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NEAR Protocol Partners with Wormhole to Launch Trustless NEAR <> ETH Corridor

NEAR, the high-performance blockchain protocol, has announced its selection of Wormhole as the next official bridge for the platform. This partnership aims to revolutionize cross-chain interoperability by launching the first trustless Zero-Knowledge (ZK) NEAR <> ETH corridor.

Once operational, this corridor will enable seamless bridging of major NEAR assets to over 20 Wormhole-connected chains. Additionally, it will bring communities from hundreds of Wormhole-powered applications into the NEAR ecosystem.

NEAR has been at the forefront of cross-chain bridging with its pioneering Rainbow Bridge. Launched in 2021, the Rainbow Bridge established a NEAR-ETH bridge that utilizes optimistic verification. This approach assumes message correctness unless verifiers provide valid fraud proofs within the verification window, resulting in penalties for attempted fraud.

While bridges like Rainbow and Wormhole have mechanisms to minimize fraud and abuse, they still rely on trust in the entities securing the protocols. The future of bridging lies in trustless solutions that employ cryptographic techniques, such as Zero Knowledge Proofs (ZKPs), to ensure security without the need for external actors.

In collaboration with Zpoken and other contributors within the NEAR ecosystem, Wormhole core contributors will develop the first ZK light clients capable of proving and verifying Ethereum and NEAR state. These ZK light clients will form the foundation of the trustless NEAR <> ETH corridor, providing users with a safer bridging experience through the official NEAR bridge powered by Wormhole.

Further updates on these exciting developments will be shared in the coming weeks. This advancement holds the potential to redefine trustless cross-chain messaging and state access across the crypto ecosystem, establishing a new paradigm for interoperability.

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