cool hit counter V-God: blockchain cross-chain technology will be used at scale within one to two years_Intefrankly

V-God: blockchain cross-chain technology will be used at scale within one to two years

Fireball Financial Services

Knowing blockchain, knowing you better.

Total main text: 6055 words

Estimated reading time 16 hours

Common applications between different blockchains are bound to emerge. Because the blockchain is an open system in which everything is cryptographically authenticated, it is actually quite easy to develop applications that enable events that occur on one blockchain to link changes in another blockchain. Many methods are available to achieve such effects, such as hash locking and relaying.

There have been many experiments in the past few years trying to trade cryptocurrencies across chains. I think this technology can be applied to other areas as well. The biggest challenge remains the few actual blockchain applications and people using them, and it is not yet time to start implementing cross-chain applications except in isolated areas. But I think we could definitely see massive growth in this area of adoption within a year or two.

Today we'll take a deep dive into cross-chain technology.

I. What is cross-chain technology

Cross-chain technology can be understood as a bridge to connect various blockchains, and its main applications are to enable atomic transactions between blockchains, asset conversion, interoperability of information within blockchains, or to solve Oracle's problems, etc.

Today's blockchain technologies are diverse and disparate, unable to exchange value and data with each other. Although many blockchain advocates claim that blockchain is the next generation of the Internet, the current "Internet" consists of many fragmented blockchain "islands" because each chain is a separate, vertically closed system, or rather, the current blockchain looks more like an intranet. For example, Bitcoin and Ether are trust mechanisms based on a network-wide consensus, brute force solution. This verification is done by synchronizing blocks across the network, with each node doing the verification. However, those blockchains that employ decentralized ledger technology (DLT, Distributed Ledger Technology), such as Ripple and IOTA, are similarly isolated from each other. What is even more unacceptable is that the swap of value between blockchains that claim to be decentralized yet rely primarily on centralized exchanges to do so, and the value of assets on the chain cannot be reasonably valued.

The application and development of blockchain technology is greatly constrained by the lack of interconnection between blockchains and the large fluctuations in asset values. That's why interconnected chain-to-chain operations are increasingly valued, and the need for cross-chaining comes into play. However, cross-chaining is a complex process that requires both separate verification capabilities for nodes in the chain, as well as decentralized input and access to and verification of information from the off-chain world. Currently, there are three main implementation models for cross-chain technologies.

(1) Notary Schemes.

(2) Sidechains (Sidechains)/relays (Relays).

(3) Hash-locking (Hash-locking).

II. Application of cross-chain technology

2.1 Notary model

The easiest way to interoperate between chains is to use the notary model. In the notary model, a trusted group or groups are used to declare to chain X that an event has occurred on chain Y, or to determine that the declaration is correct. These groups can either listen and respond to events automatically or when requested to do so.

The notary model has received a lot of attention in the license-splitting space because it can provide both a major contender for flexible consensus and eliminates the need for costly proof-of-work or complex proofs about mechanisms of interest.

The notary model is represented by the project Corda.

2.1.1 Corda

Corda is the financial alliance's "blockchain-like" technology architecture from the R3 Alliance. The same transactions are used to form the ledger in Corda, but there are no blocks, and this is very different compared to the traditional blockchain structure. The transaction is disseminated only between the participants and the notary. Notaries are jointly selected by the parties to the transaction and have a high degree of credibility. The notary is responsible for verifying the validity of the data and the uniqueness of the data.

Because Corda has chosen the highest security notary model, cross-ledger message processing is made easier: simply select cross-notaries for different ledgers or force them to point to the same notary and have them synchronize the ledgers to securely verify cross-ledger messages.

2.2 Relay/sidechain mode

If a chain B can have all the functions of another chain A, then chain B is said to be a side chain of chain A and chain A is the master chain of chain B. where main chain A is not aware of the existence of side chain B and side chain B is aware of the existence of main chain A.

