The technology world is moving at a lightning speed. Before we even completely fathom how the blockchain technology works, there are more progressive advancements on the pipeline already. Many developers have built blockchain-based platforms to power various services like cryptocurrencies, smart contracts, loyalty reward programs, and much more. But, is interoperability between these platforms even possible? Read on for more insights into this topic.
What is interoperability?
Interoperability is simply the ability of blockchain networks or computer systems to exchange and interpret information. Two blockchain networks are considered interoperable if they are able to seamlessly exchange information and present the data in a form that is understood by users.
Now, as things stand now, users of the Ethereum network have no clue about what happens in the Bitcoin network and vice versa. That means that these blockchain networks operate in isolation and rarely share information. If users wish to move Ethereum coins to the Bitcoin network, they must do so through an exchange. You’ll need to trade your Ethereum coins on the exchange before purchasing Bitcoin on the Bitcoin network.
Is interoperability important for blockchain?
Interoperability of blockchains allows for easy transfer of assets between blockchain platforms and makes information accessible across different blockchain networks. There is no need for the intervention of developers of the base blockchain protocol. This will create a whole new phenomenon of the internet of blockchains.
The blockchain landscape currently resembles what the internet was in 1994 when services ran on multiple platforms and implemented using different programming languages. The future of blockchain technology is dependent on how quickly we design a system that enables cross-chain interoperability.
Since different blockchain platforms offer varying applications and use cases, the interoperability of blockchains will allow users to rip maximum benefits from the innovation. They will be able to transfer tokens and value across various networks. So far, cross-chain atomic swaps and cross-chain messaging are the two popular methods of achieving interoperability on the blockchain.
Blockchain interoperability projects
The growing need to establish a connection between different blockchains has pushed developers to work towards finding optimum solutions. There are numerous blockchain interoperability projects in the pipeline already as developers seek to accelerate the mass adoption of blockchain technology. They include:
If you are looking for a high-profile, multi-chain technology that seeks to push blockchain interoperability to the next level, Polkadot blockchain tops the list. It’s a brainchild of Gavid Wood, a co-founder of Ethereum, and it is designed to enhance the sharing of smart contract data among different blockchain networks. The project also makes it seamless to exchange information between independent blockchains.
Polkadot is made of multiple parachains with different characteristics and the transactions are spread over a wide geographical area due to the massive number of chains in the network. Everything is done while ensuring top-notch security of data.
Blocknet developers are working tirelessly to create a decentralized exchange that will enhance information interchange between blockchains. The exchange comprises of four components including deposits, exchange, order matching, as well as order broadcasting.
Now, Blocknet’s main focus is to decentralize the four components in an effort to create the first decentralized exchange. The proponents of the project also suggest an optimized cross-chain network that will serve as infrastructure.
Aion online is a high-profile interoperability project that looks to address unresolved issues around interoperability and scalability in the blockchain ecosystem. Developers plan to set up Aion as the standard protocol upon which every blockchain network will be established. The final outcome is to create an efficient decentralized system.
Wanchain presents itself as the globe’s first online interoperable blockchain project with secure multi-party computing. It seeks to rebuild finance by putting all digital assets under one blockchain. The powerful blockchain interoperability project ensures cross-chain capabilities by utilizing the latest research findings in cryptography. It basically relies on a proprietary protocol that enables interconnection of the private, consortium and public chains. This arrangement makes it simple to transfer digital assets between various blockchain networks.
The blockchain community is yearning for the time when different blockchain networks will freely communicate with each other directly without centralized intermediaries. But as things stand now, every blockchain developer is trying to act superior to the other, making interoperability efforts slower. Finally, interoperability does not accommodate blockchain networks that use consensus protocols, for instance, PoS and PoW. This means that leading cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum must make a decision to move from PoW if any progress is to be made.