beginners guide about axelar network

We believe that cross-chain bridges are going to be huge players in 2023 because everyone is all about interoperability. One of the platforms spearheading the cross-chain agenda is the Axelar Network. 

This platform simply connects about 30 chains, including Fantom, to provide cross-chain communication. Axelar provides a decentralized and secure cross-chain platform to connected chains.

What is Axelar Network?

While all bridges strive to achieve the same thing, Axelar has a vision for web3 interoperability that extends beyond bridges. So, Axelar is a PoS blockchain that serves as an overlay network for other blockchains, enabling secure cross-chain communication. The protocol foundation claims that Axelar is used by developers to create dapps that enable users to interact with any asset or app, on any chain, with a single click.

Here’s how the team defined it: “Axelar network is a blockchain that connects blockchains, enabling universal Web3 interoperability. The network is secured using proof-of-stake consensus, and messages are routed and translated using permissionless protocols. As an analogy, Axelar is like Stripe for Web3.”

As of February 2022, Axelar had a market value of over $1 billion. Interestingly, inaugural team members at Algorand and some MIT graduates launched Axelar in early 2020. The platform has undergone several rounds of funding and has an impressive portfolio of partners.

Axelar features a protocol suite, APIs and tools built to break down possible barriers to cross-chain communication. A decentralized open network of validators powers Axelar. So, anyone can build and use the network.

Axelar’s Tech Stack Overview

Axelar’s technology stack features four main parts:

  1. APIs and an SDK.
  2. External ‘Gateways’.
  3. Two permissionless protocols.
  4. A dynamic validator set that creates the Axelar blockchain itself.

So Axelar’s blockchain channels messages between Gateways on external chains leveraging two protocols:

  • Cross-Chain Gateway Protocol (CGP): Messages are routed from blockchain to blockchain using the CGP. The CGP enables Alexar validators to carry out read and write operations through Gateways on external chains based on transactions sent to other Gateways. It functions similarly to the internet Broader Gateway Protocol.
  • Cross-Chain Transfer Protocol (CTP): This is an application-level protocol responsible for sending messages to the Axelar validators from full nodes on connected external chains. This implies that developers can use the CTP to communicate with programs running on chains connected to Axelar using basic API calls. CTP is similar to the internet’s File Transfer and Hypertext Transfer Protocols, which are application-level protocols.

Satellite Money Bridge

Axelar focuses mainly on the transfer of digital assets between chains. So, Satellite  is a web-based app that helps users to transfer assets across chains. Axelar supports several EVM blockchains and Cosmos-based ecosystems. Satellite aids the transfer of assets between Cosmos-based chains to EVM or vice versa. Here is a summary chart about this:

To do this, you’ll need a Chrome desktop browser with the Keplr and MetaMask wallet extensions. Furthermore, the process requires funds to cover transfer fees. The clip below will show you how to transfer tokens using the Satellite bridge. You can also check out this medium blog for more about the Satellite bridge.

Finally, the Axelar Network supports a limited amount of native assets such as AVAX, ETH, FTM, MATIC, GLMR, etc. Users have to verify that they are using the right token contract before making a deposit to the address. Sending a non-Axelar wrapped asset or unsupported asset could lead to loss of asset.

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