Fragmentation refers to the isolation of different blockchain networks, resulting in a decentralized landscape where they are unable to communicate effectively with each other. This results in wastage of resources, time, and often stifles innovation.
Interoperability seeks to bridge this gap by allowing various blockchain networks to communicate and interact with each other seamlessly. Only with interoperability can blockchain achieve its full potential.
The need for interoperability is paramount as blockchain finds its way into various industries, including healthcare, supply chain, finance, and governance. Each industry understands the potential of blockchain technology but faces the challenge of adopting a new standard or protocol that may not be compatible with their current system.
Enterprises that seek to integrate blockchain technology need to operate on multiple chains, and these chains must interact in a seamless and secure manner. Currently, there is no standardized protocol for blockchain communication, making cross-chain communication impossible.
Moreover, current blockchain frameworks require extensive changes when enterprises seek to integrate them into their existing systems, making it difficult for widespread use. This erodes the trust and adoption of the technology since deploying new networks requires heavy investment and time commitment.
To foster interoperability, blockchain networks should adopt similar standards and protocols that enable multiple chains to communicate effectively. A common communication protocol, for instance, would allow independent blockchain networks such as Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain, and Polkadot to interact with each other.
Fortunately, initiatives such as Cross-Chain Working Groups (CCWG) seek to foster consistent standards for blockchain communication. Additionally, innovations such as atomic swaps and state channels have made cross-chain communication possible, albeit with limited functionality.
In conclusion, Interoperability is essential to achieve blockchain’s full potential. Enterprises need to collaborate in the development of an industry standard for blockchain communication. Interoperability would reduce the inherent fragmentation within blockchain technology, facilitating cross-chain collaborations and enabling wider applicability of the technology. The sooner we prioritize and work towards blockchain’s interoperability, the better the blockchain landscape will look for the world.