We’ve all equated decentralization with blockchain by now, which makes perfect sense as one of the main features of blockchain technology is its decentralized nature.
However, with decentralization comes great uncertainty. How can different blockchains be connected? Can we find something universal about them? Clearly there are many dilemmas here, which is why blockchain interoperability has become a hot topic in recent years.
This phenomenon is sure to have a profound impact on the crypto realm and beyond and will undoubtedly lead to more innovation and growth. But what is it? How does it work; More importantly, what does it mean to you? Let’s find out!
Blockchain Interoperability Explained
Blockchain interoperability is an extremely complex technology from a scientific point of view. However, what it does is simple — it allows different blockchains that operate independently to connect and communicate.
Thanks to interoperability, blockchains can share data, information and more. In other words, regular users use different blockchains without worrying about compatibility issues.
For a better understanding, it is better to look at the emails. When you send an email to someone, you don’t have to worry about choosing the same provider that the other person is using. They may have AOL, Outlook, Yahoo or any other service while you use Gmail or Zoho Mail. It doesn’t matter, as the email will reach the other address regardless of the provider. This interoperability of email technology is what made it so successful and widely adopted in the first place.
With blockchains, this is not true. Some blockchains are interoperable and we have several pioneers in this technology such as Polkadot, Cosmos, Cardano and others. However, most are not, so you may not be able to use them all the time.
With blockchain interoperability, each blockchain will be able to interact and send data and messages to another.
Importance of interoperability for Web3
As we all know, Web3 is on the way. We may not be able to predict what it will look like, but various blockchains will certainly play a key role.
Additionally, decentralized finance will be one of the biggest parts of Web3 and is one of the main reasons why we will need to introduce real blockchain interoperability to make it a reality. People will want to manage their finances and make payments on the web and across different blockchains without having to use different tokens and coins each time.
Furthermore, different blockchains have different functions and a regular user will have to deal with many of them on a daily basis. This should be possible without worrying about interoperability. Essentially, without interoperability, it would be as if we could not use different websites and platforms on the internet as easily and simultaneously as we do today.
So if we want to have Web3, we’ll need a way to apply the latest solutions to the new Internet just like we do today. In other words, we will need blockchain interoperability.
Examples of Blockchain Interoperability Solutions
Right now, we have several projects trying to solve interoperability, each in their own way. Polkadot and Cardano are one of the most prominent blockchains on the web that deal with this.
Polkadot uses something called parachains. These act like individual Layer-1 blockchains and can run concurrently on the Polkadot network. Each chain builds on the security of the main chain, but still maintains its individuality.
On the other hand, Cardano focused on smart contracts from the beginning, which essentially led to interoperability.
Cardano and Polkadot are not the only projects trying to solve interoperability between blockchains. We also have many other smaller initiatives that have gone further.
A good example is t3rn, a smart contract hosting platform that offers interoperable smart contract implementations with an additional fail-safe mechanism that ensures transaction reversibility, which is currently not possible with most blockchains.
t3rn offers uniform standards for integrating transaction-based blockchains and smart contracts through unique gateways. In other words, multi-chain execution and interoperability are ensured.
Blockchain interoperability is a complex topic, and it certainly won’t be easy to implement a solution that handles interoperability for the entire Internet. However, it is necessary and unavoidable for Web3. It will be interesting to see how you handle this in the future, but hopefully now you know how important it is to the web of tomorrow.