I’m a very opinionated hamster.
Especially when it comes to the world of NFTs and matters of their transportation across various blockchains. You know me, I provide a service for effortless, user-friendly NFT teleportation, and my technology is moving hundreds of NFTs on a weekly basis.
But why only hundreds? Is it because my technology can’t deal with the load? Nope!
It is because people stick to the old way of doing things, and that is moving their non-fungible tokens by using so-called bridges. I’d recommend you to ‘get over them’, but I suspect you may not know what’s wrong with them in the first place…
That’s why I decided to write this article.
Are ‘Bridges’ For The Riches?
You see, to build something useful, you have to know what people are doing right now.
I’ve been an observing hamster, and from what I learned, people are limiting themselves by keeping NFTs only on one chain, shrugging their shoulders when they get slapped by cosmic gas fees on Ethereum, and disregarding other inventions because ‘eh, that’s too hard to understand’.
So why do I have a problem with bridging?
In NFT bridging, a token generated on one network is transferred to another chain through the process of ‘wrapping’. Once an NFT token is created, it is locked onto its host network by smart contract, while a second instance of the token is generated as a clone.
The clone is then wrapped to comply with the NFT standard, employed by the destination network, and transferred to an associated smart contract launched on the destination network.
The NFT clone can be sold on the new blockchain or moved onto yet another network without regard to its original form or source network. Theoretically, overall costs are reduced by relocating trading activities onto lower cost networks and reclaiming the assets later. BUT!
There Are a Few Problems With That
Quite a lot of them, actually.
Even though NFT bridging allows you to move tokens to NFT compatible networks for lower costs or to seek more liquid market places, it’s rather inconvenient to pay 10 cents in each network.
Also, during successively executed bridging, each transfer involves wrapping the previously wrapped NFT with a new wrapper of the destination blockchain, a process I describe as nesting. This means the newest instance of nested NFT contains a wrap of a wrap of a wrap, cloning a clone of a clone to make a newer clone.
And that ain’t it, chief!
Bridging can be helpful, yes, but this practice contains a hidden cost to reclaim the original NFT. Someone has to successively unwrap every nested layer by closing every bridging smart contract, chain-by-chain in the reverse order from which they were created!
Even if the most recent purchase returns the NFT onto the network where it was originally created, it cannot reclaim the original source content without undoing the NFT’s entire transactional chronology across all participating blockchains.
Closing an NFT bridge smart contract is not free, as execution of any smart contract incurs gas and network fees to validate the transaction, even just to terminate the contract and burn a token.
Suffice to say, unwinding a deeply nested NFT is freaking expensive and inconvenient.
Other Pressing Issues About Bridging
You have to own wallets for every chain, each of them needs to have money for commissions, and you never know for sure which bridge you will need to move onto another network.
If any bridge in that chain-of-operation doesn’t work, well, say bye-bye to your original NFT.
Another issue with nested bridging is related to privacy. With a long sequence of trades, nested bridging collects metadata on all prior owners of the NFT. And you know The Internet — it is full of d-bags who want to profile previous owners to architect and launch cyberattacks on potentially wealthy traders.
NFT bridging is so ‘bleh’ and ‘ugh’. So why not look at something ‘yum-yum’?
And by that I mean my Teleporter. I’ll share an article about its modus operandi this week, so you would know how different my technology is from what we have in general use today.
Scotty over and out… for now!