Darwinia: How to Build Future Internet of Tokens

Just the other day, when we were doing an interview of Darwinia, upon reviewing the list of questions, the moderator said: Has your vision changed?

I thought Darwinia was a game chain in the Polkadot ecosystem. Upon reflecting on his comments, I realized this precisely represented some previous perception of Darwinia we are hoping to reestablish today.

Itering Tech visioned the Web3 future and has embarked on the journey quite early, but along the way, it was tough and lonely.

At each station, we were trying to fullfilling something the industry was less optimal achieving:

  • We’ve developed DKMS distributed key management system, Itering ID, an air-gapped signing tool;

All represented our flame, which lightened the journey for more lonely but persistent Web3 builders to join, heading to the Web3 future destination collaboratively.

I was so glad the moderator friend joined us at the blockchain game station. Imagine now you were in the cross-chain game Evolution Land:

You’ll explore continents, Atlantic, Byzantine and find they are actually deployed on different blockchains, Ethereum, Tron. When you are thrilled about your newborn Apostle, you have get connected with this little amazing non-fungible token. When you’re amassing your NFT assets in your wallet, you have embraced the true ownership of your digital wealth but not merely licensed by game publishers. When you are depositing your RING in the Gringott Bank and get KTON, the commitment token as rewards, you are interacting with DeFi smart-contract, and obtain voting power to participate in DAO governance. When you are moving your resources from Atlantic Continent to Byzantine Continent, you are actually experiencing cross-chain asset transfer.

You get to natually obtain educated sense of what blockchain is. It’s not easy to understand blockchain cause most people are not fluent technologists. We see what makes people hesitant to enter the blockchain world and what frustrates them to foster that hesitation. We believe game is the gateway for them to unlock the blockchain universe.

Something embeded but also transcends this blockchain game is the primary cross-chain layer: Darwinia Network.

How thrilling that we are at a new station to the destination, Web3 future. Cross-chain Interoperability, from a difficult technical challenge to seemingly become a meaningless slogan. I’ve thought quite a long time about how to share the original inspiration of Darwinia, until i saw this cap of parity with: Less Trust, More Truth.

And i suddenly realize this exactly describes what we are striving to do: To build future Internet of Tokens, featuring decentralized value transfer, interoperable economy and most importantly, leads to a more trustless but connected Web3 future.

My goal is to help you see this too and I’m confident that will benefit everyone here. On every blockchain, Bitcoin and Ethereum, trustless feauture has been inherent to the transaction.

But when it comes to cross-chain, everything seems to go back to the start point. So many cross-chain pioneers like us, having been researching and creating, with unwavering passion to disintermediate many of the middlemem, many of the institutions and authorities, removing the need for that much of the trust.

But how much trust have we removed? When learning about Darwinia and Polkadot, people often ask me, so wait, What exactly is cross-chain inteoperability?

Basically, It is tackling how to move your asset from one blockchain to another one. Various cross-chain solutions are building bridges for different blockchain networks. Today we are focusing on 4 branches of the bridge solutions. Let’s dive quickly into each category:

A. Hash Time Lock:

As long as two parties provide the correct hash within certain time, they could complete cross-chain token swap in a trustless way. But all parties mush be online. And does the bridge have the capacity to do cross-chain asset transfer? The answer is No, just swap.

B. Custodian Model:

So now, the problem is, how to achieve asset cross-chain transfer but not just swap? Specifically, you need to lock your asset on the original chain and then issue the same amount of mapped asset on the target chain, when you redeem your asset, mapped asset on the target chain needs to be burned, asset on the original chain has to be unlocked.

To build such a two-way peg bridge, here comes the mostly implemented solution: Custodian Model, including single custodian and federated peg, It’s the multi-sig federation that verifies your cross-chain transaction and controls the lock, unlock operation of your asset. But the whole process depends on intermediary trust which is centralized or semi-centralized.

C. Light Client (BTC Relay):

Have achieved cross-chain asset transfer, how to be completely trustless? Here comes the light client solution, BTC Relay is a good example. It’s a bitcoin light client deployed on Ethereum, which is a relay contract. Relayers relay block headers into the light client and the relay contract verifies the data. It’s hardly possible to fake the block header, therefore the light client can serve as a reliable data source for verifying transactions on Bitcoin.

The problem is that relayers need to relay each and every block of Bitcoin to the light client. Let’s not forget the storage waste, maintenance plus the harsh gas fee. Relayers don’t have enough economic incentive to do the job. In other words it’s technically workable, but economically infeasible.

D. Collateral-Based:

Cross-chain pioneers still didn’t give up. XClaim solution improves custodian model to a more decentralized level. Anyone with sufficient collateral deposited in Ethereum smart contract can act as a Bitcoin vault to facilitate the cross-chain process. But it introduces an extra layer of external price feed and unfriendly to NFT assets. And do you see the illustration here of middlemen, it’s still not trustless.

Major challenges:

In general, we are facing 3 major challenges:

  • How to achieve cross-chain token transfer, but not just swap;

Only make breakthrough in these 3 challenges, can we possibly turn the current blockchian patchwork into a real Web3 future Internet of tokens.

