DeFi: Injective adds Solana, Avalanche, Polygon interoperability with Wormhole integration

The Injective Protocol, an open, interoperable smart contracts platform focused on decentralized finance applications, just got a lot bigger.
Written by Evan Zimmer, Staff Writer
Abstract image of blockchain formed by binaries and network on a dark background.

 With the lack of gas fees for transactions in the Injective ecosystem, the news of interoperability with popular networks is especially enticing.

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Injective Labs announced Wednesday that it will integrate Wormhole, a message-passing protocol, into the Injective ecosystem. The integration will allow decentralized applications (dApps) in the Injective ecosystem to connect with the Algorand, Avalanche, BNB Chain, Fantom, Oasis, Polygon and Solana blockchains.

The Injective Protocol is a fully decentralized ecosystem that focuses on dApps centered around exchanges, derivatives, prediction markets, and options. It's built on the Cosmos blockchain and has native integration with the Ethereum network. One of its main draws is the lack of gas fees for transactions.

"[After the Wormhole integration], Injective no longer becomes just a decentralized exchange protocol, but more importantly this entire ecosystem that's focusing on broad decentralized applications," Eric Chen, CEO and co-founder of Injective Labs, told ZDNet. "Injective can connect to all of these blockchains and provide a very dedicated and specialized user experience, and offer something other blockchains can't. That essentially allows Injective to be this go-to destination for any developers, or any users."

Having been built on the Cosmos blockchain – which was created to easily bridge with other networks using its inter-blockchain communication protocol (IBC) – Injective was already well positioned to build an expansive ecosystem for developers and users to take advantage of. However, in order to bridge with other networks, the blockchain would need to work with Cosmos SDK technology, be proof of stake, and have IBC enabled.

Certain blockchains, like Solana, aren't IBC enabled, meaning that interoperability between the networks would be difficult to achieve without a message-passing protocol like Wormhole. According to Chen, many blockchain's, such as Binance or Polygon, don't allow Cosmos IBC because they may already have their own bridge provider.

"Injective being IBC enabled essentially allows the Injective community to connect with all the other chains that are also IBC enabled, like a coalition. And this is why it's so exciting to integrate with Wormhole. Solana itself is not compatible with the IBC message center, so it opens up a whole new ecosystem," Chen said.

With the lack of gas fees for transactions in the Injective ecosystem, the news of interoperability with popular networks is especially enticing. But with how necessary fees are to maintain the stability of a blockchain, how can Injective offer such a feature?

"Even if a blockchain tries to say they're completely devoid of gas fees, there's always going to be gas. Otherwise, there'll be stability issues. But we decided not to be entrapped in the dilemma, because if you try to lower the cost of gas from consensus level the stability of the blockchain breaks down, and we've seen that in practice with quite a few chains already," Chen said.

The Injective ecosystem can offer no gas fees due to its fee delegation feature, which lets the decentralized apps built on it front the fee for the user. In return, the applications get 40% of that fee when it's paid in Injective's native token, INJ. Because Injective is a proof-of-stake blockchain, the fees are usually pretty minimal.

"Applications have this innate economic incentive to front the fee for the user because 40% of the trading fee goes to the application itself, and it allows the users to bridge to a new chain or join a new ecosystem without going through a user experience barrier of trying to figure out what to do. It's one of the cornerstones of Injective's blockchain design," Chen said.

Following the Wormhole integration, Chen said there have already been plenty of new dApps being developed on the Injective ecosystem with more news about them coming soon.

Injective Pro is a decentralized exchange where traders can trade crypto spots and futures, which could soon see a redesign. Picasso is a community-governed swap exchange with no gas fees, and Frontrunner is a cryptocurrency sports betting prediction markets platform with no trading limits. And following the Wormhole integration, the decentralized platform has interoperability with some of the largest networks in crypto for dApp users to take advantage of.  

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