For developers

How Axelar works

Axelar is for Web3 what Stripe is for mobile and internet applications: it works on the back end, connecting various networks into one-click experiences for all users. Read on to see how it works.
What is Axelar?
Axelar consists of two layers: The network and the API above it.

At Axelar’s core is a permissionless overlay network. It delivers Turing-complete cross-chain communication via proof-of-stake and permissionless protocols. In this way, it’s similar to Akamai and other CDNs that enabled the rise of YouTube, Zoom and a globally interconnected web. Axelar validators monitor gateways on the interconnected chains (smart contracts) and run a decentralized protocol to process cross-chain messages between them.
The Axelar network explained
Plug-and-play integration
Sitting on top of the network are APIs and protocols, an application-development layer that developers use to compose across any number of chains. Developers go cross-chain without new programming languages or the need to roll out or manage complicated infrastructure. They focus on building the functionality that differentiates their dApp. Once integrated, all new interconnected blockchains automatically become interoperable with the application, enabling limitless network effects.
Turing-complete computation
The first generation of cross-chain solutions were bridges, transferring wrapped assets between chains. Axelar enables developers to send any payload: a cross-chain message can call a function on another chain and integrate it into a one-click experience for any user, holding any asset. We call this General Message Passing.
Learn more about General Message Passing
Uniform architecture
Demand for cross-chain transactions has spawned ad-hoc bridges that weaken security and limit interoperability. Axelar uses permissionless protocols, the Cross-Chain Gateway Protocol (CGP, analogous to Border Gateway Protocol) and the Cross-Chain Transfer Protocol (CTP, analogous to File Transfer Protocol) to provide uniform security, translation and routing across any two connected chains.
Learn how Axelar’s protocols work
Proof-of-Stake security
Most cross-chain solutions are permissioned multisigs. Axelar network security is based on delegated proof-of-stake, which means a dynamic validator set using similar consensus to the networks Axelar connects. Axelar has built permissionless technology that enables a path toward decentralization.
See the network in action
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Axelar powers the cross-chain future.
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