TL;DR — UMA launched Across Protocol in early November. Across is a bridging solution which uses UMA’s Optimistic Oracle (OO) to speed up Layer 2 (L2) to Layer 1 (L1) transactions. Across has been offered entirely to the community to take over as co-founders.
Ethereum’s progress has been constrained by network scalability issues which result in high transaction fees. L2 solutions, such as Arbitrum and Optimism, solve this problem by using optimistic rollups. Although this addresses the key issue of reducing network load, L2 to L1 transactions have a UX problem: they take up to seven days.
The Fastest, Cheapest and Most Secure L2 to L1 Bridge
Across’s main objective is to provide a fast — the fastest — bridge as an alternative to seven-day transaction times.
Across is a bridging function and provides incentives to relayers to offer short-term loans to users on L1. These loans are repaid to the relayer within two hours, from liquidity pools on L1. The pool is refreshed once funds from the canonical L2 transfer settle. Transactions are insured using UMA’s Optimistic Oracle (OO), which acts as a dispute resolution layer.
The OO verifies and validates all contracts between the user transferring funds and the insurer earning the fee. Currently, users can bridge USDC, ETH and UMA from L2 Arbitrum to L1 Ethereum. Read more about the launch here.
By offering instant, secure and cost-effective transactions, Across will form a pivotal part of the infrastructure of the ecosystem. The protocol has been given to the community to build it into an entire ecosystem. While development of Across is still underway by UMA, the community has already become closely integrated in the project. In due course, the platform will be distributed by a ‘fair fair’ launch.
What’s the Temperature?
Since launch on 8 November 2021, over 1,800 relays totaling over USD 18M have been bridged. The highest value transactions to date have been 700 ETH and 500 ETH. In just three weeks, over $14M has been deposited in the liquidity pools, comprising $11.6M of WETH, $2.3M of USDC and $490k of UMA.
As of 24 November, Across’s Dune Dashboard depicts a total of 96% of WETH relays taking place in under five minutes.
The community is currently developing a DAO structure that can sustain the protocol. Once this occurs, they will take full ownership.
While the protocol has been designed for the community, the creators are still providing initial foundational support.
On Tuesday, 23 November 2021, the Across community hosted a Tokenomics Panel on their Discord server, represented by experts including 0xMaki (co-founder of Sushiswap), Jill Carlson (principle at Slow Ventures), Robert Leshner (founder of Compound) and Santiago R Santos (member of PleasrDAO).
The panel shared insights about what makes a token launch successful and provided guidance on building proposals, which will hopefully provide the impetus for the community to start building proposals in the coming weeks.
Where to next?
Currently Across operates on Arbitrum, and Optimism and Boba support will be added soon.
- Several teams have expressed an interest in creating their own liquidity pools.
- The launch date of the Across token has not yet been announced.
- As more co-founders join, business development is picking up speed and the project is quickly evolving. We can expect to see some proposals for governance and tokenomics soon.
Who can join in?
You can shape the future by joining the community and becoming a co-founder. To be an effective DAO, Across requires engineers, content creators, business developers, among others. There is much still to be done. In addition to proposals for tokenomics and governance, plans for treasury management, marketing and workflows must also be formulated. There is a wealth of opportunity for those who are eager to participate in the project right at its inception.
Have your say
Positions for co-founder are still open. Join the Discord community and introduce yourself to get started. Follow Across on Twitter and keep your finger on the pulse by keeping track of Across on Medium.
Thanks to @rkfdallas for support writing this piece.
A Retrospective on the Across Launch and What’s Next was originally published in UMA Project on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.