Polymer, an Ethereum Layer 2 protocol, plans to integrate the Cosmos Inter Blockchain Communication (IBC) protocol into the Ethereum ecosystem. The project’s mission centers on standardizing interoperability within this ecosystem and developing infrastructure to support cross-chain dApps on Ethereum.

Layer 2 solutions have advanced Ethereum’s scalability and developer experience, but challenges persist. L2s often result in isolated execution environments, fragmented liquidity, and a complex journey for users and developers. A significant hurdle for developers is the difficulty in creating applications that operate seamlessly across multiple chains.

To address this issue, Polymer has chosen to combine Optimism stack with the developer-friendly features and inherent interoperability of the Cosmos SDK. It additionally leverages EigenLayer’s data availability. 

Source: x.com

Specifically, Polymer chose the Cosmos IBC for its robustness, avoiding the creation of a new messaging standard. According to the project, IBC is the most extensively tested interoperability standard, linking over 100 chains and facilitating over $30 billion in transfers. Moreover, it is an open-source, public good, free from in-protocol rent extraction and vendor lock-in. It also boasts modular security and a comprehensive feature set.

One of the project's investors explains:

While numerous arbitrary messaging protocols have emerged to address the cross-chain interoperability, they have all done so by building a new messaging standard, paradoxically causing more fragmentation when a standardized and battle tested way to move data between heterogeneous blockchains already exists: Cosmos Interblockchain Communication (IBC) protocol. 

Notably, IBC handles more daily volume than LayerZero, Wormhole, Synapse Protocol, Across Protocol, and Hop Protocol combined.

Interestingly, if the project succeeds, it will not only interconnect various Ethereum rollups but also unify all the Cosmos chains into one large, Ethereum-Cosmos ecosystem.

To further its goals, Polymer has raised $23 million in a Series A funding round. This round was led by Blockchain Capital, Maven 11, and Distributed Global, with contributions from Coinbase Ventures and others.

Cross-chain messaging is often seen as the holy grail in the crypto world. While most developers currently work on isolated chains, the future seems to be heading towards a multichain approach. This would allow dApps to utilize different blockchains for various functionalities, necessitating a robust cross-chain messaging system.

Despite the plethora of cross-chain messaging protocols available, none have yet to establish a definitive lead in the market. However, it looks like Polymer has a great opportunity to build something truly useful in this arena.

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