Blockchain Interoperability Solutions – Examples

As more blockchain teams seek to reach the longstanding hurdles within the decentralized world, it is worth taking a look at some examples of interoperability projects.

By Alex Hickey

04 Aug 2022

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As more blockchain teams seek to reach the longstanding hurdles within the decentralized world, it is worth taking a look at some examples of interoperability projects.

Starting in the mid-2010s interoperability has become of great importance to the blockchain community. The reasons behind this is that without connectivity between applications and chains, using blockchain becomes a singular endeavor rather than a holistic one.

Table of Contents

  • How Does Interoperability Work in Web3?
  • What is a Blockchain Interoperability solution?
  • Blockchain Interoperability Solutions – Examples
  • Blockchain Interoperability – Projects
  • Lisk Interoperability Solution
  • How Does Interoperability Work in Web3?

Accessibility is essential for anyone who uses the internet. Going from site to site is such a simple task that it is done without thinking. We don’t need to use separate browsers, we don’t have to send all of our completed work files to other platforms manually, and possibly most importantly, it is done fast and efficiently.

This is the problem with blockchain interoperability. To work on the Ethereum and Cosmos networks, users will need to do so in parallel. You simply cannot go from one network to another and keep working, this is a big hurdle to people who use various applications on different platforms.

Today there are many different protocols that are racing towards the goal of interoperable blockchains, both within their ecosystem and with external layer 1 systems and applications. Each project has their own approach which varies to more or less of a degree. Understanding how interoperability works in web3 will help us to see how they will change the way we use blockchain technology.

What is a Blockchain Interoperability Solution?

As developers try to find an answer to the issue of connecting networks, unique methods need to be looked at in depth to come to an understanding of how to reach this goal. In essence, this is what an interoperability solution is. Development teams at Polkadot, Cosmos, Cardano, and Lisk are all deep into their research of the subject of interoperability.

Blockchain Interoperability Solutions – Examples

The solutions that each project is researching can show us what major attributes are involved in how interoperability can be achieved and approached. However, what else each hypothesis can teach us is the ultimate limitations of how far interoperability can go at this time. What are some of the challenges that are still being faced today, for example.

  1. Bridging: This method is somewhat self-explanatory, it is the process of exchanging tokens and data from one network to another using a digital bridge. Each network has their own standard of token, for example tokens on the Ethereum network use the ERC standard. To send your assets to another network you will need to change these tokens into a version of the same token that can be used on the receiving network, effectively changing the token standard.
  2. Certificate creation: Certificates on blockchain networks contain data that is verifiable across networks. Certificates can be created in a variety of ways, however, for them to be confirmed on a receiving chain, their state-transition needs to be verifiable via the cross-chain messages within the certificates.
  3. Parachains: Chains using sharding can connect their applications using the shards that interact through the foundational layer. This blockchain interoperability solution relies on validators that can confirm information on both applications and ensure data is correct. Parachains only work as an internal solution connecting applications rather than protocols.
  4. Sidechains: Developers can create sidechains that work somewhat autonomously from the mainchain. They can use modules to incorporate different pieces of blockchain logic that can then connect within the network with other applications. Sidechains can create certificates to communicate with other sidechains freely. Sidechains can increase scalability while remaining flexible and open for interoperability.

Blockchain Interoperability – Projects

The aforementioned solutions are in the process of realization through the development teams that have been focusing on creating them for years. We can understand their functionality with more depth by looking at how they function practically.

  1. Plasma Bridge: This layer 2 blockchain interoperability solution is built onto the Ethereum network. This application uses atomic swaps to exchange information across chains. Though it is not the only layer 2 interoperability solution built on Ethereum, it has shown the potential of bridges built onto protocols through its Proof-of-Concept
  2. Cardano: Using certification, Cardano exchanges information across chains. Creating cross-chain messages allows for the confirmation of state-transition between Proof-of-Stake (including DPoS and BFT) networks. Should the receiving system not be an applicable network, assets and information cannot be sent.
  3. Polkadot: This protocol, which is also pioneering interoperability in Web3, uses parachains technology. As we have mentioned, Polkadot uses shards to connect its applications as it can confirm information through central validators.

Lisk Interoperability Solution

The Lisk protocol has partially focused on interoperability as a central theme since its conception back in 2016. Using cross-chain messages collected into a cross-chain update, information can be sent from one platform to another and verified effectively. This solution is similar to some other approaches to blockchain interoperability and is actively being developed now.

The Lisk SDK will offer tools to implement blockchain interoperability via sidechains.. This allows for greater ease of blockchain development which allows developers to ultimately create blockchain applications on the Lisk ecosystem which will go on to be interoperable through sidechains.

What are the next steps when it comes to the implementation of Lisk Interoperability Solution? Lisk is working through its roadmap and has reached the Sapphire stage, which deals with internal interoperability. The next stage of the roadmap, the Diamond phase, will focus largely on interoperability across different protocols.

The Diamond phase will finalize years of growth and development in the Lisk network. After all of the members of the ecosystem are connected through our interoperability solution, we will come to the crown jewel of the Lisk research and development team which will be connecting to other chains like Ethereum, Polkadot, and Cosmos. This will accomplish one of the greatest and oldest goals of the Lisk network.