DeFi Bridging Explored: The Future of Centauri — IBC Everywhere

Composable Foundation
7 min readFeb 9, 2023


In the previous article of our Composable bridging series, we explored Centauri, our in-house trustless bridging solution. Centauri implements and extends the Inter-Blockchain Communication Protocol (IBC) beyond the Cosmos ecosystem, opening up opportunities for any money, any chain, anywhere. With our Cosmos testnet underway and multiple NEAR enhancement protocols (NEPs) having been merged to pave the way for IBC within the NEAR ecosystem, Centauri is no longer a blueprint of architectural promise but an active development in Composable’s tech stack.

This article will further explore the ongoing development undertaken with Centauri in light of the initial channels and bridges being completed. Specifically, we will look at some of the blockchains on our radar and the future we have envisioned for the seamless scaling of IBC.

Advancing cross-chain DeFi beyond bridges

At Composable, we realize DeFi’s future will transcend any single chain or ecosystem. Our collective ambitions are simply greater than achieving cross-chain transfers as we aim to enable a new generation of financial products and services that benefit and are accessible to a global community. In order for this vision to become a reality, the idea of connecting fragmented DeFi ecosystems must go beyond just enabling the transfer of assets between blockchains. Composability will be required across all ecosystems such that a user can onboard with any money, any chain, anywhere to access everything DeFi has to offer.

Trustless bridging as a commodity

Our vision is to have users interact with applications that span multiple ecosystems, blockchains, and layers without even realizing it. This vision can be realized with IBC as highlighted in one of our recent Twitter spaces with Stride. Check out the example and vision that Interchain Riley, co-founder of Stride gave about how Composable’s Cross-chain Virtual Machine (XCVM) and IBC connections will make powerful cross-ecosystem functionality possible:

“Basically what Composable is building is bi-directional Interchain Accounts (ICA) in the Wasm layer. It allows you to send instructions from Chain A to Chain B to Chain C and back to Chain A in a coordinated and composable way. And because Stride leverages Interchain Accounts to open wallets on the various Cosmos chains in which it’s offering liquid staked assets we can do the same setup on non-IBC chains with Composable’s XCVM.”

Riley then expanded by providing an example of what you will be capable of doing through a single click in the near future with ICA and Composable’s XCVM:

  1. Kado Money onboards to Osmosis via Fiat
  2. A swap is performed on Osmosis to swap from OSMO to ATOM
  3. This ATOM is sent to Stride’s contract and staked for stATOM
  4. Using IBC this stATOM is transferred from Osmosis to Picasso
  5. An LP position is opened on Picasso

From the user’s perspective, all that happened was a single click and signing of a transaction, the rest is handled by the smart contract logic and routing through the XCVM. This is what it will look like when trustless bridging becomes a commodity. You can view the entire conversation below.

When we achieve our goal and trustless bridging becomes a commodity, it is our belief that no one will talk about “bridges” anymore. The infrastructure should become so seamlessly integrated into the DeFi experience that nobody will even realize they are using bridges. Just as most users don’t understand the workings of the Web2 technologies that they interact with on a daily basis, DeFi will see prominent adoption once a user can achieve what they want to achieve without having to understand the underlying technology. The trustless nature of Centauri and IBC combined with ICA and the XCVM simultaneously ensures seamless cross-chain functionality whereby users maintain custody of their assets through every step of their journey.

A brief look at Composable’s relayer: Hyperspace

Hyperspace plays a crucial role in realizing our vision of implementing and expanding IBC. Hyperspace is the first relayer implementation capable of facilitating IBC communication beyond the Cosmos ecosystem. Hyperspace is able to accomplish this through its support of various light client verification algorithms which currently include:

  • Tendermint
  • NEAR

As the DeFi landscape becomes increasingly connected through Centauri’s bridging efforts Hyperspace will continue to add support for new ecosystems in the absence of alternatives.

The dawn of the super app

A super app, in simplest terms, is an application that caters to the various needs and wants of its users from a single platform. Typically, these super apps should be able to execute functionality from a single source across multiple chains and provide users with an experience so intuitive that they don’t need to switch between other applications to access their desired products or services. This concept is already in the works, as several protocols envision becoming super apps in DeFi. The current truth is that the infrastructure has not been built or aligned to truly enable a DeFi super app that adheres to the trustless, non-custodial and decentralized nature of blockchain technology.

Currently, any application that promises to connect users to all of DeFi’s various products and services from a single source is relying on some kind of centralized or trusted solution that will inevitably lead to their demise. At Composable, we are paving the way for DeFi super apps to thrive without users having to sacrifice the security or custody of their assets. In building the secure infrastructure, trustless pathways, and seamless cross-chain experiences we are not only birthing our own super app but are also supplementing and enabling protocols to realize their vision of becoming a super app in the right manner: trustless, secure, seamless, and intuitive.

Ultimately, everything we are building at Composable aims to usher in limitless possibilities for DeFi by enabling Any Money, Any Chain, Anywhere. We want to transcend the tribalism that is blocking adoption and thus drive forward a more collaborative and interconnected ecosystem that is hyperfocused on DeFi rather than one specific chain or ecosystem.

The next generation of IBC-enabled blockchains

With our first set of bridges well underway, our bridging team has begun to ideate what pieces are needed to enable IBC on other existing blockchains. As discussed in our previous article, Centauri’s implementations tend to look quite similar across different ecosystems. Therefore, much of the work completed up until this point will prove helpful in future integrations. There is a lot going on behind the scenes at Composable. While we are still in the early stages of these integrations the bridging team is currently exploring bridges to:

  • Ethereum
  • L2-L2 communication via IBC
  • Aptos

In the Tweet below, our Bridging Lead, Blas Rodriguez, outlines the first steps to add necessary infrastructure for a chain that does not have all the bits and pieces to support IBC and Substrate. We’ve been adding similar infrastructure to the NEAR ecosystem through our various NEAR Enhancement Proposals.

However, this battle for interoperable DeFi is not one that can be fought alone. We have showcased the extensibility of IBC via Centauri through a year of intense work to build the required infrastructure and connections. While we will keep piecing together fragmented ecosystems through our own development efforts, we believe this is not the most sustainable solution for the long-term scalability of IBC. Instead, the communities of the various ecosystems need to make their voice heard and advocate for layer 1s and rollup teams to start implementing, building, and deploying light clients into their blockchains. In this way, hopefully, projects themselves will ensure they have a functional light client that can be added to the Centauri stack — thus creating a bilateral relationship for interoperable innovation.

The days of maximalism are over and the dawn of the super app is here. Stay tuned for more updates on our IBC bridging efforts.

About Composable & Picasso:

Composable Finance (“Composable”) is dedicated to improving the accessibility, quality, transparency, efficiency, and security of decentralized finance (DeFi). We aim to do this by pioneering innovative Web3 user experiences in a trustless, non-custodial, and decentralized manner. Composable’s technology stack enables and combines key services across different DeFi ecosystems and protocols, such as Ethereum, Polkadot, Kusama, Cosmos, and the NEAR Protocol.

Picasso is our layer 1 blockchain acting as an infrastructure layer to pioneer interoperable DeFi solutions, with a native token named $PICA which is available at the Pablo DEX. Picasso is equipped with a robust set of novel DeFi primitives that are built as modular pallets. These pallets are designed to attract liquidity from the broader DeFi landscape whilst promoting interoperability between various ecosystems.

For more information about Composable and how it is architecting the unified DeFi landscape of the future, check out these useful Links:

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