Darwinia Network has made a real difference in solving these challenges.

Less Trust, More Truth. Our tech innvation upgraded the classic chain relay solution. Classic chain relay requires relaying each and every block, which is not economic feasible.

Darwinia ChainRelay is a super light client, it integrates cryptography technology MMR to make sure each confirmed block header aware of history chain state.

It also implements internal optimistic verification game process to identify the longest chain. It supports relay on demand which is triggered by cross-chain transfer requester.

It’s ecnomic feasible and completely trustless. With such an efficient chain relay, we are able to build two way decentralized bridges across turing completed blockchains.

Let me walk you through the whole process:

Say now you need to transfer your tokens from Darwinia to Ethereum.

First, you need to lock your asset on the original chain Dariwnia, backing contract on Darwinia will do the job without any middleman, which solves the challenge of how to control the operation of locking and unlocking asset in a trustless way.

At the same time, the transaction will be sent to the target heterogeneous chain Ethereum. Darwinia Relay deployed on the issuing chain will verify the transaction. The whole process relies on cryptography technology, still no need for middlemen trust. In this way, The challenge of how to verify cross-chain transactions in a trustless way will no longer exist.

Finally, issuing contract will check Darwinia Relay to confirm the transaction and issue same amount of mapped asset. The redeem logic would be the same. Laveraging Darwinia tech innovation, you are able to move your asset across blockchains in a trustless, decentralized way.

As illustrated here, instead of building multiple direct bridges between each blockchain, think of how much work overlapped and how simpler to just leverage one Darwinia Bridge Chain to transfer asset to any heterogeneous target chain.

Upon the Darwinia Mainnet launch, Darwinia<>Ethereum bridge will get launched as well. We also have been actively working on other consensus mechanisms to deploy bridges across more blockchains.

Darwinia is striving to become a parachain of polkadot.

As other parachains are going to be plug into Polkadot, achieving interoperability within the Polkadot ecosystem, like say we are all speaking the same language, there is no barrier for communication.

But for heterogeneous blockchains outside the Polkadot ecosystem, they are like speaking foreign languages.

Darwinia bridge chain will act as the translator and empower parachains within the Polkadot ecosystem with heterogeneous cross-chain ability so that they can focus mainly on their own business.

Darwinia Advantage:

How revolutionary that we are finally seeing this trustless, ecnomic feasible, decentralized, price insensitive, Darwinia bridge which pioneered the breakthrough of major cross-chain interoperability challenges.

Except all these above, another exciting advantage of Darwinia bridge chain is supporting cross-chain transfer of NFTs as well.

Say if you call for frequent multi-sig only for transferring your cryptokitties, the fee barrier is really high. For collateral based xclaim solution, which relies on price feed,there is no general standard for evaluating the value of your NFTs.

More than that:

What you do care about the most: applications, are so vast.

In general, Laveraging Darwinia, single chain applications can upgrade to the cross-chain version, including but not limited to Defi, Gaming, or NFT market.


For example, Defi applications such as MakerDao can achieve multi-collateral with quality assets from other blochchains, not just Ethereum.

Stable coins such as DAI or BUSD can go outside the box and increase user adoptions on blockchains like Polkadot and others. Ethereum composability showed value in recent trending Defi yield farming.

Users can also earn profits aross protocols. Like say you add liquidity to Balancer with tokens get from Compound. There is certain profit room for such multiple work.

Darwinia bridge chain will serve as critical infrastructure to enhance cross-chain composability, facilitating cross-chain yield farming, providing users a new catalyst that will spark their interest in exploring new investment strategies.

This will significantly open up more defi users, which will also propell Defi’s growth on Polkadot. Also, once Evolution Land implements the stablecoin payment system, users are able to pay Dai for game props.

NFT market:

I also would like to highlight the potential integration between Defi and NFT. MakerDao is weighing accepting real-world asset as CryptoLoan. These assets are gonna be tokenized as NFT, such as supply chain invoices.

NFT market has been heating up in 2020, but clearly it’s heavily weighted to what’s happening on Ethereum. With surging Ethereum gas fee, we definitely need more options.

Darwinia not only provides asset tokenization service, but will also uograde single-chain NFT marketplace like Opensea to multi-chain version. One of the most exciting advantage of Darwinia bridge chain is how it supports the cross-chain transfer of NFT, Darwinia is planning to launch our own cross-chain NFT market.


Although we are at the station of Darwinia Network, Evolution Land is always going to be the showcase of our cross-chain solution, the third continent will be deployed on Darwinia Network.

Along the journey to the Web3 future, buncollaboration is key to successful implementation. What we need is consensus. Let’s embrace these challenges together.

Web3 builders, Would you like to join us?

For more information please follow us on Twitter and Telegram and join our community.

Find Darwinia elsewhere

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As an open cross-chain bridge protocol based on Substrate, Darwinia focuses on the construction of future Internet of Tokens. TG: http://t.me/DarwiniaNetwork