Hyperlane’s Vision for a Permissionless Bridge Across Blockchains

Greythorn Asset Management
11 min readMar 25, 2024


Source: Greythorn

Opening Remarks

In the world of web3, securely and easily sharing data across blockchains is key. Bridges are crucial for overcoming interoperability challenges in the crypto space, connecting distinct blockchains to allow for token exchanges and improved liquidity.

Last month, the combined transaction volume across all bridges surpassed $11 billion, underscoring their critical role in the industry.

Source: DeFiLlama

Cross-chain bridges do more than just move tokens; they enable a variety of operations from governance across blockchains to launching new tokens and enhancing gaming experiences.

Arbitrary messaging bridges (AMBs), in particular, open up possibilities for transferring a wide array of data, including tokens, contract executions, and NFTs, making diverse interactions across chains feasible.

We’ll focus on Hyperlane, looking at its design, security, and the trust it builds within this ecosystem, and highlight its role in advancing interoperability, scalability, and liquidity in the crypto realm.

Market Opportunity

Making different networks work together smoothly has always been a big challenge. Usually, if developers want their new blockchain to talk to others, they have to go through a long and often uncertain process of getting permission from the teams that manage these connections. This way of doing things tends to be slow and could hold back growth, especially for newer or smaller projects that don’t have much clout.

Hyperlane is changing the game by making it easier for anyone to connect any blockchain network without having to wait for a thumbs-up from some gatekeeper. This approach is called Permissionless Interoperability, and it’s like opening the doors wide open for innovation. Now, developers can quickly link up their blockchain with others, speeding up the whole process and letting them focus on creating cool new things instead of waiting in line.

Source: Hyperlane

What’s more, Hyperlane lets developers pick and choose how secure their connections are. This is known as Modular Security. Instead of being stuck with a one-size-fits-all security setup, developers can tweak it to fit their project perfectly.

By making it so open and flexible, Hyperlane is paving the way for a future where blockchains can easily talk to each other, share information, and work together. And it’s all happening in a way that lets the people building these projects have the freedom to innovate and secure their work on their terms.

Hyperlane Project Overview

Hyperlane stands out as the first open-access layer for connecting any blockchain effortlessly. It allows developers to create Interchain Applications, simplifying the complexities of interactions between chains for users on any connected network. Moreover, its flexible security options let developers tailor their security needs.

It’s unique because it’s open for anyone to use on any type of blockchain — be it a major network, a smaller rollup, or even a specific app-chain. Plus, Hyperlane comes with ready-to-use features like Warp Routes for easy token transfers across chains, interchain accounts for making contract calls from one chain to another, and interchain queries for accessing information across chains.

Hyperlane is crafted to be modular, giving developers the ability to manage their security model through its interchain security modules.

Source: Hyperlane

Breaking the Cycle with Open Interoperability

Here’s how Hyperlane integration operates:

  1. Installing the Hyperlane system on any supported virtual machine (currently available on EVM, with Solana VM, Fuel VM, CosmWasm, and Cosmos SDK module set to join by the third quarter of this year) without needing anyone’s approval.
  2. Setting up the security settings using its modular security modules.

Hyperlane uses Interchain Security Modules (ISMs) for security. These smart contracts verify that messages delivered to a destination chain truly originated from the source chain. Developers have the option to customise the default ISM of the Mailbox with an application-specific ISM, tailored to their application’s specific requirements.

Source: Hyperlane
  1. Transferring any assets across any chains effortlessly with Warp Routes, bypassing the usual token whitelisting required by traditional bridges.

Warp Routes are Hyperlane’s way of enabling easy transfers of ERC20 or ERC721 assets between any chains using Hyperlane, without needing permission. They let you set up trade routes between any chain and those already connected through Hyperlane.

Source: Hyperlane
  1. Setting up and managing your own Hyperlane validator or relayer.

Hyperlane Validators operate independently, not in a network with others, and they don’t frequently submit transactions. They’re set up for each specific origin chain, and the guidelines provided are for a single chain setup.

How It Works

Hyperlane’s new V3 version introduces post-dispatch hooks, incorporating interchain gas payments (IGP) as one of the necessary hooks. They are in the process of updating the documentation to reflect these changes.

