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Concepts and Architecture

Snowbridge is a complex project with lots of moving pieces that can interact in various configurations. In order to develop a comprehensive understanding of how things work, this section tries to break down and run through those pieces into different concepts and components that should be easier to understand.

Layered Architecture

Snowbridge has a layered architecture with a clear seperation between low level bridge functionality, mid level trust functionality and high level application functionality.

You are probably familiar with the conventional Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP), our system is a similar simplified version.

You can have communication go from one layer up or down to another layer - for example, between the App Layer and the Bridge Layer, as in the green arrow below.

You also have a layer-specific protocol across a single layer, where components on different chains at the same layer communicate with each other via that protocol - for example, an app-specific protocol between the App Layer on Polkadot and the App Layer on Ethereum, as in the orange arrow below.

Layered Architecture

High-level overview of architecture

The below document gives a high level overview of the architecture, most components and the communication flow across the brige.

Architecture Diagram


  • When trying to understand this architecture, as you go through these docs, it can be valuable to first imagine the project as two simpler one-way bridges that, when combined at the application layer, allow applications to connect them to form 2 way bridging.

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