How Itheum Leverages Cross-chain Interoperability
In the past decade, the concepts of distributed ledgers and blockchain have exploded in popularity among individuals and businesses. Consequently, multiple creative blockchain initiatives have been launched with an aim to capitalize on the untapped potential of this relatively new technology.
If we look closely, blockchain is not a cumulative ecosystem. Each of its chains exist in isolation from one another, and every individual chain has been designed to serve a unique use case. Therefore, every project has its separate set of strengths and limitations, which cannot be synergized or compensated using those of another project.
However, to utilize the full potential of the blockchain technology, we require these separate blockchain networks to communicate, share their efficiencies, and trade-off their shortcomings with one another. A solution here is cross-chain interoperability, or in layman’s terms, the ability for separate blockchain network silos to communicate with one another.
‘Cross-chain interoperability’ denotes the ability of different blockchain or distributed ledger networks to transfer and leverage knowledge and value between one another. It also involves the exchange of unique digital assets between the multiple networks’ respective blockchains. In an entirely interoperable blockchain system, these networks and assets can be easily combined, thereby allowing for the creation of novel products and services that synergize the strengths of multiple blockchain networks.
Benefits of Cross-chain Interoperability for Users
The absence of an interoperability feature had prevented plenty of individuals and businesses from becoming a part of the wave of adoption and utilization of distributed ledger technology. The cross-chain interoperability feature plays a vital role in addressing isolation and interaction-related problems, thereby promoting widespread adoption of the blockchain network. Moreover, it opens up a plethora of opportunities, especially in the web3 world of the metaverse, gaming and DeFi (decentralized finance), and also in the traditional web2 world of healthcare and finance, as they aim to gain an foothold into the blockchain ecosystem.
Here are some benefits of cross-chain Interoperability for the end-user:
Streamlines Crypto User Experiences
At present, every crypto user needs a third-party (i.e. an exchange) to facilitate multi or cross-token transactions. However, with the help of cross-chain interoperability features across different blockchain networks, making multi-token transactions and maintaining their respective wallets would become very simple for crypto users. Therefore, this feature offers the potential to revolutionize the world of DeFi.
Facilitates Increased Adoption of Smart Contracts
Many experts opine that with the interoperability of smart contracts, industries like healthcare, law, and real estate could be drastically restructured. Interoperable smart contracts will enable businesses in both private and public networks to exchange crucial information and contracts back and forth, in a completely controllable and customizable manner. The blockchain network will further allow easy verification and maintain maximum transparency while executing these contracts, thereby effortlessly and efficiently supporting innovation.
Creates a Truly Decentralized Ecosystem
With advancements in blockchain technology, thousands of dApps (decentralized applications) have been built across a few blockchain networks, keeping isolation and decentralization of these applications as a top priority. However, rather than a single blockchain network (i.e. Ethereum) supporting millions of transactions for all its dApps, it’s arguably better to have application-specific blockchains that communicate with each other through a decentralized main hub. This, in turn, will ensure network interoperability across multiple blockchains and create an advanced embodiment of blockchain technology’s promise to decentralize economies and systems.
Enables Cross-industry Collaboration
Many industries today have capitalized on blockchain technology by customizing applications most beneficial to their specific needs. However, the most prominent benefits of blockchain technology still remain consistent across all industries — these are transparency, security, and the use of smart contracts. Therefore, as applications built separately on the blockchain are allowed to interact, individual markets and separate businesses will then be able to share value and information, thereby leveraging each other’s strengths and meaningfully growing in a collaborative manner.
How Does Itheum Use Cross-chain Interoperability?
Itheum has documented a standard set of protocols in the form of immutable smart contracts that coordinate how data will be traded among parties. To evenly share the workload, they will set up interfaces on multiple blockchains — this architecture will enable them to work across private, public, and permissioned chains to avail maximum adoption while also forming the foundation for future web3 core infrastructure. Likewise, to increase the level of interoperability across multiple blockchain networks, Itheum will use the following:
Single Main Chain & Multiple Sidechains
The main chain implementation is deployed onto a layer-1 blockchain that aligns best with Itheum’s requirements for scale, speed, user-experience, and affordability — which are required for high volume data trade to occur. The sidechains, which can either be other layer-1 blockchains or layer-2 scaling solutions, indicate separate blockchain networks that complement the main chain deployment to leverage a unified web3 data protocol. Every sidechain has its own consensus mechanism, tokens, and security parameters. Our native ITHEUM token is deployed on the Elrond blockchain and helps drive and power our underlying web3 data trading ecosystem.
Additionally, we intend for every sidechain to have a core token of its own (although the exact architecture for sidechain tokens and their technical relationship to the mainchain ones is still being drafted). As an example — the following sidechain tokens will exist:
- eITHEUM — Deployed on Ethereum
- mITHEUM — Deployed on Polygon/Matic
- bITHEUM — Deployed on Binance Smart Chain (BSC)
- aITHEUM — Deployed on Avalanche
However, the total supply of ITHEUM tokens will be fixed and distributed as more chains get added.
Data CAT & Personal Data Proofs
Our Data CAT (Collection & Analytics Toolkit), which on-ramps personal data from the web2 world into the web3 world, and our Personal Data Proof technology (on-chain hashed verifications of data linked to the Data CAT) work together to bridge the information gap between on-chain and off-chain environments. Since these features work in both environments, they play a crucial role in feeding off-chain data to blockchain-enabled smart contracts, thereby ensuring that data across the entire ecosystem refers to a common source of truth.
