After the initial release of bitcoin, we witnessed a new era of blockchain and it brought a huge change in the traditional network and its security. Now, this technology reached all mainstream areas from common users to many organizations and government agencies. Many new projects are emerging and it is increasing each year and they all try to build the best blockchain. Each new blockchain is built on the ground that is much secure and scalable than the previous one. Even though these projects are built on a common idea of building a faster and secure blockchain, they all work in a stand-alone way, as a normally disconnected blockchain. They use different spaces, different consensus mechanism models, hashing algorithms and many more things.
Each blockchain is completely removed from the other and so is uninfluenced by any activity happening in another one. For example, the Bitcoin blockchain is entirely a different chain from Ethereum blockchain. A new method called blockchain Interoperability has emerged, which in turn is the ability to transfer data among blockchains as if it is connected. It basically connects chains with distinct state machines and consensus.
Interoperability is the capacity to openly share data across blockchain frameworks. In a completely interoperable condition, if a client from another blockchain sends you something on your blockchain, you will have the option to effectively peruse, appreciate, and communicate with or react to it with little exertion. Ventures that need to execute interoperability in their framework, expect to make a stage that will empower different diverse blockchains to discuss effectively with one another, without the requirement for an outside mediator.
Why is it important to have Blockchain Interoperability?
Blockchain has created large and competitive projects. Most projects focus on beating other blockchains rather than on its general infrastructure. The scalability of the network is such a prospect. The very first blockchain can only handle just a small transaction rate of seven transactions per second while the Visa Network currently handles around 24,000 TPS. Now everything got changed and there are various blockchains that can handle a transaction of 40,000(TPS).
The network that we see now allows large modification and access of data through APIs, only made possible by interaction between various networks. If interoperable was not possible, it wouldn’t have grown this much as of today. Now everyone is thinking of using a common protocol in blockchain so that it can work with each other without any limit.
Blockchain interoperability can be divided into two:
1. Open Protocols
2. Multi-chain frameworks
- Open protocols: Open protocol lets different blockchain to communicate and work in a trusted platform, eg: Atomic swap.
- Multi-chain frameworks: Easy plug and share data in the framework on the standard ecosystem becomes much easier and effective in Multi-chain frameworks. It is much different and effective than the open protocol system
Benefits of interoperability:
- Easy sharing of information across different blockchain platforms.
- Strong smart contracts give easier execution.
- Developers need to follow fewer protocols than undergoing many blockchain protocols.
- The sharing of many solutions in a decentralized system among different blockchain ecosystems will increase the security and storing of data easily.
- Data privacy and efficiency can be increased.
- ‘51% attack’ becomes very difficult over the blockchain because of the vastness of this network.
Some of the projects that started to implement blockchain interoperability are :
Polkadot's idea was put forward by one of the Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood. It supports transactions and also data exchange. Here the blockchains that participate in the ecosystem are called ‘Parachains’, which is connected to the central connector called Relay Chain. Parachain has different characteristics and easily does transactions between ecosystems. All chains that become a part of the Polkadot environment are required to set their agreement system to the Polkadot's component, yet they have the opportunity of building up the structure and capacity of their blockchain.
One of the prominent and important projects that have stepped towards interoperability is Cosmos. Cosmos uses the Tendermint Byzantine fault tolerance protocol for implementation. Here each blockchain is called ‘Zones’ which are connected to a central hub called ‘Cosmos Hub Network’ which enables interaction with each other.
Even though a couple of projects are working based on this project, the blockchain interoperability solutions is still in its early developmental stages. So it would be better to understand that this idea has not yet been crafted into its perfection and that the above-mentioned startups are in its infancy and have a long way to go.