THORChain, a cross-chain DeFi platform, recently saw a surge in price following their decision to bring several bridges back online. Their associated cryptocurrency, RUNE, increased dramatically as the project seems back on track after several summer missteps. Interoperability remains a stumbling block for much of the cryptocurrency industry – preventing users from swapping funds between blockchains without the use of a centralized intermediary. THORChain offers users a decentralized and non-custodial option for transferring funds between Bitcoin, Ethereum, and ERC-20 tokens, the Binance SmartChain, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash.
Yet, most of these bridges remained down for the third quarter of 2021 after a series of exploits lost the project several million USD in funds. Securing their network and reactivating these bridges should finally put these concerns to rest – while allowing the greater THORChain ecosystem to flourish. Bridging ETH and BNB alone accounts for most of the smaller market cap coins on the market, allowing users to access the majority of the cryptocurrency industry.
Recovering from a Hack
Earlier this summer, THORChain found itself at the mercy of several hackers. While they initially tried to downplay the first attack – suggesting that it was valued in the low six-digit range – this incensed the hacking community. The second attack seized several million USD worth of Ethereum and came with a warning.
The whitehat hacker involved suggested that THORChain had rushed their system and lacked necessary auditing. In the message left behind, the hacker outlined many of the problems he had found with THORChain’s Chaosnet application. He did, however, suggest that a 10% bounty may rectify the situation. Given THORChain’s recent reopening and apparent stability, they may have taken him up on the offer.
The Necessity of Interoperability
Although the cryptocurrency industry made great strides in the past several years, it remains a difficult system to understand. The average non-techie investor struggles to learn the steps necessary to get involved. Beyond that, blockchain differences and a myriad of steps can make the process even more daunting.
Interoperability projects like THORChain provide a means to alleviate this situation. Analysts have mentioned in the past that cryptocurrency will one day reach a point where most users are not aware they are using it – and interoperability is key to that future. However, these backend projects must first prove their stability – something that THORChain is still in the process of accomplishing.