Blocknet is moving to the v18 base chain and gearing up to support business customers with the release of XRouter 1.0. In this article, I take a look at the inner workings of the Blocknet Protocol and what it offers.
Why Decentralization is Important
The internet as we know it is centralized. Centralization refers to a structure where one or a small number of entities control an entire network. At the moment, a small number of technology companies exert the most control over the internet and are powerful enough to set industry standards. Smaller entities are forced to use similar methods of operation. In this way, the current internet is centralized.
There are some serious problems with this. Billions of pieces of personal data are shared daily online and the vast majority are stored in giant servers located in a few places around the world. This data is vulnerable to direct attacks, such as hacking. The information is also sold, as a product, to brands in order to allow them to target the users for ads and services.
Blockchain Could Power a Decentralized Internet
A decentralized internet based on blockchain technology would rely on a network of many smart devices, as opposed to large corporate servers. This network includes a ledger of transactions and smart contracts that can be executed automatically when certain conditions are met.
A blockchain network may also have a native coin or token that helps to verify transactions and affords voting or governance rights to network participants. Each device connected to the blockchain would contribute to the distributed storage network system without any centralized servers. Indeed, it would have no centre(s) at all.
Decentralizing the internet with blockchain technology is appealing because it could lead to a more secure and fair internet than the one we know today. There would be no central points to hack and no way for a few powerful actors to take control of the information.
The Interoperability Challenge
The nature of the design of blockchains means they can only communicate with themselves and not with other blockchains. They are not inherently interoperable. They start out isolated from one another. No information can be directly transferred between them.
As a result, blockchain-based applications can only deliver services within the confines of the limited customer base on a particular blockchain. If a blockchain service wants a wider user base it must sacrifice the unique properties of blockchains by delivering the services via a centralized platform.
Various solutions have been suggested to achieve this. Some projects are pursuing the idea of hybrid blockchains, for instance, which are chains unto themselves that can interact with other blockchains.
Internet of Blockchains
XRouter functions are akin to the TCP/IP level that the internet is founded on and is compatible with any blockchain network, including all DLTs (such as IOTA and Hashgraph) and private chains (such as Hyperledger and R3). It allows interactions between any smart contract platform and any other blockchain, even those that do not have smart contract capabilities.
This type of technology would let developers create lightweight microservice architectures that use contracts, protocols, and services from various blockchains. Developers could mix and match smart contracts from different chains without rewriting them from scratch, saving both time and money.
XBridge is a distributed hash table (DHT)-based peer-to-peer network with nodes that are integrated with nodes on other networks, making the XBridge an inter-chain network overlay. Nodes on any blockchain can lookup and broadcast between each other. Cross-chain atomic swaps can be performed between any digital asset that supports CLTV and JSON RPC.
How is Blocknet a Decentralized Internet of Blockchains?
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