This enables the creation of a new breed of dApps that can leverage verifiable personal data to create amazing new use-cases powered by blockchain — e.g. health insurance, complex banking, personal loan products, etc.
Bridges, Relays, and Middleware
Native cross-chain bridges enable specific ITHEUM tokens owned by a party to be locked on one chain while identical ITHEUM tokens are minted on another chain and sent to the original owner. Similarly, middleware and relays enable users to swap ITHEUM tokens from different blockchain networks in a decentralized manner. Both of these are automatically enabled through smart-contracts and play a crucial role in facilitating seamless cross-chain data and value transfers.
Itheum believes that the future of data is interoperability. Therefore, we’re building an architecture and offering data products/features that support the idea of cross-chain interoperability. Some of the most unique data products/features offered by Itheum are described as follows:
All the personal data that you onboard onto the Itheum platform and advertise for trade will sit behind the very powerful “front-end” concept of our NFMe ID (Non-Fungible Me) technology. These NFT based, personal data-backed soulbound NFTs can then be used as your metaverse and web3 identity.
The aim is to enable metaverse avatar interoperability and allow you to securely transport your data into these new web3 and metaverse worlds — then you can earn from trading your data (e.g. sharing your data with a retail store inside the metaverse while simultaneously getting a personalized shopping experience, all while earning for sharing your data). NFMe ID is the metaverse equality of your REAL self and enables amazing futuristic use cases.
Read more about NFMe ID in our blog post.
Data Coalition DAOs
Under this concept, Itheum is focusing on grouping similar data sets, which can then become the basis for deep analysis or to train machine learning models. Data Coalitions will be formed as independent DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations), wherein its creators will become board members and run the entity in the best interest of its members. These Data Coalitions will be able to be traded across platforms in the future in exchange for other coalitions. Every member will earn micropayments when the coalition is used as well.
In contrast to Data Coalitions, Data NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) are highly personal or sensitive datasets that allow uniqueness and rare availability, in addition to earning the creators royalties as a form of additional income. Additionally, as the data is packaged and tokenized as an NFT, it can be openly traded across platforms in any NFT marketplace.
Unlike a Data Coalition, which has limited data in the group, a data stream can let traders subscribe to a stream of data (i.e. continue to feed data) to the trader who subscribes to a particular data stream. Such streams are beneficial for data providers as they become a continued source of passive income in return for their personal data. Some examples are health and wellness data such as activity, sleep quality, blood pressure, and more.
Highly sensitive, personal data gets stored in Data Vaults on our platform — specific examples include details about one’s gender, race, sexual preference, and more. Such data remains encrypted and is accessible through encryption keys, known only to the person themselves. This type of data also provides additional context to the regular data and therefore is more valuable for the trader. Traders can earn extra ITHEUM for supplying data stored in Data Vaults.
The Cross-chain Data Platform of the Future
Overall, Itheum aims to convert personal data into asset classes that can be traded interoperably across multiple blockchain networks as a part of Data Coalitions, NFTs, Data Streams, and Vaults. We ensure that the data supplier/creator voluntarily trades their information and equally benefits from the same, unlike the current Web2 mechanism where companies benefit by trading their customers’ data without their awareness.
Alongside these data products, Itheum also offers a Decentralized Data Exchange (Data DEX), which is a free, transparent, and open market for the trade of personal data, equally benefitting both the data creator as well as the trader.
Elrond Chain Support Coming Soon
Itheum is now on its way to supporting the Elrond chain as part of its vision for cross-chain interoperability.
Elrond is a fast, secure, and highly scalable blockchain platform designed for distributed apps, enterprise use cases, and the new internet economy. Elrond provides easy access to the digital economy for developers, validators, and businesses anywhere, through a significant improvement in blockchain speed, scale, cost, and user experience.
Elrond comes with clear and canonical documentation and supports the most popular programming languages and flexible tools. It allows users to quickly design their application with real use in mind and deploy it quickly on a blockchain.
Some of the key features of Elrond are:
Massive Scalability: Adaptive State Sharding
Elrond’s Adaptive State Sharding combines the three types of sharding (state, transaction, and network) into a cohesive solution that enhances communication inside the shards and improves performance through parallel processing.
Security and Efficiency: Secure Proof of Stake
Elrond has presented a unique approach to consensus called “Secure Proof of Stake”, which combines eligibility through stake and rating with random validator selection and an optimal dimension for the consensus group. This BFT-like consensus protocol sustains a high level of security through random sampling of the consensus group and random reshuffling of nodes into other shards. Furthermore, it uses an unbiased randomness source generated by the block proposer via signing the previous random source.
Developer-Friendly Approach: Elrond VM
Elrond VM is a dedicated smart contract execution engine designed on WASM. It makes more languages available to smart contract developers, including Rust, C#, C/C++, and Typescript. Developers can thereby write smart contracts in whichever language they are familiar with, compile it on WASM, and debug its WAT human readable format easily.
Elrond’s easy integration, unprecedented scalability, high speeds, and low transaction costs make it ideal for those looking to elevate their business.
By supporting the Elrond chain, Itheum is taking a powerful step towards helping businesses and users optimize blockchain-integration costs, add transparency and security, or find new business models.