On the 11th of September, Hacked.com published an article with the title ‘How Many Blockchains Does The Future Hold?’. To pick the answer from the article — too many!
“We’ve seen the successful execution of dozens upon dozens of ICOs on the Ethereum platform. In too many cases, these ICOs just wind up being a useless token of thanks and their value tends toward zero.”
However, in plenty of cases, this currency is crucial in the ecosystem they have built. The problem here is that we have too many projects all trying to accomplish similar goals. Predictions for 2019 say we will see more collaborations hosting one currency integrated into multiple projects. Still, this is only a mediocre solution as many of the projects are too stubborn or far-fetched to drop their beloved ecosystem currency. What can we do? This article proposes a view of the different possible interconnectivity solutions.
The lack of interconnection between blockchains means that you cannot choose the best features from multiple blockchains.
Interledger Protocol — Payments Across Payment Networks
Interledger is made up of a network of connectors, independent operators that act as decentralized exchanges or market makers for cryptocurrencies, fiat currencies, and other tokenized assets. The protocol allows users to transact natively on the network of their choice, without needing to move assets to a centralized exchange or to a specific blockchain for trading. The protocol is created out of the idea to facilitate a universal network for sending value, independent of any company or currency.
Ripple’s David Schwartz recently released a blog post on Ripple’s ‘Insight’ page on why open payment protocols will be the first step in changing payment and settlement systems across the world.
He believes, “By connecting bank ledgers and existing infrastructure investments via Interledger Protocol (ILP), banks are taking the first steps in improving global payments today — and in enabling a true Internet of Value.”
The ILP has also been incorporated into Ripple’s XCurrent product which enables users to make cross-border payments. This progress is in line with the privacy, speed, and flexibility needs expressed by Ripple’s roadmap. ILP meets these needs by allowing for instant and certain transactions to be processed across an infinite number of ledgers.
MESG — IFTTT For Blockchain Connectivity
A project called MESG is working on “the new economy of app development” by providing connectable and reusable integrations from any API or decentralized network. It acts like an “If This, Then That” for blockchain interconnectivity. Let’s find out why?
MESG is developing tools that enable non-coders to automate workflows with the integration of blockchain technologies wherein widely used apps exchange data and performing specific, prescribed actions whenever a trigger/event occurs.
Using these paradigms, known as Event Driven and Service Oriented Architectures, and Flow Based Programming, even a non-technical user can connect data from an event or a task to the input of another task.
Many apps today consist largely of connections between different APIs or different technologies, and yet the way they connect and interact with each other is still extremely complicated.
The MESG Engine makes connecting all these components far easier, enabling developers and businesses to create better, more scalable applications faster.
Interchain Providing Blockchain Agnostic Business Logic
The Interchain project provides smart contracts to watch a particular blockchain of the user’s choice for incoming transactions or fire smart contracts on another public blockchain like NEO. To give you a better image of its capabilities, consider this use case.
“A small grocery store uses multiple suppliers to get their product. Each supplier uses a different blockchain to complete their transactions on; one uses Ethereum, another uses NEO, and another uses Ark. The store does not want to commit to one blockchain over another. Instead, the store uses Dragonchain to monitor each blockchain. With Dragonchain’s Interchain, the store is able to monitor transactions and interact with different blockchains all in one place and implement business logic agnostic to whatever blockchain is being used.”
Atomic Swap Technology
At last, atomic swap technology allows us to interchange different cryptocurrencies or tokens without the risk of one party defaulting on the trade using cryptographically powered smart contract technology.
In fact, it contributes to the interconnectivity of different chains as it gives users a mean to trustlessly exchange tokens without going through a centralized service.
TLDR; Put simply, atomic swaps, or atomic cross-chain trading, is the exchange of one cryptocurrency to another cryptocurrency, without the need to trust a third-party. A relatively new piece of technology, atomic cross-chain trading is looking to revolutionize the way in which users transact with each other.
What is the importance of interconnectivity in the blockchain space? How will projects benefit?
There are new blockchains and decentralized technologies created every day for different purposes. But without any means of connecting these different technologies, creating applications that utilize them will be really difficult to achieve. The lack of interconnection between blockchains means that you cannot choose the best features from multiple blockchains, so most choose a single blockchain that has the best average capabilities and does a bit of everything.
Do businesses need IFTTT-like solutions?
Co-founder Anthony Estebe of MESG thinks businesses love these solutions because it lets one create or optimize certain workflows quickly, even with limited technical skills. With very little training, businesses can “automate away” all sorts of tasks which are menial, basic and repetitive, but also absolutely critical to a business’s success.
MESG also lets businesses connect to, and interact with, different ecosystems by spanning disparate communication channels, which enables creativity and can lead to business opportunities and growth.
Anthony believes these solutions are the future, that 90% of applications development will leverage this basic concept. This is why MESG can be so important, it pushes the limits of IFTTT-like solutions to the next level, secured by a real economy to grow and stabilize the ecosystem and still allowing this interoperability by design because of the event-based philosophy.
When it becomes easy to connect a technology, and the technology is good, adoption follows.