Axelar is expanding blockchain interoperability at this week’s Avalanche Summit hackathon in Barcelona, providing General Message Passing for hackers at the event via a local development environment. With General Message Passing, Web3 buidlers at the hackathon will be able to develop cross-chain apps that are truly permissionless, meaning their transactions cannot be censored by any oracle, relayer or validator.

Update: General Message Passing is now available on Axelar mainnet

In short, General Message Passing is a functionality built atop the Axelar network’s permissionless validator set that for the first time provides the routing, translation and security to enable cross-chain contract calls over a decentralized network.

General Message Passing goes beyond wrapped assets: it is a permissionless transport overlay for cross-chain dApp communication. What does that mean? This: a dApp on any chain can now call a function on any other chain, as long as both chains are connected to Axelar network.

Related demo for new chain connections: Connect an EVM-compatible chain to Axelar in < 10 mins.

General Message Passing enables what we like to call the “Web3 Super App.” Super apps can exist in Web2 only on networks that are horizontally integrated. WeChat is the canonical example and, much as Web2 technology giants in Silicon Valley would like to duplicate that success, it is unlikely. Examples of horizontal integration between app providers (e.g., Apple iPhone and Google Search) involve billions of dollars and have recently been subject to increased antitrust scrutiny.

Enter Web3, where access is permissionless. If a dApp developer wants to develop cross-chain apps that call smart contracts on other dApps, there is no need for a licensing agreement. Regulators will find it difficult to prevent such an integration (if indeed the concept of antitrust regulation is even relevant in a Web3 context).

Until now, this free ecosystem of Web3 software has only existed within specific ecosystems. Ethereum is an example; so is Avalanche. Now, with General Message Passing, Axelar is poised to open the floodgates for integrated software to go cross-chain. 

 Axelar’s tech stack diagram shows how Axelar network enables buidlers to develop cross-chain apps that are truly permissionless.

Use cases of cross-chain dApps

Next on Axelar’s road map will be the release of General Message Passing to testnet, and, eventually mainnet. What will this enable? The ultimate potential of Web3 itself has hardly been probed, making this a difficult question to answer.

However, here are a few examples of the kinds of dApps we believe may emerge when developers use Axelar General Message Passing to build cross-chain apps:

  • NFT + DeFi:

    A wallet with universal borrow-lend; NFTs on Ethereum can be used as collateral in DeFi apps on any IBC or EVM-compatible chain.

  • Universal AMM:

    Pool liquidity from any user, in any asset, on any chain.

  • Cross-chain synthetics:

    Call data from dApps on other chains, to index derivatives on the chain that fits your use-case best.

  • Open gaming:

    Any asset, anywhere, becomes currency or credential.

In tandem with bounties for developing using General Message Passing at Avalanche Summit hackathon, Axelar is announcing a $2.3 million grant program for dApp developers.

The program invites proposals to build a cross-chain native application, using Axelar network to give it the distribution of the entire Web3 ecosystem. As many as 15 projects will participate, receiving funds, marketing support and introductions to investors.