Expanding Centauri to the NEAR ecosystem

Composable Foundation
5 min readOct 3, 2022

The unification of DeFi ecosystems is of the utmost importance as we push towards a cross-chain future. For this to become a reality however, the industry must not be willing to sacrifice security for access. If indeed DeFi’s future will be cross-chain, then bridges that allow for cross-ecosystem activities must be fundamentally trustless by design while providing users with an intutitive frontend for interacting across DeFi’s major ecosystems.

Centauri, our trustless bridging hub powered by IBC was designed from the ground up with these features in mind. The pallets which comprise Centauri mean its functionality extensible to any ecosystem with a light client implementation. Our team demonstrated Centauri’s significance in tandem with the XCVM, our solution for cross-ecosystem orchestration, at the just concluded Cosmoverse, showcasing an XCVM program which transferred PICA to Juno via Centauri, swapped this PICA for USDC on TerraSwap, and transferred this USDC back to Picasso.

At Composable Finance, in addition to bridging Centauri to NEAR we are also demonstrating the power of IBC with:

  1. The first trustless Polkadot <> Kusama bridge
  2. Parachain <> Parachain communication via IBC
  3. And our work to bridge DotSama <> Cosmos

By bringing Centauri to the NEAR ecosystem, we are introducing new opportunities for developers across all IBC enabled ecosystems. With Composable’s NEP-364 recently being merged on NEAR Protocol, we are now one step closer to achieving this reality. NEP-364 will bring the necessary components for us to begin expansion of Centauri to the NEAR ecosystem. As such, we thought it would be a good time to introduce both communities and explain why this development is a crucial step forward for our greater vision at Composable Finance.

What is the NEAR Protocol?

NEAR is a layer 1, smart contract-enabled blockchain. There are several unique features that set NEAR apart from the competition which includes; a sharding solution, an ERC-20 bridge, and a layer 2 solution that supports EVM contracts and tooling. NEAR Protocol boasts a significant amount of TVL, coming in #15 on DeFi Llama with nearly $300M USD secured in contracts on- chain.

Nightshade

Traditionally, blockchain throughput is limited as every miner or validator is working on the same group of transactions. This results in increased congestion the more a blockchain is used. Nightshade solves this issue by allowing transaction data to be processed in parallel via shards. This theoretically allows for millions of transactions per second, while maintaining low transaction costs.

Rainbow Bridge

The Rainbow Bridge allows for ERC-20 tokens to be transferred between the Ethereum and NEAR blockchains. Thus allowing Ethereum users to benefit from the speed and low transaction costs of the NEAR ecosystem.

Aurora

In addition to bridging Ethereum assets, NEAR also allows for the deployment of EVM smart contracts and tooling on Aurora, the layer 2 scaling solution of the NEAR ecosystem.

Overall, NEAR is a robust ecosystem with a lot to offer. By bridging the gap between the DotSama, Cosmos and NEAR ecosystems with Centauri, XCVM developers will be able to take advantage of the liquidity and feature sets of both ecosystems.

What is Substrate?

Substrate is a modular blockchain development framework which was used to create the Polkadot and Kusama relay chains. With Substrate, developers are able to streamline the development process by picking and choosing which modules they would like to utilize within their own blockchains. These modules come in the form of pallets and are used to construct the runtime of each layer 1 blockchain connected to one of the relay chains.

This allows for the relay chains to provide shared security, as well as facilitate communication between parachains connected to the same relay chain. Additionally, due to the modular nature of Substrate, teams are able to create highly customizable blockchains capable of serving unique purposes. The Composable team has secured a parachain on both Polkadot and Kusama. We took a unique approach with the Composable and Picasso parachains which we outline in this article here.

Why unite Substrate with NEAR?

This unification will increase the efficiency and opportunities for DeFi as a whole across both ecosystems. Connecting the Substrate and NEAR ecosystems via Centauri is an exciting step toward an interoperable future. With the connection to NEAR, XCVM developers will be provided with greater; liquidity, utility, and reach than ever before.

Top-level spec of the Substrate <> NEAR bridge

Approximately two months ago we suggested a NEAR enhancement proposal that would enable a Polkadot light client on NEAR Protocol. Recently this proposal has been merged as outlined by our founder & CEO, 0xbrainjar.

This merge brings the necessary components to NEAR’s runtime that are required for the light client implementation mentioned above. This means that we can now begin work on extending Centauri to also be, our NEAR <> Substrate bridging solution which will utilize IBC to enable not only asset transferals, but also cross chain function calling via XCVM.

On Composable’s end, Centauri’s implementation will remain largely unchanged from what we have already demonstrated with our KSM <> DOT bridge, and the work we have been doing to connect to the Cosmos ecosystem. However, changes were required as mentioned above to the NEAR Protocol itself to support communication via IBC.

Propagating a trustless future for DeFi

At Composable Finance we believe that trustless infrastructure is the only viable solution for mainstream adoption. We have seen many trusted bridges and custodial services fail in the past months, and for that reason we deem it necessary to provide users with a trustless environment with which they can interact across DeFi as a whole. Centauri will provide the backbone of this infrastructure by enabling seamless communication between applications within different ecosystems.

For more information about Composable and how it is architecting the unified DeFi landscape of the future and composing DeFi for mass adoption, check out our socials:

Twitter | Telegram | Discord | Website | GitHub | LinkedIn | Youtube

Disclaimer: This material is not an offer or invitation to purchase any tokens or security from Composable Finance and any of its affiliated entities or projects. This material provides an update on the development of the abovementioned projects and may contain “forward-looking statements,” including hypothetical or future-looking statements, estimates, projections and targets or goals. Actual future results and operations could vary from any forward-looking statements in this material and no representation or warranty is made that the assumptions upon which any enclosed forward-looking statements are based may be reasonable or guaranteed. Similarly, no warranty or representation (whether express or implied) is made with regard to the accuracy, adequacy, reliability, or completeness of any opinion, estimates, statements or other information contained herein. Any and all information in this material provided is for general information purposes only, and should not be taken as legal, tax, business or investment advice.

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