Assuming the blockchain has a block Header and Body, and the Header has proof information such as Merkle, it is possible to take the block header of chain A and write it into the block of chain B. Chain B uses the same consensus verification methods as chain A, such as PoW to verify difficulty and length, PBFT to verify voting, etc. After waiting for the sequence of block headers of chain A, chain B can then prove the data and operations of chain A by the proof information of the Merkle branch. Chains A and B cannot directly verify the state of each other's blocks, as this would create a loop, but it is feasible to include only light nodes in each other, and the logic for this blockchain verification can be implemented by the chain protocol itself or by an application contract. This process described above is shown in Figure 1 below.

Figure 1 Relay/sidechain model asset transfer process

Figure 2 Interface for sending and receiving events in relay/sidechain mode

The code in Figure 2 needs to be present on both chains using the relay/sidechain model, but also needs the coins or objects on both chains to be infinitely issuable so that the verification process can be guaranteed to be error-free and thus come to the asset transfer operation.

The relay/sidechain model is represented by projects such as BTC-Relay, RootStock, Polkadot, Cosmos, etc. Each item will be described in turn below.

2.2.1 BTC-Relay

BTC-Relay is a smart contract based on the ethereum blockchain that connects the ethereum network to the bitcoin network in a secure and decentralized way. BTC-Relay can allow users to verify Bitcoin transactions on the Ether blockchain by using Ether's smart contract feature. BTC-Relay uses a block Header to create a small version of the Bitcoin blockchain, and Ethernet DApp developers can make API calls to BTC-Relay from smart contracts to verify Bitcoin network activity. BTC-Relay has made a meaningful attempt to communicate across blockchains, opening the way for different blockchains to communicate. The authentication process for BTCRelay is shown in Figure 3 below.

Figure 3 BTC Relay transaction authentication process

One of the members of the BTC Relay community, known as Relayers. Anyone can join the Ethernet network and become a Relayer, and it costs no hardware or power

2.2.2 RootStock

RootStock is a distributed platform for smart contracts built on the Bitcoin blockchain. RootStock uses a "hybrid" security model that incorporates both a PoW mechanism and a private network model, based on a secure joint proof-of-work mining mechanism implemented in a joint threshold signature scheme. Its goal is to implement complex smart contracts as a sidechain that adds value and functionality to the core Bitcoin network. RootStock implements the Rootchain Virtual Machine (rvm), an improved version of the Ether Virtual Machine that will act as a sidechain to Bitcoin, using a token convertible to Bitcoin (root currency, RTC) as the "fuel" for smart contracts. A two-way anchoring mechanism is used between RootStock and Bitcoin. RootStock's transaction authentication process is shown in Figure 4 below.

Figure 4 RootSock transaction authentication process

2.2.3 Polkadot

Polkadot is the Web3 Foundation's open source project for cross-chain protocols. Development led by Gavin Wood of the Parity team. Polkadot claims to be one of the infrastructures of the future Web 3.0 era, and is the foundation protocol for a future "blockchain Internet". The Polkadot protocol emphasizes addressing the scalability and isolation issues of current blockchain technologies with the goal of providing common inter-accessibility, interoperability between numerous heterogeneous blockchain systems that are de-trusted and decentralized.

The core idea of Polkadot is to distinguish between the way a transaction is initiated and executed by a counterparty and the way it is recorded uniformly by a counterparty. Polkadot provides the underlying relay-chain on which many verifiable, globally dynamically synchronized data architectures are built, which are parallel or side chains. Blockchain applications can fork Ether, adapt it to their respective needs, connect it to the public Ether chain via Polkadot, or set different features to different chains for better scalability and efficiency. The schematic diagram of Polkadot is shown below.

Fig. 5 Schematic diagram of Polkadot

The flow shown in Figure 5 is roughly as follows: the collector collects and broadcasts the user's transactions and also broadcasts candidate blocks to the phisher and the verifier. A user submits a transaction that is first transferred outside the parallel chain and then through a relay chain to another parallel chain, becoming a transaction that can be executed by an account on the parallel chain.

