Blockchain 101: What is Cross-Chain?

Ontology Gas | 10.25| 326

In the last few years, blockchain has been a topic on the tip of a lot of tongues, especially given recent news surrounding Facebook’s Libra. As a result, there has been an influx of people wanting to get started on their blockchain journey. But we know it can be difficult to know where to begin your blockchain education. That’s why our latest series of articles aims to tackle the foundations of blockchain and make blockchain a topic accessible to all.

Moving on, news on blockchain implementation appears almost every day, describing blockchain as the technology to drive the next generation of the Internet. Yet there are significant challenges to be overcome in regards to interoperability and scalability. One part of the solution is cross-chain technology, which allows different blockchains to communicate and transact with one each other. Several projects are doing groundbreaking work in this area, including Ontology. But it’s important for the public to truly understand what it is. How can we ensure full understanding? Well, we’ve interviewed some of our community members to gain some of their valuable insight into cross-chain. Here’s what they said:

To better understand cross-chain, consider this example: every country has their own legal tender. USD can not be used in China, and RMB can not be used in the US. The legal tender of different countries can not be transferred easily, since their currency systems are independent of each other, much like the blockchain ecosystem today. BTC cannot be transferred to ETH directly, since they are from different blockchain systems. But with cross-chain technology, different tokens and data from various blockchains can be transferred easily. — Alina
Let’s take bank transfers as an example. If you want to transfer some money from ICBC(Industrial and Commercial Bank of China)to BOC (Bank of China), that is a cross-bank transfer. It seems that you can do it very easily, but actually, without the intermediary network of UnionPay, you would have to withdraw your money from ICBC, and then deposit it in the BOC. So here, take ICBC and BOC as two independent public chains, and UnionPay as the hub of the whole cross-chain ecosystem, not only connecting ICBC and BOC, but also all the other banks. — Jason
I think, in future, there will not only exist one public chain. Different blockchain projects are focusing on various businesses, but without an inability to interact, the true value of them cannot be realized; think of it like many isolated islands that cannnot be connected. This is where cross-chain interoperability and scalability comes into play. — Ken

As you can see from their answers, the concept of cross-chain should be viewed as a technology that allows for interoperability and scalability. By offering a platform that lets various blockchains interact with one another, cross-chain allows us to break barriers. If history tells us anything, it is that true success requires collaboration; no one project will be able to do it all. Through cross-chain technology, different projects are able to work with each other and join forces to bring the best solution to the market.

How would you explain cross-chain? Let us know below! 👇

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Blockchain 101: What is Cross-Chain? was originally published in OntologyNetwork on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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