Axelar: First Look

Parker Feierbach
November 26, 2021
6
minute read

Axelar network empowers dapp builders and blockchain ecosystems to unlock cross-chain communication. The Axelar protocol provides a uniform solution for cross-chain communication that’s designed to be interoperable with any chain. Axelar is decentralized by design, and satisfies plug-and-play connectivity with almost no work to integrate a new chain. The Axelar stack includes both cross-chain routing and application-level transfer protocols.

Addressing Interoperability 

Axelar is entering the multi-chain world to improve asset mobility and information exchanges across previously segmented blockchain networks. Axelar is building a decentralized stack that addresses interoperability across blockchains with different consensus mechanisms, smart contract languages, and more.

Previously, protocol and dapp builders have worked in silos, and have not been able to communicate across networks. Axlear aims to provide a unified decentralized network to connect and bridge different applications and platforms across different ecosystems.  

Why use Axelar? 

Axelar aims to improve interoperability across the web3 ecosystem as a whole by designing the protocol to make it easy to “plug and play” any chain into the Axelar interoperability stack. With Axelar providing this functionality, developers can focus on building applications, rather than worrying about bridging assets and information. Axelar network enables connections to new ecosystems in a streamlined and decentralized way.

Platform builders are not required to do any sort of heavy technical lift to use the Axelar stack, making it easy for integrations. Through leveraging Axelar’s cross chain composability, developers can build on the best platform for their needs, optimized for features that are important to them such as fast finality, decentralization, etc.    

Axelar: Use Cases

Initial use cases on Axelar will primarily be focused on asset transfers. For example, if you have assets on a Cosmos chain (ATOM), and you wish to move it over to ethereum to use on a dapp, Axlear enables you to move this asset in a wrapped fashion across networks, so that you can use it on Ethereum. 

Generally speaking for Axelar use cases, Axlear will allow applications to compose across arbitrary chains, allowing interoperable transfers of assets, information, and more. In the future, if you need a certain set of data from Polkadot on an Ethereum dapp, The Axlear stack will allow you to pull this information from the Polkadot blockchain and seamlessly use it on Ethereum. 

The AXL Token

Quick Takes:

  • Proof of Stake governance token 
  • Users delegate their stake to validators who participate in consensus on their behalf. 
  • Validators earn rewards for participating in the consensus, and take a commission from these rewards, which are then distributed to delegators. 

Network Economics

At this time the network economics themselves are in flux - there is no set inflation rate (this may be determined by governance), and validators will be selected based on token weight delegated to a validator, similar to many other Delegated Proof of Stake chains. Delegators will point their tokens at a validator and will in return receive an as-yet undetermined rewards rate in line with the network economics that will be set closer to launch.

Governance

Axelar will use the same governance model as other chains deployed on theCosmos SDK - meaning that governance can be accessed on the Keplr Wallet. AXL holders will have the ability to use their tokens to vote on network change.

Axelar + Figment

Figment has been a testnet validator on Axelar since early October. We are excited to support Axelar, as we believe that interoperability in the web3 ecosystem is an imperative. 

Figment’s mission is to build a better Internet by increasing usage of the next generation of Proof of Stake blockchains. To do this, protocols like Axelar are important in giving people greater access to data and assets across different blockchain ecosystems. Axelar has a shared multi-chain vision, and they are focused on helping connect the web3 ecosystem. 

Axelar + Moonbeam 

Recently, Axelar announced an integration with Moonbeam. This integration with Moonbeam helps connect with the Polkadot ecosystem. Users will now be able to move assets from external Axelar connected chains to Moonbeam to use across network dapps. Through the Axelar universal cross-chain communication gateway, applications on the Moonbeam network will be able to compose with applications on Ethereum, Terra, and other chains.

Next steps: Axelar 

Axelar is currently in a testnet environment, onboarding ecosystem participants, validators, wallet providers, performing audits for some of the initial connections. Axelar’s mission is to build an infrastructure layer that allows networks to come together. Over time, Axelar hopes to help adoption long term where developers are focused on building applications and services rather than being concerned with bridging and interoperability. 

Important Links: Axelar 

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