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Ripple brings Ethereum Virtual Machine compatibility to XRP Ledger

Source: Ripple

We collectively believe that the future of blockchain is multi-chain, and are excited to share an update on one of the top requests from the developer community: bringing Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatibility to XRP Ledger (XRPL).

We are also excited to unveil the official name of the highly anticipated upcoming product: XRPL EVM Sidechain. The sidechain will unlock new opportunities for XRPL developers in decentralized finance (DeFi) and real-world asset (RWA) tokenization, driving innovation and expanding the network’s utility and reach.

For context, connecting XRPL EVM Sidechain to XRPL mainnet involves using a bridge; wrapped XRP (eXRP) serves as the native asset and gas token. This bridge facilitates the seamless transfer of assets between XRPL and the EVM Sidechain, ensuring interoperability and efficient transaction processing. The bridge is crucial as it enables developers to leverage the strengths of both networks.

As the launch of the XRPL EVM Sidechain approaches, the key priorities are ensuring security of the mainnet bridge and refining user and developer experience to ensure that bridging assets is a seamless process.
Prioritizing Axelar Bridge

The XRPL EVM sidechain is set to launch with Axelar as the exclusive bridge to source the native gas token of the sidechain (eXRP) from the XRPL. Axelar can also be used to bridge other fungible tokens to and from XRPL mainnet, as well as from more than 55 blockchains in the Axelar network. The existence of a decentralized bridge operated by a network of validators provides vast opportunity and Axelar is best-in-class at providing this critical infrastructure via its proven validator network.

The Ripple engineering team has also been working closely with Peersyst to expand the interoperability of XRPL. “Axelar is a battle-tested, production-ready and fully compatible bridge to bring wrapped XRP (eXRP) as a native currency to the XRPL EVM sidechain. The Peersyst engineering team is now working to migrate the main bridge to Axelar for the devnet,” says Ferran Prat, Peersyst CEO.

Axelar’s experience in cross-chain bridge technology is recognized throughout the industry, having managed integrations ranging from Uniswap to Microsoft. Partnering with Axelar leverages their proven expertise and related sidechain benefits while providing a secure and efficient bridge for users. An impressive 75 validators comprise Axelar’s network, creating a high threshold for potential attackers. Additionally, Axelar employs key-rotation policies, requiring validators to periodically rotate the keys used to sign transactions, thereby mitigating the risk of attack.

The current process of transferring new tokens via XLS-38 is arduous. Using two different bridges—XLS-38 for XRP and Axelar for other tokens and for executing cross-chain smart contracts—complicates the user journey. By consolidating to a single bridge, the process becomes simplified, making it more intuitive and user-friendly.
Mapping the Future of XLS-38

XLS-38 provides the foundation for XRPL developers looking to create custom sidechains. These sidechains can be used for various purposes, including private chains or XRPL versions with features not yet available on mainnet. This flexibility allows developers to experiment and innovate, driving new applications and solutions. While the XLS-38 amendment will remain active for voting, Ripple’s UNL validator will vote ‘No’ until the team can validate the feature with specific use cases and developer requests.

Over the next 12-15 months, Ripple engineers will closely monitor the adoption and interest in XLS-38, providing updates on next steps pending the level of community input and traction, to ensure that XRPL remains a robust and efficient platform for tokenizing and exchanging assets. By engaging with developers and understanding their needs, the team can propose revisions to XLS-38 in accordance with community input.

Ripple recently outlined its vision and roadmap for institutional DeFi on XRPL which includes establishing the foundational building blocks and components of a successful financial system. XLS-38 represents a valuable tool for creating custom sidechains, but its inclusion in the mainnet will depend on real-world validation and developer interest.

The team is keen to receive feedback and collaborate with the community. Together, we can ensure that the XRPL continues to evolve in ways that drive innovation and meet the needs of its diverse users. You can share your thoughts and ideas on XLS-38 and its future via the developer Discord channel.

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