In the past, the S-word that dominated talks in the blockchain shortcomings’ world two years ago, ‘scalability,’ has now been replaced by the I-word, interoperability. Today, interoperability is an enormous challenge that most of the blockchain projects are trying to resolve. That movement gained significant momentum with the launch of Syscoin’s Ethereum bridge this week.
Syscoin was launched in 2014. During that time, it became an early pioneer of initial coin offering (ICO) fundraisers. Now, the firm has announced the launch of the Syscoin Bridge protocol. This decentralized bridging protocol will enable the transferability of ERC20 tokens from the Ethereum network into the Syscoin ecosystem.
As a result of this development, the network users can enjoy the best that both worlds have to offer. They can benefit from the smart contract capabilities that are common to Ethereum enhanced with the higher throughput and lower fees of Syscoin. Any user who wishes to take advantage of the new interoperability can turn to block 348,000 on the Syscoin blockchain, which will provide them with the first opportunity.
The pitch made by Syscoin targets a secure, decentralized, low fee blockchain that has a high transaction throughput while simultaneously supporting smart contract functionality. That target description contradicts Ethereum, which has many scaling challenges. If the promise comes to pass, the long-running Syscoin project could experience a breakout year and a high seat at the elite decentralized finance table.
Bridging blockchain is described as a multi-faceted challenge that comprises of several significant logistical and technical hurdles bringing blockchain is described as a multi-faceted challenge that comprises of several significant logistical and technical hurdles bringing blockchain is described as a multi-faceted challenge that comprises of several significant logistical and technical hurdles. Connecting the chains is a massive effort as a result of the different architecture of various public and private blockchain networks. It is also affected by the trade-offs that each blockchain incorporates with regards to privacy and throughput.
In the past, a ‘winner takes all’ mentality has made many crypto projects, including the smart contract platforms to compete for dominance. That has resulted in jostling for market share and network users. But, as the industry continues to mature, most of the projects have realized that they are not stuck in a zero-sum game. They all acknowledge that improved interoperability benefits everyone.
Bridging Without Trade-Offs
A lot of the progress that has been made in attaining interoperability has exploited and somehow diminished decentralization. In general, using assets on a non-native chain comprises of locking them into a multisig or smart contract that is managed and overseen by a custodian.
Binance uses this method to issue various crypto assets like BTC on Binance Chain. It also uses the strategy in the issuance of wrapped bitcoin (WBTC) on Ethereum. Syscoin’s bridge is materially different since it lets Ethereum assets function on the Syscoin protocol without involving a third-party custodian. Syscoin co-founder and Lead Core Developer, Jagdeep Sidhu, explained:
“We rightly chose Ethereum as the first subject to integrate [with Syscoin]. With Ethereum being the most proven smart contract platform and facing increasing pressure to scale, this is a mutually beneficial integration on more than one level. At a later stage, the Syscoin Bridge could be integrated with platforms other than Ethereum. We continually weigh the ecosystem benefits of various potential future integrations.”
Linking The Chains
The crypto assets are portrayed as a global form of currency that can bypass intermediaries and cross borders. However, the reality is not always as utopic as portrayed. Beginners encounter a steep learning curve that needs familiarity with wallet addresses, blockchains, seed phrases, and coin compatibility.
Most of the crypto newcomers are surprised when they discover that the leading blockchains operate on separate tracks. Also, the crypto communities are significantly separated, working independently from each other.
Many challenges still exist in the blockchain world. Hence, it will take a while and more work before the bridging protocols can support seamless cross-chain transfers to make the technology suitable for regular daily users.
The amount of energy being invested in trying to solve this challenge indicates that there is a deep-seated desire for interlinked crypto islands. Once complete, the new causeways will enable value to hop from one isle to the next smoothly and quickly.
After the interoperability hiccup is eliminated, blockchain engineers and developers will turn their attention to the next challenge that may come up. Currently, though, enabling crypto ecosystems to coexist closer together remains a continuous challenge that different initiatives like Syscoin with its Ethereum Bridge are striving to solve.