Web3: Achieving full interoperability is not going to happen overnight. But industry collaboration will prove essential to solidify more permanent solutions, says Ken Timsit is the Managing Director of Cronos chain and Cronos Labs.
In October of last year, Mark Zuckerberg unveiled plans for a metaverse that promised to be the only virtual world we will ever need to use. Nick Clegg, Meta’s Global Affairs President, more recently outlined a slightly altered vision, with Meta operating instead as an intermediary layer. Meta would be “interacting with platforms, institutions and networks to create a universe of products.” Clegg’s vision presents a more realistic outlook.
The number of Web3 developers contributing to projects in the blockchain industry has reached an all-time high. Infura, a developer tool by ConsenSys, reached 350,000 users in November 2021. Truffle, a smart contract development suite, has been downloaded millions of times.
With this growth comes the proliferation of new blockchain ecosystems and protocols. Each have their own unique strengths, weaknesses, communities and languages. Though the future of Web3 is still undetermined, it is clear that there will be no singular cryptocurrency or chain to rule them all. But rather, there will be a rich and diverse chain and cryptocurrency ecosystem.
The issue the industry now faces is how to merge these ecosystems and aggregate the benefits of each chain and application to create a frictionless experience for end-users and developers to build, operate, and move across multiple blockchain platforms. For Web3 to effectively challenge Web2’s currently unparalleled levels of global user connectivity, the issue of interoperability will need to be overcome.
Self-custodial wallets like MetaMask, Crypto.com DeFi Wallet and Trust Wallet must make it as easy as possible for users to connect to all kinds of blockchains and cryptocurrencies. The temptation is great for them to monetize their position as gateways and extract heavy taxes from developers, as Apple has done with the app store.
At the time of writing, Crypto.com DeFi Wallet and Trust Wallet support more than 30 chains each, which is encouraging.
Web3 and Cross-Chain Bridges
Bridges are blockchain protocols that allow users to send cryptocurrency from one chain to the other. The main technical challenge of a bridge is to find a way to securely transmit messages from one chain to the other. Usually, this is done via a decentralized network of message relayers who need to reach majority con
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