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EIPsERC-6170
ERC-6170

Cross-Chain Messaging Interface

A common smart contract interface for interacting with messaging protocols.
DraftStandards Track: ERC
Created: 2022-12-19
Sujith Somraaj (@sujithsomraaj)
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1 min read

ERC-6170 proposes a common interface for cross-chain arbitrary message bridges (AMBs) to send and receive a cross-chain message (state). Currently, there is a lack of standardization in cross-chain arbitrary message bridges, resulting in complex competing implementations. Adding a common standardized interface to the arbitrary message bridges provides benefits such as ease of development, improved scalability, improved security, and improved robustness. The proposal specifies that every compliant cross-chain arbitrary message bridge must implement the interface outlined in the proposal. The proposal uses keywords such as "MUST," "MUST NOT," "REQUIRED," "SHALL," "SHALL NOT," "SHOULD," "SHOULD NOT," "RECOMMENDED," "MAY," and "OPTIONAL" to define the requirements.

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Abstract

This EIP introduces a common interface for cross-chain arbitrary message bridges (AMBs) to send and receive a cross-chain message (state).

Motivation

Currently, cross-chain arbitrary message bridges lack standardization, resulting in complex competing implementations: Layerzero, Hyperlane, Axelar, Wormhole, Matic State Tunnel and others. Either chain native (or) seperate message bridge, the problem prevails. Adding a common standardized interface to the arbitrary message bridges provides these benefits:

  • Ease Of Development: A common standard interface would help developers build scalable cross-chain applications with ease.

  • Improved Scalability: Cross-chain applications can efficiently use multiple message bridges.

  • Improved Security: Confronting security to specific parameters. At present, every message bridge has its diverse security variable. E.g., In Layerzero, the nonce is used to prevent a replay attack, whereas Hyperlane uses the Merkle root hash.

  • Improved Robustness: Message bridges involving off-chain components are not censorship-resistant and are prone to downtimes. Hence, apps built on top of them have no choice but to migrate their entire state (which is highly impossible for large complex applications).

Specification

The keywords "MUST," "MUST NOT," "REQUIRED," "SHALL," "SHALL NOT," "SHOULD," "SHOULD NOT," "RECOMMENDED," "MAY," and "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119.

Every compliant cross-chain arbitrary message bridge must implement the following interface.

// SPDX-License-Identifier: Apache-3.0 pragma solidity >=0.8.0; /// @title Cross-Chain Messaging interface /// @dev Allows seamless interchain messaging. /// @author Sujith Somraaj /// Note: Bytes are used throughout the implementation to support non-evm chains. interface IEIP6170 { /// @dev This emits when a cross-chain message is sent. /// Note: MessageSent MUST trigger when a message is sent, including zero bytes transfers. event MessageSent( bytes to, bytes toChainId, bytes message, bytes extraData ); /// @dev This emits when a cross-chain message is received. /// MessageReceived MUST trigger on any successful call to receiveMessage(bytes chainId, bytes sender, bytes message) function. event MessageReceived(bytes from, bytes fromChainId, bytes message); /// @dev Sends a message to a receiving address on a different blockchain. /// @param chainId_ is the unique identifier of receiving blockchain. /// @param receiver_ is the address of the receiver. /// @param message_ is the arbitrary message to be delivered. /// @param data_ is a bridge-specific encoded data for off-chain relayer infrastructure. /// @return the status of the process on the sending chain. /// Note: this function is designed to support both evm and non-evm chains /// Note: proposing chain-ids be the bytes encoding their native token name string. For eg., abi.encode("ETH"), abi.encode("SOL") imagining they cannot override. function sendMessage( bytes memory chainId_, bytes memory receiver_, bytes memory message_, bytes memory data_ ) external payable returns (bool); /// @dev Receives a message from a sender on a different blockchain. /// @param chainId_ is the unique identifier of the sending blockchain. /// @param sender_ is the address of the sender. /// @param message_ is the arbitrary message sent by the sender. /// @param data_ is an additional parameter to be used for security purposes. E.g, can send nonce in layerzero. /// @return the status of message processing/storage. /// Note: sender validation (or) message validation should happen before processing the message. function receiveMessage( bytes memory chainId_, bytes memory sender_, bytes memory message_, bytes memory data_ ) external payable returns (bool); }

Rationale

The cross-chain arbitrary messaging interface will optimize the interoperability layer between blockchains with a feature-complete yet minimal interface. The light-weighted approach also provides arbitrary message bridges, and the freedom of innovating at the relayer level, to show their technical might.

The EIP will make blockchains more usable and scalable. It opens up the possibilities for building cross-chain applications by leveraging any two blockchains, not just those limited to Ethereum and compatible L2s. To put this into perspective, an easy-to-communicate mechanism will allow developers to build cross-chain applications across Ethereum and Solana, leveraging their unique advantages.

The interface also aims to reduce the risks of a single point of failure (SPOF) for applications/protocols, as they can continue operating by updating their AMB address.

Security Considerations

Fully permissionless messaging could be a security threat to the protocol. It is recommended that all the integrators review the implementation of messaging tunnels before integrating.

Without sender authentication, anyone could write arbitrary messages into the receiving smart contract.

This EIP focuses only on how the messages should be sent and received with a specific standard. But integrators can implement any authentication (or) message tunnel-specific operations inside the receive function leveraging data_ parameter.

Copyright and related rights waived via CC0

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