Ethereum DeFi Staple MakerDAO Adds StarkNet Bridge in First Step Toward Multi-Chain

Rebuilding Maker on StarkNet involves four phases, starting with a simple bridge that goes live on April 28.

AccessTimeIconApr 20, 2022 at 10:30 a.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 6:17 p.m. UTC

Pioneering cryptocurrency lending and stablecoin platform MakerDAO is addressing the cost and congestion of its native Ethereum environment by bridging to a cheaper, faster overlay network in the form of StarkNet, the zero-knowledge (ZK) side chain built by StarkWare.

Ethereum’s pricey gas fees have driven more activity and users to other blockchains. Alongside its growth on Ethereum, MakerDAO plans to increase its product offerings and gradually move toward a multi-chain future by bridging to other platforms.

Rebuilding Maker on StarkNet’s system of ZK-rollups (a way of unburdening costly transaction settlement procedures from the main Ethereum chain using cryptographic proofs) will take place in four phases, starting with a simple bridge between the main blockchain and StarkNet’s layer 2 (L2), which will go live on April 28.

The second phase is the fast withdrawal which will allow users to withdraw from L2 to level 1 by leveraging Maker’s “Wormhole” design. Such transactions will happen “in a couple of minutes and even shorter in the future,” said Louis Baudoin, an engineer on the MakerDAO/StarkNet project.

The third phase is dubbed “teleportation,” which means being able to bridge between layer 2s – say you wanted to transfer 1,000 dai from StarkNet to Arbitrum, for example. The fourth phase will involve rebuilding multi-collateral dai (MCD) on StarkNet.

“With our Wormhole design, we are leveraging the fact that we have battle-tested oracles and we can mint dai as a DAO,” Baudoin said in an interview with CoinDesk. “That allows you to teleport dai from one layer to the other in minutes, something which would usually take much longer.”

Multi-chain Maker

In terms of timelines, the third phase of integration will be completed by the end of July, Baudoin said, and the fourth and final phase will be done by the end of this year or the first quarter of next year at the latest.

Blockchain bridging protocols have had their fair share of security challenges in the fast moving world of decentralized finance (DeFi).

“We have learned from the mistakes of the Solana Wormhole, and we learned from the hack of Poly,” Baudoin said. “Obviously, there’s been a lot of testing done. It’s sensible to increase the bridge limit slowly so that the amount of money at risk is manageable, and also to have some emergency mechanisms in place internally to mitigate if there was a hack.”


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Ian Allison

Ian Allison is an award-winning senior reporter at CoinDesk. He holds ETH.