Source: Hyperlane

Here is how it works in the context of Hyperlane’s Mailbox smart contracts, designed to facilitate secure and efficient interchain communication:

Key Features:

  • Dispatch Function: Initiates message sending, requiring the message content, destination chain ID, and recipient’s address. Messages are stored in an incremental Merkle tree within the Mailbox to assist in fraud proof verification by Hyperlane’s proof of stake protocol.
  • Process Function: Facilitates message delivery across chains, operated by a relayer. It processes the message and any relayer-defined metadata, forwarding these to the recipient’s Interchain Security Module (ISM) for validation. Upon ISM’s approval, the Mailbox delivers the message to the intended recipient via the recipient.handle() function.

To successfully send a message between chains, two transactions are needed: one to send the message from the origin chain and another to deliver it on the destination chain.

Hyperlane makes this process easier by offering an on-chain interface on the origin chain. This allows senders to pay a fee, known as an interchain gas payment, directly to a relayer responsible for delivering the message on the destination chain.

The inclusion of post-dispatch hooks and interchain gas payments in Hyperlane’s V3 aims to enhance the functionality and efficiency of interchain communications, ensuring a more robust framework for blockchain interoperability and application development.

Team, Foundational Support and Strategic Partnerships

Hyperlane was founded by Asa Oines and Nam Chu Hoai, who were early engineers at the decentralised finance platform Celo, along with Kol, who used to lead the venture investment business at Galaxy. The company is based in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Hyperlane raised $18.5 million in a seed funding round led by Variant and supported by other notable firms like Galaxy Digital and CoinFund. The funding focuses on hiring, product development, and security measures, including bug bounties and further audits, as shared by co-founder Jon Kol with CoinDesk.

When it comes to partnerships, Hyperlane has successfully established some noteworthy partnerships throughout 2023 and the start of 2024. Some of the collaborations include:

  • Circle’s CCTP with Hyperlane: Circle and Hyperlane’s partnership brings the Cross-Chain Transfer Protocol live, enhancing USDC transactions across blockchains with features like Permissionless Interoperability and Modular Security.
  • Celestia + Hyperlane for Instant Interoperability: Hyperlane’s collaboration with Celestia introduces immediate, permissionless interoperability to Celestia rollups, offering developers customizable security and asset support for easier integration and faster liquidity onboarding.
  • Hyperlane Expands to Polygon zkEVM: By launching on Polygon zkEVM through a permissionless deployment, Hyperlane brings advanced interoperability and asset bridging to the platform, showcasing its commitment to crypto development in India and improving blockchain ecosystem connectivity.
  • Introducing Nexus: Powered by Hyperlane and Cosmos IBC, Nexus offers a unified interface for interoperability across Celestia, Cosmos, and EVM chains, facilitating easy token movements and promoting seamless liquidity access and cross-ecosystem development.
  • Injective Ecosystem Gets Hyperlane’s inEVM Bridge: Hyperlane’s inEVM bridge introduces permissionless interoperability to the Injective ecosystem, connecting it with Ethereum and setting up for future expansions. The move simplifies integration across blockchains and boosts decentralised app adoption.
  • Hyperlane and Skip Protocol Integration: Hyperlane and Skip Protocol join forces to streamline cross-chain transactions, integrating Warp Routes into DeFi platforms and wallets via Skip API. This enhances user experiences with one-click transactions and broadens access to unique interchain routes.


Considering the essential function of arbitrary messaging bridges, numerous projects are actively contributing to this domain. Among the prominent ones are LayerZero, Wormhole and Axelar.


Axelar Network delivers a secure, decentralised cross-chain messaging platform, enabling smooth EVM contract integrations across blockchains. It stands out for its ease of use, multi-chain compatibility, cost-effectiveness, and a secure, scalable architecture backed by efficient validators. Connecting both EVM and Cosmos chains, Axelar boasts strong community support and substantial funding.

The network enhances cross-chain transactions with a solid infrastructure that caters to both core functions and application development, ensuring comprehensive functionalities and robust security via IBC protocols and module isolation. Axelar is committed to building trust and security through external validator checks and balanced voting, aiming for decentralized governance. Despite challenges in adding new chains, Axelar’s approach, including innovative voting and governance practices, aims to offer a scalable and reliable service for cross-chain communication.


