To better understand how block chains (when we talk about block chains we mean blockchain networks) can communicate with each other, we have to resort to the term crosschain or crossed chains.
When the blockchains were first built, they were imagined as capable of providing a single solution for everyone, which means that all transactions, intelligent contracts or anything else are performed in a single chain. However, it is now clear that such a system is not so practical, especially when there are limits to scalability and limitations to innovation. And several challenges to overcome.
One of these relates to «interoperability». This refers to the current inability of different blockchains to communicate with each other and share data. Cryptomime dealers are familiar with this. That is why Bitcoin cannot be exchanged for Ethereum. Until the block strings can interact with each other directly, the main use of the technology will be limited.
A crosschain is the interoperability between two chains of relatively independent blocks. In other words, it allows block chains to communicate with each other because they are built in a standardized way. Cross chain implementation is represented mainly by asset exchange and asset transfer, which is an important part of the blockchain world. With crossed chains, the limitations of a single chain can be avoided.
Another challenge is scalability. Even the most advanced block chains can only process a limited number of transactions (e.g. 10-15 per second for Ethereum). However, in a decentralized Internet, every search in a search engine or social networking publication would create a blockchain transaction. Generalized use would multiply the number of blockchain transactions exponentially. As things stand, it would not be possible for a single blockchain network to feed a global Internet until processing capacity increases enormously.
In many ways, the challenge of interoperability and scalability are interrelated. One solution for both is to develop technology to facilitate interactions between different blockchains, also known as crosschain technology. Crosschain technology enables interoperability by providing a platform that allows multiple blocks to interact with each other and, in essence, function as a single chain. This speaks to the issue of interoperability. At the same time, the crosschain could improve scalability by leveraging the respective combined performances of existing blockchains.
And it’s vital in the space of safety token networks.
At the moment the interoperability between the blockchains is practically non-existent, but a series of projects are beginning to be developed that fight to become the «blockchain de blockchains». Polkadot, Block Collider, Aion, Lamden, Metronome, PChain, Ripple’s InterLedger Protocol, Cosmos or Fusion are some of them.
Crosschain in the Cosmos network
The Cosmos network was created by Jae Kwon as a network of blockchain hubs that helps everyone connect to each other. This network consists of many chains of parallel and independent blocks called zones. Some of these zones act as hubs with respect to other zones, allowing many zones to interact through a single shared hub.
One of the characteristics of Cosmos is that it can interoperate with many other applications and crypto currencies, unlike other blockchains. By creating a new zone, the network can connect any blockchain system to the Cosmos hub and move tokens without the need for an intermediary.
The Cosmos network also has its own token, ATOM, which is used to participate in the network. On the one hand, these tokens are used by the validators to maintain consensus on the network. On the other hand, they are used to pay transaction fees for anyone who interacts on the network and transfers value from one chain to another.
Crosschain in Fusion
Another example of crosschain could be Fusion. This platform uses the blockchain’s intelligent contracts to create a chain ecosystem of connected blocks. Its goal is to remove the barriers that currently exist to interconnect all the ecosystems of the various blockchains.
The first step it has taken is to offer a multi-currency loan system whereby users can apply for a loan on a token and pay it off with another crypto currency.
Crosschain in the EVEN Foundation network
Another project with less hype than the previous ones but no less interesting and that also tries to develop cross chain technology is the EVEN Foundation, which is creating the «Network of interaction between chains EVEN». The main purpose of this is to provide an infrastructure for interaction between chains by integrating external blockchains on a single platform. With such a platform, it would be possible to manage transactions between chains, including intelligent contracts in different blockchain networks. It even offers several functionalities that create an infrastructure for interaction between chains.
- Crosschain consensus
The EVEN network has its own consensus algorithm based on a hybrid of several other algorithms. This possible protocol allows transfers and exchanges between strings.
- Intelligent crosschain contracts
Intelligent contracts between chains are an important part of interoperability, at least in the short term. These are intelligent contracts that can interact with different blockchains, allowing value to be transferred from one to the other without making an exchange. The EVEN platform will have a library of standard intelligent contract templates for external blockchain platforms that can be used through the API.
- Crosschain DApps
Crosschain infrastructure could allow decentralized applications to synchronize with third-party blockchains, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and EOS. The EVEN platform allows users to develop and run dApps using a single software development kit (SDK). The SDK includes a collection of tools to address a variety of routine tasks and streamline the process of creating a dApp. To demonstrate this functionality, EVEN is developing two dApps of its own: a multi-currency cryptographic wallet and a decentralized exchange.
The distribution of dApps and the storage of user data within the network are even based on a «dStorage» system. This is similar to a torrent network where participants provide space to store and distribute files for a reward, while others download the data for free. EVEN will also offer a cloud service to run dApps called «dCloud».
- Interoperability and scalability
Crosschain dApps will be more scalable than those created in any single block chain because of their improved interoperability. Crosschain dApps can interact with different block chains so they can leverage the speed of multiple chains for improved scalability.
The truth is that the building blocks are happening but currently, there is still no single chain of blocks powerful enough or independent enough to be a basis for a decentralized global Internet. Most understand that the way forward at this point in history is to get the blockchain networks to work together.
The development of infrastructure between chains is part of a larger movement that would really bring us closer to that Internet 3.0.