ICON, South Korea’s biggest crypto project, enables cross-chain interoperability

South Korea’s ICON, regarded by some as the country’s biggest cryptocurrency project, launched a significant update for its protocol earlier this week.

The development marks an important step towards the project’s “hyperconnect the world” catchphrase.

Interoperability benefits

As detailed in a blog post, the Blockchain Transmission Protocol (BTP) enables interoperability between different blockchains, helping inter-project value transfers, service providing, and data exchange.

BTP addresses a crucial junction in the future of global cryptocurrencies — that of enabling cross-chain interaction with one another instead of relying on thousands of individual, fragmented blockchain interfaces. The update makes the former possible, including connecting both public and private blockchains working on different consensus algorithms.

Cross-chain data verification, important in a possible future with different blockchain services dominant in respective regions, is made possible via BTP. Other more ambitious ideas, such as decentralized identity and creation of DAOs using data from various blockchains as input, are also addressed.

Token transfer across different blockchain apps is regarded as a major development. The blog noted:

“BTP facilitates such transfer directly through smart contracts, from one chain to another without using a central trading platform, at the protocol level.”

Achieving Hyperconnectivity

An example of a BTP-run protocol is Broof, an application native to ICON that allows for issuance and storage of verified certificates on the blockchain. BTP, in this regard, helps to enable automation on a private chain, with the issuance tied with a Broof side-chain.

ICON Network
(Source: ICON blog)

Meanwhile, to fully utilize BTP features, the “sender” blockchain must have block “finality” and the participating blockchains must support smart contract capability. As irreversible results are transmitted to the recipient (blockchain), message data is verified via a smart contract.

However, blockchain services that do not support smart contracts can participate in the BTP only as a sender, not as a recipient.

While single implementations of BTP connect two blockchain networks, one could use other implementations to connect with more blockchains; creating a huge, “hyperconnected” network in the end.

The BTP 0.5 Proof of Concept is now available on the ICON Github Page. BTP 1.0 is currently pending review before final acceptance.

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