LayerZero is a data messaging protocol designed for cross-chain communication, enabling the transfer of lightweight messages across various blockchains with minimal trust assumptions. Its standout features include ease of development, cost-effective operation through off-chain Oracles and Relayers, and broad applicability for dApps. Supported by significant crypto investments, LayerZero has attracted major dApps and supports 11 chains, offering tools like LayerZero Scan for tracking transactions.

The protocol’s architecture revolves around Endpoints for chain communication, utilising Oracles and Relayers for secure message delivery without the need for intermediary trust. Transactions are efficient, requiring gas only at the source, and the system ensures security through independent verification and a high barrier to attacks.

Despite its robust design and security mechanisms, LayerZero’s model involves challenges related to decentralisation, reliance on external parties for operation, and the inherent security of the chains it connects.


Wormhole serves as a bridge connecting at least fourteen blockchains like Ethereum, Solana, enabling cross-chain data and asset transfers through a decentralised network of “Guardians.” Its standout features include linking non-EVM and EVM-compatible chains, secured by reputable validators, and offering users low-cost transactions.

The protocol operates on a proof-of-authority basis, with validators ensuring the integrity of cross-chain messages. Transactions require approval from a majority of Guardians to be considered valid, facilitating secure and straightforward cross-chain interactions.

Wormhole has established itself as a trusted platform in the cross-chain space, supported by strong institutional partnerships.

Hyperlane Unique Positioning

Every bridge has its own unique design and method for validating cross-chain messages. This means they all come with their own trade-offs, sometimes compromising security. As history has shown with past bridge hacks, even a single flaw can result in millions of dollars lost. Given that any code within these protocols might contain bugs and considering bridges are prime targets for hackers, it’s crucial for developers to prioritise continuous audits and maintain bounty programs.

Right now, the cross-chain space is still emerging, exploring various design approaches and consensus mechanisms, with different protocols and dApps experimenting in real-time. For instance, Injetive is focusing on Axelar, Portal Bridge is utilising Wormhole, and Stargate is leveraging LayerZero.

Hyperlane stands out by aligning with the crypto ecosystem’s ongoing evolution, particularly towards modularity and permissionless, suiting the dynamic needs of the market. Here, Hyperlane makes significant strides in areas that other messaging protocols struggle to balance well.

However, the longevity of a protocol within this space can also speak volumes about its reliability and the trust it’s garnered over time. In this aspect, other projects might edge out Hyperlane.


As of now, there are no confirmed specifics about the Hyperlane token, except its role in powering the protocol’s proof-of-stake layer. Users will likely be able to stake the token to validate interchain messages, earning rewards for contributing to network security.

Bullish Fundamental Factors

  • Hyperlane’s vision is to deliver secure infrastructure for developing inter-chain applications safely. This initiative is supported by a robust team and enjoys strong backing.
  • Injective has emerged as a leading project since the crypto market’s recent upswing. Hyperlane facilitates effortless interoperability across various blockchain platforms, expanding the influence and effectiveness of Injective’s dApps and assets. Coupled with Hyperlane’s numerous partnerships and the buzz around a potential airdrop could spotlight the protocol for broader adoption.
  • The Hyperlane ecosystem is expanding rapidly, with increasing integrations from the first quarter of 2024 onwards.
Source: HC Capital

Bearish Fundamental Factors

  • The lack of details on its token economics complicates investment analysis of the project.
  • Competing bridges have solidified their market presence with monthly volumes reaching billions. While HyperLine may begin strongly, it needs to establish its distinct value proposition.

Closing Remarks

Hyperlane emerges as a pioneering force in the realm of blockchain interoperability, presenting a strategy that is both decentralised and scalable. Its innovative modular messaging system, combined with permissionless slashing mechanisms, sets a new standard in addressing challenges that have long hindered other messaging protocols.

It will be intriguing to witness the unfolding of Hyperlane’s journey and the innovative applications it will enable.

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Looking forward to connecting,

The Greythorn Team.


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