2.2.4 Cosmos

Cosmos is the Interchain Foundation's cross-chain open source project. Cosmos is a blockchain network focused on solving cross-chain asset transfers. The network consists of two main parts: the Cosmos Hub and a number of Zones. Each Zone can be thought of as a separate blockchain space. Each Zone will keep its state in sync with the Hub. Hub ensures security through a decentralized verifier group with a penalty escrow mechanism, which is the only multi-asset central ledger and is responsible for ensuring that the total amount of assets remains unchanged while various types of assets are transferred across Zones.

Hub is both a relay chain. Cross-chain communication between Zones is mainly achieved through the IBC protocol with the Hub. When Zone1 does cross-chain messaging to Zone2, Zone1 generates a message packet and publishes its proof on the Hub, next the Hub generates a proof that Zone1's cross-chain message packet has proof of existence on the Hub and publishes it to Zone2, next Zone2 receives a proper message packet and gives a proof to publish it on the Hub, and finally, the Hub then gives a proof that Zone2's proof of receipt is published to Zone2, completing the whole cross-chain messaging.

The inter-blockchain communication of Cosmos mentioned above is shown in Figure 6 below.

Figure 6 Inter-blockchain communication for Cosmos

2.3 Hash lock mode

The hash-lock model is designed with the hope that chain A and chain B will know as little as possible about each other and as a means of removing trust from the notary, the basic flow of the model is shown in Figure 7 below.

Figure 7 Hash locking mode flowchart

The basic process shown in Figure 7 is as follows.

(1) A generates a random number S and sends hash(S) to B.

(2) A locks coins on chain LA and sets the condition that if chain LA receives S within (current time + 2X = TA) time, then transfer to B, otherwise return to A.

(3) After receiving hash(S) and seeing A's lock and time settings, B locks the coin on chain LB and sets the condition that if chain LB receives S within TA-X time, it transfers it to A, otherwise it is returned to B.

(4) After A sees B's lock, he sends S to the chain LB in TA-X time and gets the coins of the chain LB.

(5) After receiving S, B sends S to the chain LA in TA time and gets the coins of the chain LA.

The hash locking model is represented by projects such as Interledger and Lightning Network.

2.3.1 Interledger

Interledger is an open protocol for cross-ledger value transfer, initiated under the leadership of Ripple. Interledger is not a blockchain, it is a payment standard, a unified protocol that connects all types of ledgers. Interledger is focused on the area of inter-ledger money flows.

Interledger itself is not a ledger and it does not seek any consensus. Instead, it provides a top-level cryptographic escrow system that allows funds to flow between books with the help of intermediaries called "connectors". In addition, Interledger also has no native tokens, so individual ledgers operating the protocol, can still use their own native tokens, and this interoperability solves the problem for specific payment networks. The relationship between Interledger's cryptographic third parties and the sender and receiver of the transaction is shown in Figure 8 below.

Figure 8 Interledger's cryptographic third-party relationships with transaction senders and receivers

2.3.2 Lightning Network

The purpose of the Lightning Network is to enable secure off-chain transactions, which is essentially a mechanism that uses hash-time locked smart contracts to securely make 0-confirmation transactions, by setting up clever 'smart contracts' that make it as safe as gold (or as safe as Bitcoin) for users to make unconfirmed transactions on the Lightning Network.

The first step in using the Lightning Network requires opening a two-way payment channel between User A and User B. This channel is outside the main chain, as shown in Figure 9 below.

Figure 9 Lightning network structure diagram

Both sides of the transaction will first write the data required to turn on the state into the main blockchain to create the lightning transaction contract before turning on the lightning transaction feature, such as the locking period, contract rules and other data. When the lightning network fails, it will be processed on the main blockchain in accordance with the contract rules and the data of the party giving evidence. Each state channel is built, similar to a multi-signature system built to guarantee the principle of trustworthiness between the two sides of a transaction, and it has more contract processing than multiple signatures. For non-compliance, there will be penalties on the main network. Penalties can be appealed within a period, say 1000 block periods, and such appeals are maintained by the algorithm and are not based on human factors.

