1/ The Rainbow Bridge officially launched today between @nearprotocol and #ethereum, becoming the first trustless bridge to do so. While the post (near.org/blog/the-rainb…) explained well, I want to be clear about why this is a Really Big Deal 👇
2/ End users don't really care about blockchains, they just want to use apps and keep assets. In a world of isolated blockchains, though, they're forced into one walled garden or another, resulting in cases of "wait, why doesn't my X thing work with my Y app?"
3/ Having bridges allows devs to deliver clean experiences to end-users which might straddle multiple chains under the surface but where the users don't actually need to be exposed to this. It's not quite as simple as simultaneous multi-chain ops, but the principle is roughly ok.
4/ There are many bridges and they are NOT the same. The most important aspect of a bridge is *trust*. Specifically, when an asset on the sending side is locked and re-minted on the recipient side, there must only be one copy of that asset "live" at any given time.
5/ Most bridges take shortcuts by inserting a trusted party who facilitates the transfer, eg in a POA format or as guarantor. Sometimes ppl just use "testnet-style" chains as synthetic bridges. But always, the asset's sanctity is only as good as the trust in that party. Why?
6/ Security of x-chain assets is itself a chain -- the weakest link between the security of sending chain, receiving chain and the bridge between is the actual security of that asset. That's why the bridge must have the same security guarantees as either of the two chains.
7/ The Rainbow Bridge protocol was under construction for ~2 years bc it is extremely hard to engineer this security. It's why you don't see other trustless bridges -- the Rainbow team got a huge head start on this, with @k06a driving early. It is as complex as a core protocol.
8/ But it's worth it! The Rainbow Bridge, instead of being the weakest link in a 3-party transaction, allows the security of just the two chains to secure assets. This means you can confidently bridge over critical monetary assets like stablecoins #DAI #USDT #USDC and other ERC20
9/ It's more than currency-equivalent assets, though. Any arbitrary assets or data can be built to transfer across the Rainbow Bridge -- NFTs, for example, between #NEAR and #Ethereum. Why would they do this?
10/ This gets us back to the consumer. #NEAR was architected from day 1 to be highly flexible for devs to build apps that users can actually use. It's easier to hide the blockchain and let users avoid touching fees, tokens, etc with #NEAR. The bridge gives this superpowers.
11/ Now, any app that wants to touch end-users should build the consumer-facing high-throughput bits on #NEAR even if the assets will end up living on another chain. There's no excuse not to, since users will go to whichever dapp in their market does this because *UX always wins*
12/ The Rainbow Bridge is also about more than just Ethereum. It is a general purpose protocol where 80% of the work for integrating other chains is done. You might see integrations coming soon with #celo #dot #sol or any other chain where a dev group wants to build an adapter.
13/ This makes #NEAR not just a platform that allows scalable, user-friendly apps, but also a hub in an interconnected multi-chain world. It allows devs to use #NEAR for the high-throughput tx's and user-facing aspects of their apps but also gives them full x-chain compatibility.
14/ Now, #NEAR is the center of the growing multi-chain data and finance economies while remaining the best place to launch a consumer-facing app because of UX, low fees and high scalability. It is also now the most future-proof place to build b/c of that backwards compatibility.
15/ We've always believed that the consumer is the most important (and most ignored) part of the blockchain ecosystem. Now, there's no excuse for devs not to build consumer-facing apps on NEAR and get us to the Open Web future we all want.

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More from @ErikTrautman

7 Mar
1/ Recently, @thisissethsblog posted about #NFTs, saying they are a "Dangerous Trap" . His 4 arguments are reasonable-sounding surface concerns but they're all off the mark.

A point-by-point look at why we have to think more carefully about NFTs 👇
2/ Argument #1: *Art is silly too but that's ok for Real Art because we've done it that way for a long time*.

This just doesn't make sense and seems backwardly purist.
3/ Status conveyed by owning original editions of physical art doesn't just come from showing 3 ppl a week your wall, it's from making sure people know you own an original edition (art as flex, art as humble brag).
Read 16 tweets
5 Mar
1/ It's pretty clear that NFTs have broken into the mainstream and, predictably, are causing all sorts of consternation because they're still in the "we're trying shit" phase. But, whether an artist, developer, or other creator, don't write them off too quickly. Here's why. 👇
2/ First of all, the initial phase of any market is a combination of "toys that look like crap" ( h/t @cdixon) and "attempting to copy mental models from the old world into this one... very awkwardly." (remember early mobile apps?) Welcome to NFTs 2021.
3/ The first cryptokitties in 2017 surfaced NFTs into the light but they were nearly impossible to acquire for avg ppl because you needed to buy tokens to try. Collectables make no sense to most people either, esp in the digital world where we're used to infinite replication.
Read 43 tweets

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