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Crypto Bridge Heists Swiping $1 Billion Spur Race for Alternatives

  • Centralized exchanges, apps are adding bridge-like features
  • Value locked in Ethereum bridges is down 17% in the past month

High-profile hacks on crypto “bridges” -- which let users swap digital tokens across blockchains -- are creating opportunities for exchanges and other businesses to offer more secure alternatives.

Crypto exchanges FTX and Coinbase Global Inc. are deepening their capabilities to provide bridge-like services on various blockchains, so users invested in Bitcoin or Ethereum can easily participate in other networks’ financial or gaming apps. FTX, for instance, launched a marketplace last year that allows customers to trade Solana-based nonfungible tokens, and to easily swap their Ethereum for the chain’s main Sol coin to buy them. Users can also deposit an Ethereum-based NFT and withdraw it on Solana via FTX -- instead of a bridge. And more app developers, like institutional lending marketplace Maple Finance, are moving onto new blockchains, making bridges unnecessary for certain transactions.