Within the channel is a blockchain data stream signed by both parties' private keys, in which all transaction details of both parties are represented and stored as a separate chain, which is the proof of whether a channel is in compliance with the algorithmic rules. When a state channel ends, the parties cash out the contract according to the final state data output by the lightning network, which is equivalent to a trading ledger, which records the results of the participants' transactions and thus enables property redistribution.

III. The Birth of Pallet

The various cross-chain projects mentioned above, they are still essentially one chain, which is inherently difficult to re-extend and less versatile. They both do cross-chain work with a new chain and require anchoring between chains. For example, Polkadot borrows a lot of architecture from other projects, so his design is very different from other projects. However, Polkadot is a heterogeneous multi-chain framework, where a relay chain connects a system of multiple parallel chains. Although multiple chains can be hooked up, Polkadot itself is still a chain.

Pallet, on the other hand, is making protocols - multi-stakeholder consensus protocols where all chains can be participants and no "chain-to-chain" anchoring is required. Instead of generating independent chains, the Pallet protocol and system uses a jury system to randomly select jurors, and all juror nodes then go on to dock each underlying chain to achieve deposition, maximizing the use of existing chains and resources.

Pallet can hang the application on multiple chains to avoid network congestion, user selectivity, so that a variety of DApp applications can be deployed on different chains, can form a healthy competition, more users can participate, developers in the development of applications can be more flexible according to business needs to choose the existing chain, or easy to migrate from the existing deployed chain to a better, newer chain, so that the existing application ecology break through the original deployment of blockchain's own architectural limitations, performance limitations or functional limitations.

IV. Pallet cross-chain system

Pallet can interface horizontally with different underlying blockchains, as shown in Figure 10 below. Pallet does not make an exact replication of the underlying chain, but uses a participant mechanism and is a lightweight protocol.

Figure 10 Pallet cross-chain system

Pallet builds scalable "meta-layers" on top of blockchain or DLT (Distributed Ledger Technology) and implements "interoperability" in the meta-layers. The meta-layer is the IP protocol that Pallet strives to implement, the interlink layer.

Pallet elects a jury based on the smart contracts of different applications, and that jury verifies the execution of the smart contracts. Pallet uses Pallet Passes (Tokens) as an incentive to pay the jury. The jury's role in Pallet is equivalent to that of miners on other chains. Pallet has also added a penalty mechanism whereby ordinary nodes wishing to become registered jurors will need to pledge a portion of their own funds, and if a juror is found to be evil, Pallet will forfeit their pledged funds.

V. Comparison of Pallet and cross-chain technology application scenarios

Pallet serves as a cross-chain protocol to connect chains to chains. There are some differences between Pallet and other cross-chain technologies in terms of application scenarios, as shown in the table below.

Since Pallet is not a chain and communicates with the underlying chain through specific functions and libraries, Pallet has a relatively wide range of application scenarios and is moderately difficult to implement.

VI. Performance comparison of Pallet with other cross-chain projects

Since Pallet is not a chain, its smart contract execution mechanism, mining mechanism, reward mechanism and application domain are quite different from the cross-chain projects in Chapter 2, as shown in the table below.

The individual cross-chain projects in Chapter 2 aim to address the exchange of information between specific blockchains or are designed for different application domains, so these cross-chain projects are not very generic. But Pallet is a protocol, so it can interconnect all the chains, multi-stakeholder mutual benefit, and thus help the realization of "value interlink network".

VII. Summary

Existing blockchains are tied up from applications, smart contracts, common ledgers, and consensus networks, and each chain forms a separate vertical closed system, making it difficult to adopt new technologies and migrate to new chains with the original data and assets when an application is tied up in a chain.

Pallet is a distributed, inclusive transaction execution environment, not just another cryptocurrency. Pallet is decoupled from the underlying blockchain, contract writing language and execution platform, allowing users to transact on and off-chain assets at the same time. As a result, it can execute smart contracts written in different languages on different blockchains on different platforms. By leveraging existing LLVM and WASM tools, Pallet can be easily made to provide secure smart contract execution, while the high performance of Pallet makes contract privacy encryption possible.


Fireball Financial ServicesThis article is reproduced for the purpose of passing on more information, The content is for readers' reference only, Not investment advice。

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