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Wormhole Wins Vote to Be Uniswap’s Designated Bridge to BNB Chain

MARK GARLICK

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Wormhole, the crypto bridge platform, won a community vote on Tuesday to become the official governance bridge for Uniswap – the largest decentralized exchange platform by trading volume – when its version 3 platform arrives on Binance’s BNB Chain.

The win grants Wormhole valuable new turf in an ongoing battle between bridge platforms – vital pieces of crypto infrastructure that allow users to pass assets and other data between blockchains. The Wormhole bridge will eventually be used to give Uniswap v3 users on BNB Chain the ability to participate in the Uniswap DAO’s Ethereum-based governance process.

The Uniswap DAO, which allows holders of Uniswap’s UNI token to vote on major strategy decisions, voted 62% in favor of Wormhole. LayerZero, a leading Wormhole competitor, came in second with 37%.

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The vote was technically a “signaling” proposal, meaning its passage does not automatically install Wormhole as Uniswap’s official BNB bridge. Instead, the outcome means Wormhole will be written into an upcoming, official proposal to deploy Uniswap v3 on BNB chain.

Uniswap is aiming to deploy on BNB Chain before its business source license expires on Apr. 1. Once the license expires, copycats will be able to clone Uniswap’s code to launch competing projects.

In an earlier “temperature check” proposal, 80% of UNI voters signaled that they were in favor of bringing Uniswap v3 to BNB Chain. That proposal, however, named Celer – a bridge platform that lost this week's vote – as Uniswap's bridge partner. With Wormhole’s victory in this week’s vote, the Uniswap DAO rejected a proposal from the Celer CEO to deploy Uniswap v3 to BNB Chain using multiple different bridge providers.

Cross-chain bridge attacks

The main point of community discussion in the lead-up to this week’s vote, which took place between Jan. 27 and Jan. 31, revolved around security. Historically, crypto bridges have proven a primary target for hackers. Wormhole was famously the target of a $325 million attack in February 2022. That attack is still the fifth-largest in crypto history, according to Rekt, but the stolen funds were ultimately reimbursed to users by Jump Crypto, a major Wormhole backer.

A Wormhole victory signals that the service has largely bounced back from that reputational hit – at least in the eyes of UNI’s governance community.

More than 8,000 crypto wallets participated in this week’s proposal, representing a combined 45 million UNI governance tokens. The tokens used in this week’s vote were worth a combined $300 million at UNI’s current price of $6.60.

The vote came a day after LayerZero, Wormhole’s main competitor in the race, faced allegations that it worked to conceal a critical “backdoor” vulnerability in its code. LayerZero denied the allegations and said the allegations were intended to harm its reputation in the lead-up to the Uniswap vote.