You may have heard talk about bridges in crypto, and recently in relation to Dogecoin.If you search around online for bridges to any major blockchain such as Bitcoin or Ethereum you’ll find plenty of them.
So what are bridges, and how do they affect everyday Shibes using Dogecoin?
Much like a physical bridge connects two locations, a crypto bridge connects two blockchains together to allow interaction: usually to allow one coin to be used on the other side of the bridge. Many of the bridges we see today are used to take a cryptocurrency such as Dogecoin or Bitcoin, and allow them to be used on a smart-contract blockchain such as Ethereum.
Bridges operate by providing a ‘wrapped token’ on the non-origin side, usually representing a 1-1 relationship between the ‘coin’ on the first chain, and the ‘token’ on the other. In the case of Doge, this allows a Dogecoin holder to transfer some Dogecoin into a wallet controlled by the bridge: either via a custodian, or more ideally by a decentralised, automated smart-contract.
You trade Doge to an entity which gives you an amount of ‘wrapped dogecoin’ on the foreign blockchain.
The promise of these ‘wrapped tokens’ is that they allow participation in new financial activities not available on the original chain, such as the ability to loan Dogecoin to another person, or to transfer ownership of your wrapped dogecoin via a smart-contract, as would occur if you bought NFTs via a wrapped token.
Doge-Ethereum bridge, now wDoge.
Back in 2017 Dogecoin developer Ross Nicoll and Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin discussed the possibility of a Doge – Eth bridge, and a bounty was established by members of both communities to inspire the development of an effective, fair bridge between the two blockchains.
Since then Oscar Guindzberg and colleagues have been researching and developing the bridge with the aim of allowing Dogecoin to be integrated into the Ethereum smart-contract ecosystem in a safe and secure fashion. Recently Oscar and co-founder Gabriel Reiter have established Blue Pepper, a commercial startup to provide full time development focus on bridging the two chains with wDoge.
Dogecoin Foundation joining the wDoge DAO.
Blue Pepper has written about the history of the bridge and how it will function, and is in the process of establishing a DAO (decentralized autonomous organisation) of companies, non-profits and individuals from the Dogecoin community to govern the bridge protocol. The DAO will be responsible for governing via vote the means to upgrade the bridge’s smart-contracts and to add custodians or merchants.
Blue Pepper have provided a transparent and open approach to developing a pragmatic middle-ground as a stepping stone while they continue to research and develop greater decentralisation mechanisms for bridging Dogecoin and Ethereum, and it is for this reason the the Dogecoin Foundation have agreed to become a trusted key holder in the wDoge DAO as the next logical step in the bridge’s evolution.