Hello Voyager! Have you experienced the Marco Polo update yet?

Cross-chain bridging of tokens and assets is a complex and little-understood journey. Therefore, with Voyager, we endeavor to simplify this journey for the users as much as possible while keeping the product’s security, scalability, and performance intact.

In fact, one of Voyager’s core differentiating factors is being the gold standard in security when it comes to cross-chain bridging. Voyager achieves this through a modular architecture and on-chain validation, which many other competing bridges don’t.

Over the last month, we’ve spoken about the speed of transactions being one of our core performance USPs. Data shows that 90% of transactions on Voyager are completed within 90 seconds (ref: here). However, the small fraction of transactions that weren’t completed on time led to a poor user experience and negative sentiments. At Voyager, we take user experience very seriously, and to address the issue mentioned above, we went live with our Marco Polo update earlier this month.

But before we delve deeper into unraveling the Marco Polo update, let’s understand a commonly used statistical metric, viz. Standard Deviation. In statistics, the standard deviation measures the amount of variation or dispersion of a set of values from its mean. A low standard deviation indicates that the values tend to be close to the mean (also called the expected value) of the set, while a high standard deviation indicates that the values are spread out over a broader range.

“In the context of a cross-chain bridge, one would want the standard deviation of stuck transactions to be as low as possible so that they get completed not much later than the baseline set by the successful transactions.”

- Abhishek Somani, Product Lead, Router Protocol

Next, we need to understand the meaning of a stuck transaction. In our context, it refers to any transaction that doesn’t go through in the first attempt. This could be due to fluctuations in gas fees, RPC failures, or various other factors. A good bridge, therefore, would try to minimize the time taken to complete a stuck transaction, thereby reducing the standard deviation. Lesser the difference between the mean time taken for a successful transaction and a stuck transaction, the better and more efficient the bridge. And better the user experience.

With the Marco Polo update, we’ve completely automated the system to scan for, identify and replay the stuck transactions. In effect, this pushes the stuck transactions towards completion every few minutes without needing any manual intervention. A small illustration of the efficacy of the Marco Polo update can be seen in the graph below:

The graph studies the standard deviation of stuck transactions two weeks before and after the roll-out of the Marco Polo update. As is apparent, there has been a drastic drop not only in the amplitude of the standard deviation but also in the variance. This means that the stuck transactions are getting processed much faster, and the predictability of bridge throughput has increased significantly. The user experience is not just better but also more consistent.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The Marco Polo update earmarks significant upgrades to the Voyager dashboard. Post the upgrade, users will be able to see a summary of their last 25 transactions done on Voyager including details such as number and volume of transactions, along with top destination chains and tokens used. Notwithstanding these new additions, older details such as asset balances on that chain, liquidity details still remain intact on the new version of dashboard.

It is no secret that an ecosystem as young as Web 3.0 can only thrive in quick development cycles. To keep up with the pace of the ecosystem, we have to increase the efficiency of output generated by focusing on development efficiencies. For Router Protocol, this refers to chain integration into our cross chain messaging mesh. Earlier, the process of integrating one chain would take us over one and a half week. But with the Marco Polo update, we have the capability of integrating new blockchain networks to our messaging mesh in 1–2 days. We have also included automations on the testing side to make a chain integration live in just 2–3 days for users.

And finally, with the Marco Polo upgrade, Router Protocol can integrate new DEXes in less than 15 minutes compared to the earlier duration of 2–3 hours. This will catalyse the ability of our proprietary PathFinder Algorithm to traverse even more DEXes to find the best possible quote for a cross-chain transaction.

Closing Thoughts

Undoubtedly, the Marco Polo update is a significant leap in the capabilities of Voyager and Router Protocol’s suite of cross-chain offerings. However, it is just the initiation of our quest towards making cross chain communication more accessible and efficient for both Web 3.0 devs and the end users. As we are writing this detailed insight into the newfound capabilities of our cross-chain infra, our team is already at work for even more pivotal upgrades. Want to be the first ones to know? Follow this space for all the latest updates.

About Router Protocol

Router Protocol is building a suite of cross-chain infra primitives that aims to enable blockchain interoperability between current and emerging Layer 1 and Layer 2 blockchains.

Website: https://routerprotocol.com/

Mainnet: https://app.thevoyager.io/

Documentation: https://docs.routerprotocol.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/routerprotocol

Telegram: https://t.me/routerprotocol

Telegram Announcements: https://t.me/router_ann

Discord: https://discord.gg/yjM2fUUHvN

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