The idea of interoperability in Blockchain networks is still confusing to many people.
And if you are one of them, this article is for you to make it clearer.
First, what does Interoperability mean?
Dictionary meaning: Interoperability is the ability of two computer systems to exchange information.
A Samsung phone is interoperable with an LG phone because an application(Bluetooth, Xender, WhatsApp, etc.) made it possible to exchange documents, videos, pictures, music, etc.
Blockchain meaning: Interoperability means the exchange of information from blockchain A to blockchain B.
The number of blockchain projects launching with an innovative way to improve the blockchain industry is on the rise because developers are thinking outside the box as they try to leverage the technology’s capabilities.
While the blockchain industry is expanding by the day, interconnecting these chains are becoming a necessity.
The increase also comes with an acknowledgement that no perfect solution will be able to address all blockchain needs at once.
TRON, for example, is dedicated to building the infrastructure for a truly decentralized Internet.
On the other hand, Waves enables anyone to create and launch custom crypto tokens without a prior understanding of the technology.
It is becoming increasingly clear that different networks and blockchains are designed for specific use cases.
Interoperability in Blockchain: What is Cross Chain bridging?
Cross-chain bridging seeks to allow the transfer of assets and data from one blockchain to another blockchain.
Because separate blockchains cannot connect, users cannot reap the full benefits of blockchain technology.
Cross-chain bridging allows different blockchains to communicate with one another without the help of intermediaries.
Examples of these third parties are
- In Proof of Work (POW), they are Miners.
- In Proof of Stake (POS), they are Validators.
The problem with having third parties validate cross-chain transactions is that they are susceptible to hackers’ attacks. Ronin, Wormhole and Beanstalk hack happened because the bridges were vulnerable to hackers.
This is why Connext Network is one of its kind.
Connext is a middleware network for fast and trustless transfers in smart contract calls across blockchains.
Connext is unique in three ways.
1. Trustless: When you talk about cross-chain security and the property of trustlessness, ask this one particular question:
Who is verifying the system, and how much does it cost to corrupt them?
Suppose Connext’s goal is to build truly decentralised, uncensorable public goods.
In that case, Connext must consider that their systems could be attacked by incredibly powerful adversaries like rogue sovereign nations, hackers, megacorporations, competitors or evil geniuses.
Maximising security means maximising your system’s number and diversity of verifiers (validators, miners, etc.). This usually implies trying your best to have a system verified entirely by Ethereum’s validator set.
This is the fundamental concept behind L2 and Ethereum’s approach to scalability.
However, Connext does not introduce trusted third parties to communicate across chains, unlike other interoperable protocols. Connext gives users the same economic security or trust minimization as Ethereum and Polkadot.
2. Universal: Connext is designed to work the same way as any system and be extensible by developers to enable new types of communication. This means that it can be quickly expanded to all chains and use-cases.
3. Low Cost: Routers on the network are not subject to a lockup of their liquidity. Or do they need to interact with slow, expensive L1 chains when transferring between faster L2 systems? This makes Connext the cheapest option for cross-chain communication there is.
Applications built on Connext communicate with routers using NXTP, a lock and unlock protocol that enables passing value and calling contracts across chains.
Like Chainlink and The Graph, Connext is the middleware network, an infrastructure layer that provides utility to developers in the blockchain space. Specifically, Connext empowers developers to build natively cross-chain applications and protocols.
Connext network currently works on EVM compatible chains. It is designed to be extensible to support non-EVM chains like Solana, Elrond, Waves, and Luna.
This is not live yet as some smart contracts need to be ported and converted into those systems.
Connext plans to integrate IBC as well. You could then go from any EVM chain directly to any IBC chain by bouncing through the EVM chain using IBC-solidity wrappers, bypassing call data into an EVM chain smart contract.
Quincy Ememandu is a Crypto Researcher and Writer, passionate about educating people about Crypto. He is also a Technical, Ghost and Twitter thread Writer.