey in the very early days of Elrond ideation and prototyping. They have evolved to become one of the largest staking services providers in the ecosystem, and have since founded and supported the development of new tools and projects.

The Path Forward

The Ad Astra Portal is a tremendous achievement in terms of design, security and implementation. The Elrond team spared no efforts and cut no corners to ensure the most robust, resilient, and secure version of the Ad Astra Portal.

Ad Astra Portals connecting Elrond to Ethereum and Bitcoin - the largest planets in the blockchain space - will become available first. The portal will later be opened to several other strategically relevant blockchains.

A new growth chapter for the Elrond ecosystem begins today.

With new tokens, comes new liquidity. With new liquidity, new applications. With applications, new users and communities. One step at a time. Slowly, then suddenly.

This is how we connect the world, and onboard them to Elrond.


How to bridge assets?

The process is very intuitive, you can review it, along with great explanations, in this great video guide by Carpathian Stake:


Ad Astra Portal Facts Sheet

Security:

  • Designed and developed by the Elrond Core team
  • Ethereum smart contract audit performed by Akira Tech
  • Elrond smart contract audit performed by RuntimeVerification
  • 4 public “Battle of Yields” community testing rounds

Scope:

  • Two way token bridge between Elrond and Ethereum
  • Will be expanded to include other EVM compatible chains
  • First asset listed in the bridge: USDC
  • More assets to be added in the next days and weeks
  • Ask for your token to be listed: https://form.typeform.com/to/BDzj83JZ

Parameters:

  • Initial limits: minimum 2,500 USDC, maximum 100,000 USDC per transfer, will be gradually increased
  • Requires authentication on both sides of the bridge: Maiar App, DeFi Wallet, Web Wallet or Ledger on Elrond; Metamask on Ethereum
  • Transactions are batched every 10 minutes for Gas efficiency
  • 50 USDC fee for Elrond to Ethereum transfers to cover gas costs on Ethereum

Architecture:

  • 10 standalone relayers (servers)
  • 7/10 quorum required
  • 5 relayers operated by Stake Capital, Everstake, P2P, Staking Agency and Istari Vision
  • 5 relayers operated by the Elrond Foundation

FAQ

Why Ethereum first?

Being the blockchain with the largest network effect by users and devs, it was a logical decision to go live with Ethereum. Interoperability between the two networks will allow Ethereum users to easily tap into DeFi opportunities on the Elrond ecosystem and ERC-20 projects to significantly boost their use case by leveraging the fast and inexpensive transfers enabled by our protocol.

Why USDC first?

The fully collateralized fiat-backed stablecoin USDC has been chosen with the aim to enable Elrond DeFi users the ability to hedge against volatility and perform high speed and low cost transfers of value that is denominated in a stable currency with high utility and global integration.

Why is login required on both ends?

In certain scenarios you will be asked to login on both sides of the bridge. Logging in with both the source chain and destination chain wallet is required in order to ensure that the user performing the bridge transfer has access to the receiver address, thus eliminating the most common mistakes users are encountering while dealing with such operations.

How do I login?

On the Ethereum side, you will need the Metamask extension installed in your browser while on Elrond you can login to your wallet using the following options: Maiar DeFi Wallet, Maiar App, Ledger or Web Wallet.

What are the transfer limits?

A maximum amount of 100,000 USDC tokens can be bridged over per transaction as a precaution measure, beefing up security in the initial stages of the Ad Astra Portal bridge. The maximum amount will be gradually increased.

How do I add a token?

The Ad Astra Portal is undergoing a gradual decentralization process. In its initial stages, team members, partners or simply supporters of any ERC-20 token can submit their listing applications in the following form:

https://form.typeform.com/to/BDzj83JZ

When will more tokens be added?

More tokens will be added in the next days and months. Listing some strategic assets will be initiated by the Elrond Foundation, while ecosystem partners can request their tokens to also be added to the list by filling in this form: https://form.typeform.com/to/BDzj83JZ

When will more blockchains be added?

The portal will be opened to more blockchains in coming months, with Bitcoin and BSC (Binance Smart Chain) being amongst the next strategic steps forward.

What are the costs for performing a transfer?

Bridge transfers through the Ad Astra Portal incur the network fee from the originating chain.

An additional 50 USDC fee is applied only to Elrond -> Ethereum transfers to cover the gas fees for settling on Ethereum.


For more information, please visit us:


#technical

Written by
Lucian Mincu
CIO, Elrond Network