Bridging the inoperability divide: Connecting disparate blockchains together
Blockchain technology has been hailed as a world-changing innovation, but does it have any use beyond creating speculative financial instruments? – Copyright AFP/File Petras Malukas
To boost security and lower transaction costs, a number of businesses are utilising smart contract technology. Smart contracts are digitalised versions of paper contracts, with the mart element referring to a code written into a blockchain that executes the terms of a contract from outside the chain. The process automates the actions that would otherwise be completed by the parties in the agreement, and this takes away the need (and associated concerns) for both parties to trust each other.
When developing contracts and other blockchain applications, developers have typically faced a choice of adopting an EVM-compatible network or a non-EVM-compatible network. The Ethereum Virtual Machine (or EVM) is a piece of software that executes smart contracts and computes the state of the Ethereum network after each new block is added to the chain. In many areas of business, it has become the platform for the deployment and execution of smart contracts.
Examples of EVMs include Polygon, Binance Smart Chain (BSC), and (naturally) Ethereum; whereas non-EVM chains include Solana, Polkadot and Cosmos.
The alternative is a non-EVM chain, which offers different options and often greater flexibility. However, non-EVM compatible chains have disadvantages such as high developer costs, high entry barriers, and difficult project migration.
A new development means that the binary choice between EVM and non-EVM no longer needs to be made, offering a more flexible approach for the business sector. The innovation comes from Layer One X.
Layer One X, the interoperable blockchain, has recently achieved a significant breakthrough in blockchain technology. On March 3rd, 2023, Layer One X made history by becoming the first layer one blockchain to achieve a decentralized transfer of assets between an EVM chain and a Non-EVM chain. This achievement marks a major milestone in the blockchain industry.
Before this innovation, there was an irony relating to the supposed advantages of blockchains and the flexibility that comes with them: One blockchain cannot send data or tokens to another blockchain.
This issue has become more apparent as the number of blockchains has grown and it causes problems for businesses because the transactions cost advantages cannot be realised if different firms are operating different blockchain technologies.
The Layer One X trial (or ‘testnet’) successfully transferred assets between an EVM and a Non-EVM network, without the use of bridges. This marks the first time this process has been performed in a completely decentralized atmosphere and it may hold the key to reconnecting the fragmented array of blockchains and once again present the promise of reduced business costs.
The aim is for the Layer One X testnet to be fully launched once the mainnet is unveiled in August 2023.