In a multi-chain future, cross-chain integration will be a must. While each blockchain tends to see itself as an ecosystem on its own (and quite frankly, they are), late adopters will tend not to see them that way: to them, it will be all Web3; just as today the internet is understood as one thing alone. In this article, we are going to introduce important concepts such as interoperability and overlay networks, while sharing with you a bit more about Axelar network and what it can do for Web3 gaming projects. You will also find a recording of our AMA with Axelar network at the end of this post.
If the internet is seamless…Why isn’t Web3?
Regardless of which operating system hosts websites or social media or even apps, you can have a seamless experience while navigating the web, right? As a user, you don’t really want/need to know if a certain website or a certain social media is hosted on a Linux server or on a Windows server. Yet, Web3 still demands users to know and act as liaisons to different chains. Sergey Gorbunov, the founder of Axelar network, challenged this notion in a recent blog post: “Why can’t a blockchain developer offer their users the same experience they find on the internet? Namely, the ability to interact with other applications and assets across the entire ecosystem.”
Although the possibility of offering a seamless experience to users seems like some kind of benefit or feature to a software development kit or integrated development environment, it is much more than that. Without such capacity, it is like going back in time – a time without the internet and all technology that made it possible as we know it today. Interoperability is what makes the internet viable. So why isn’t Web3 interoperable? Simply put: we are building a new layer of nodes upon an already existing and interconnected network, but these nodes have an intrinsically different architecture from what defines the internet as we know it today.
According to Sergey Gorbunov, “Axelar network is a scalable cross-chain communication platform. Blockchain platform builders can use it to seamlessly plug in their blockchains to all other blockchain ecosystems. Application developers can choose the best blockchain to host their applications and use Axelar’s cross-chain communication protocols to lock, unlock, and transfer assets, as well as communicate with applications on any other chain. By connecting dapps with multiple blockchain ecosystems, the Axelar platform empowers users to interact with all applications across the ecosystem directly from their wallets”.
To make Sergey’s vision possible, Axelar offers 2 decentralized protocols: the Cross-Chain Gateway Protocol (CGP) and the Cross-Chain Transfer Protocol (CTP). In essence, such protocols operate much like Web2 protocols: they serve as means for communication between different blockchains.
All in all, Axelar offers the possibility/capacity for different chains to communicate through user-driven actions based on the applications that rely on such protocols. If a user wants to run a transaction on his/hers wallet, the actions performed by that user will activate the protocols and the protocols will make sure interoperability happens. Of course, developers need to do their part in this equation, which is to build using the Axelar stack.
Series B Funding
The project is very well funded which we believe will give it a very high chance for success. On February 14, 2022, the network announced that they raised $35 million at a $1 Billion valuation, giving them the much-coveted Unicorn status. This is a follow-up to the $25 million Series A funding that they raised in mid-2021. There’s a long list of investors and they include Binance, Coinbase, Dragonfly Capital, Galaxy, and Polychain Capital.
Axelar NFT Mint
On August 19, 2022, Axelar announced The Axelar Robot NFT collection in partnership with MintDao. True to its mission, the NFT will be a cross-chain collection. MintDao is an NFT launchpad that is integrating with Axelar network to enable a variety of cross-chain features for their collections such as seamless bridging of NFTs across blockchains.
The collection will be minted on the Ethereum blockchain through MintDao’s web application. In addition to minting, MintDAO will provide a bridging interface in their website as well, which will allow users from any Axelar-connected EVM ecosystem to participate in a cross-chain quest and win AXL tokens rewards.
Overlay networks & Web3 Gaming
At the end of the day, Axelar is a blockchain to connect blockchains. It is secured using battle-tested proof-of-stake consensus, and messages are routed using smart-contract logic. However, it is helpful to think of Axelar as an overlay network. An overlay network sits atop other networks and has visibility into them, providing services that are otherwise difficult to deliver, or unavailable. This concept was important in the early development of the internet, as content delivery networks, or CDNs, enabled applications like YouTube and Zoom to deliver rich content seamlessly, regardless of network or geography.
Today, the market is divided into layer 1 blockchains, such as Avalanche and Ethereum, as well as layer 2 solutions, such as Polygon or Immutable X – where dapps can be built, including games. When thinking about what a third layer would be like, well, you guessed it right: that’s Axelar.
It doesn’t mean that developers now must stop using Avalanche, for example. That’s not the case. It means that now, instead of being limited to Avalanche or an Avalanche Subnet, developers can create a seamless experience to their users by using Axelar. How? That’s what we talk about in our AMA with Axelar. Check it out and understand how the next generation of protocols and Web3 solutions are going to shape the future of gaming and of everything else!