Interoperability in the Blockchain — What Is It and How Does It Work?
We’ve all equated decentralization with the blockchain by now, which makes perfect sense as one of the main characteristics of blockchain technology is its decentralized nature.
However, with decentralization comes a lot of uncertainty. How can different blockchains connect? Can we find anything universal about them? It is clear that there are many dilemmas here, which is why blockchain interoperability has become a hot topic in the last few years.
This phenomenon is bound to have a profound impact on the crypto sphere 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 for you? Let’s find out!
Blockchain Interoperability Explained
Blockchain interoperability is a highly 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 get to use different blockchains without worrying about compatibility issues.
For a better understanding, it’s best to consider emails. When you send an email to someone, you don’t have to worry about choosing the same provider the other person uses. They might 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 isn’t true. Some blockchains are interoperable, and we have several pioneering this technology, like Polkadot, Cosmos, Cardano, and others. However, most aren’t, so you may not be able to use them all the time.
With blockchain interoperability, every blockchain would be able to interact and send data and messages to another.
Importance of Interoperability for Web3
As we all know, Web3 is on its way. We might not be able to predict how it’ll look, but various blockchains will certainly play a key role.
What’s more, decentralized finances will be one of the biggest parts of Web3, and it’s one of the main reasons why we’ll need to introduce true blockchain interoperability to make this a reality. People will want to manage their finances and make payments across the web and different blockchains without having to use different tokens and coins every time.
Furthermore, different blockchains have different functionalities, and a regular user will have to deal with many of them on a daily basis. This will need to be possible without worrying about interoperability. In essence, without interoperability, it would be as if we couldn’t use various websites and platforms on the web as easily and simultaneously as we do today.
So, if we want to have Web3, we’ll need a way of implementing the latest solutions on the new internet just as we do today. In other words, we’ll need blockchain interoperability.
Examples of Blockchain Interoperability Solutions
At the moment, we have many projects attempting to solve interoperability, each in its own way. Polkadot and Cardano are one of the most prominent blockchains on the web that are dealing with it.
Polkadot uses something called parachains. These work like individual Layer-1 blockchains and can function simultaneously on the Polkadot network. Each chain relies on the security of the main chain but still preserves its individuality.
On the other hand, Cardano focused on smart contracts from the start, which effectively led to interoperability.
Cardano and Polkadot aren’t the only projects trying to solve interoperability between blockchains. We also have a lot of 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 added fail-safe mechanism that ensures the reversibility of transactions, another thing that’s currently not possible with most blockchains.
t3rn offers uniform standards for integrating transaction-based and smart contract-driven blockchains through unique gateways. In other words, multi-chain execution and interoperability are assured.
Blockchain interoperability is a complex topic, and it certainly won’t be easy to implement one solution that will handle interoperability for the entire internet. However, it’s necessary and inevitable for Web3. It will be interesting to see how it is handled in the future, but we hope that you’re now aware of how important it is for the web of tomorrow.