What Is Interoperability and Can It Be Achieved in the Blockchain Space?
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Interoperability has been used a lot lately concerning the blockchain space. It simply means that two or more blockchains can co-exist and operate with each other.
The blockchain space is currently scattered, with many isolated chains operating on their own — a universe for itself. For example, if one NFT is made on one blockchain and the other on another, it’s difficult to swap the two NFTs, as they are based on somewhat different protocols. It’s similar to installing an Android app on an iPhone — it simply isn’t possible.
For example, when Ethereum came to be, its developers didn’t think of the idea that Ethereum’s blockchain would have to be connected with other blockchains in a way. In other words, Ethereum cannot operate with other chains, which is a major obstacle. The same goes for the Bitcoin blockchain, which made the first major breakthrough, as its mysterious creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, couldn’t have predicted how things would unfold. He didn't know that many other blockchains would be used for much more than just cryptocurrencies.
But that is slowly changing, and many popular chains, including Ethereum and Bitcoin, are being redefined to allow for interoperability.
Cross-Chain Trading Is a Major Issue
Cross-chain trading is the ability to trade cryptocurrencies from different blockchains. The good news is that some projects can capitalize from the chains that are being re-developed with an eye toward interoperability.
One such project is called Primex, which is a cryptocurrency exchange that is currently in development. During its first phase, Primex will only be available on Ethereum, but the second version will also be deployed on networks compatible with Ethereum. That way, Primex users can trade cryptocurrency pairs across different chains.
Is the Future Interoperable?
All sides in the blockchain and DeFi spheres have realized that they can gain much more by making interoperability possible than by keeping blockchains separated. It’s safe to assume that the Bitcoin network won’t evolve towards interoperability shortly, as it is big enough to be self-sufficient. All other blockchains, including Ethereum, can only benefit from interoperability.
Therefore, it’s safe to assume that all new projects built with blockchain will be created with interoperability in mind, and the existing ones will evolve as much as possible to communicate with other blockchains.
Some projects are already focusing full-time on solving the interoperability issue, with varying success. The most successful companies at the moment are probably Cosmos and Polkadot, but we should also mention Harmony, Wanchain, Chainlink, Hybrix, and even Loom Network.
Interoperability as the Basis for Web3
Web3 or Web 3.0 has been one of the major buzzwords lately, and it refers to the new version of the internet, which will be entirely decentralized. Of course, to achieve that, we need all sides to cooperate, starting with making blockchains interoperable.
In a way, we need to create a network of decentralized networks to lay the foundations for the third version of the internet. This is likely to happen as blockchains are slowly opening up, but it seems it will take some time before it’s fully utilized.
According to most optimistic predictions, Web3 will start to manifest by the end of 2022, but it’s just a start, as there’s a lot of work to be done before it becomes a reality.
Interoperability is not a myth. It’s already happening across the blockchain and DeFi space, with many chains interoperable with many other chains. In fact, some are already so interlinked that they created a chain of chains, making it easy for users of all interoperable chains to make cross-chain transactions.
However, we’re still not there when it comes to full interoperability, where all blockchains are interoperable with each other. Is this even possible? Will we ever reach the Web3 utopia? It remains to be seen.