IBC & Cross-chain Bridges
New opportunities have also appeared with the introduction of cryptocurrencies — sending assets to another continent in a mere matter of minutes. But more than just digital assets as an alternative to conventional ones were needed, so, after the first generation of blockchain, two more generations were born, with additional features that weren’t foreseen initially. We’ll tell you a little later about the generations of blockchain, what they are, why they fall into different categories, and what blockchain is made of. But for now…
With recent generations of blockchains coming, the focus has been on multifunctionality and limitless action. A blockchain’s borderlessness is achieved through bridges, which are particular communication protocols between independent networks. Bridges are needed to transfer assets between blockchains with different economics, functionality and structure. This freedom allows developers of different networks to work together on projects and opens up great opportunities for collaboration among companies as well as users. For the latter, it is also very convenient, because, with the advent of bridges, they do not have to get rid of assets on one blockchain to get them on another. Additional fees and potential losses due to the volatility of each token do not seem convenient or profitable. That’s where crosschain bridges come in, which are specific protocols that can be used to move assets freely between blockchains.
Cross-chain bridges can be divided into several types:
- Custodial, or centralised — the transfer is performed by a chosen validator or platform by which the transfer takes place
- Non-custodial, or decentralised — the transfer is performed through smart contracts.
- “Wrapped” tokens. Some of the cross-chain bridges use the ability to ‘wrap’ tokens in their system, that is, digitise to a protocol supported by the target blockchain.
- Sidechains. Transfers are made between layers of the blockchain if they have different consensus algorithms
- One-way. Some bridges can only perform asset transfers one way, to the target blockchain
- Two-way. One can perform a transaction both to the target blockchain and the native blockchain.
Cross-chain on Decimal
Decimalchain provides the ability to transfer tokens from blockchain to blockchain. According to the updated White Paper, thanks to cross-chain bridges, users will be able to send tokens between Decimal, Ethereum and BSC. The following bridge pairs are available:
Decimal > Ethereum;
Ethereum > Decimal;
Decimal > BSC;
BSC > Decimal;
BSC > Ethereum;
Ethereum > BSC.
Cross-chain bridge mechanics
The principle behind blockchain bridges is quite simple: the sender specifies the recipient’s address, the number of tokens to send, and sends. In the target blockchain, the tokens come in the same format, If you send 100 DEL to the Ethereum blockchain, you will receive 100 DEL only in another blockchain.
As it was said, bridges are a special protocol that operates in two separate and isolated blockchains. It is worth noting that most popular blockchains have bridging protocols or even platforms for sending tokens. But in addition to crosschain bridges, there is a separate, dedicated protocol that works across the ecosystem and allows all blockchains supporting it to “seamlessly” communicate with each other. This protocol is called IBC (Inter-Blockchain Communication).
IBC is a protocol developed by the creators of Cosmos, it is required to communicate within the entire ecosystem and with other blockchains that support IBC. Cosmos is an ecosystem platform for various blockchains and also provides specific straightforward tools and applications for various tasks and use by professional developers. Based on the Cosmos SDK, the Decimal blockchain is built upon, making the IBC module available.
According to WP, Decimal will be implemented in the Cosmos IBC ecosystem and combined with the EVM module. You can find out what EVM is and how it works here. The combination with EVM will provide both users and developers with the ability to create applications, access to the Ethereum network and Binance Smart Chain (BSC), as well as compatibility with other chains with EVM implementation.
Thus, with all the introductions to the White Paper changes and updates, Decimal has promoted active collaboration and implementation in this “blockchain internet” and connectivity with other entities in this Cosmos ecosystem. By “entity” we mean any other entity: applications, blockchains, platforms, exchanges, etc. Each of these is good and useful in its way. Bridging protocols and IBCs allow free movement from entity to entity, and for different representatives of blockchain generations to interact.