At TechCrunch Sessions: Blockchain held in Zug, Switzerland, which featured respected developers from the crypto community including Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin, Parity Technologies CEO Jutta Steiner said that in the long-term, many blockchain networks would work together to optimize the process of processing and settling information.
Mixed Network of Blockchains
Parity Technologies is a blockchain infrastructure company that have built Polkadot, Parity Bitcoin, and Parity Ethereum, the most advanced Ethereum client in existence. Its most recent project Polkadot, a complex multi-chain technology, has focused on creating an ecosystem in which multiple blockchain networks can work with each other to transmit data.
Essentially, technologies like Polkadot create a consortium of blockchain networks, to exchange to facilitate the transfer of information between public blockchains via a relay chain. Since transactions on the blockchain are bits of data sent and received by users on a decentralized protocol, in a multi-chain environment, users from bitcoin will be able to post transactions to the users of Ethereum, and the developers on Cardano will be able to send smart contracts to the developers on the Ethereum protocol.
During her speech, Steiner explained that the primary purpose and advantage of multi-chain protocols is its ability to provide users with full control over their data. For instance, as of current, users are required to rely on centralized crypto exchanges like Binance to convert bitcoin to an ether, the native cryptocurrency of the Ethereum blockchain network, and then send ether to other users.
But, the process of converting cryptocurrencies that require users to depend on centralized platforms creates an inefficient environment for users that need to forfeit personal information for Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) systems.
Considering large-scale data leaks and the influence they can potentially have on the lives of billions of individuals, Steiner stated that protecting the privacy of users by allowing them to have control over their information is crucial.
Development of Plasma
Plasma is an example of a multi-chain protocol that is capable of solving difficult scaling issues of major blockchain protocols.
While Plasma is more similar to the Bitcoin network’s Lightning in a sense that it utilizes off-chain transactions to reduce the burden on the main network, it also uses child blockchains and a consortium of smaller blockchain networks to optimize the process of settling transactions and smart contracts.
“Plasma takes this idea even further by allowing for the creation of “child” blockchains attached to the ‘main’ Ethereum blockchain. These child-chains can even spawn their child-chains, which can themselves have another set of child-chains etc. So Plasma is many branching blockchains linked to one root blockchain,” developers at Argon explained.
Because many transactions can be batched to a single large transaction to are broadcasted on-chain, Plasma only broadcast completed transactions or smart contracts to the public Ethereum chain. Hence, the implementation of Plasma and other multi-chain protocols are expected to reduce pressure on the main Ethereum chain.
With technologies like Plasma and Polkadot, developers on various blockchain networks can send each other smart contracts and transactions while ensuring that the main blockchain is not spammed with insignificant transactions, as seen in the case of FCoin, as reported by BTCManager in July 2018.