Paper 2021/1589

SoK: Validating Bridges as a Scaling Solution for Blockchains

Patrick McCorry, Chris Buckland, Bennet Yee, and Dawn Song


Off-chain protocols are a promising solution to the cryptocurrency scalability dilemma. It focuses on moving transactions from a blockchain network like Ethereum to another off-chain system while ensuring users can transact with assets that reside on the underlying blockchain. Several startups have collectively raised over $100m to implement off-chain systems which rely on a validating bridge smart contract to self-enforce the safety of user funds and liveness of transaction execution. It promises to offer a Coinbase-like experience as users can transact on an off-chain system while still retaining the underlying blockchain’s security for all processed transactions. Unfortunately, the literature for validating bridges is highly disparate across message boards, chat rooms and for-profit ventures that fund its rapid development. This Systematization of Knowledge focuses on presenting the emerging field in an accessible manner and to bring forth the immediate research problems that must be solved before we can extend Ethereum’s security to new (and experimental) off-chain systems.

Available format(s)
Publication info
Preprint. MINOR revision.
rollupslayer 2cryptocurrencyethereumbitcoincommitchainsvalidating bridgesarbitrumstarknetzksyncoptimism
Contact author(s)
stonecoldpat @ gmail com
2021-12-06: received
Short URL
Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Patrick McCorry and Chris Buckland and Bennet Yee and Dawn Song},
      title = {SoK: Validating Bridges as a Scaling Solution for Blockchains},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2021/1589},
      year = {2021},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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