The ICON network has long espoused blockchain interoperability.
Now, however, it is demonstrating concrete progress toward that goal.
The ICON Foundation unveiled on Thursday its Blockchain Transmission Protocol, or BTP, a technology that allows different blockchain protocols to communicate and interact with one another.
The Foundation writes on its Medium blog:
“BTP (Blockchain Transmission Protocol) is a standard that renders heterogeneous blockchains interoperable, including blockchains that entail completely different consensus models and algorithms. Here, we define interoperability as the ability to facilitate value transfer, service invocation, and data exchange. These siloed operating blockchains can securely anchor transactions through a universal standard as a trustless settlement layer.”
The Foundation cites a couple of possible use cases.
One is transferring tokens from one blockchain network — without using a central trading platform like a cryptocurrency exchange — through smart contracts.
Another would be exchanging data between ICONLOOP-powered enterprise partners such as MyID or Broof:
“Registered personal DID (Decentralized ID) data in the MyID application is verified on the public ICON Network, which then allows its owner to exchange messages to a public or private network that is interlinked via BTP, without having to resubmit their DID document and public key to each chain.
Another service on the public ICON network, Broof, which allows issuing and storing verified certificates on the blockchain. BTP can, for example, enable the automation of certificate issuance for a private chain. As illustrated in the above figure, issuance service is invoked to a Broof smart contract on the ICON Network through BTP.”
ICON’s cryptoeconomic architect BongAn Ha highlights the value of BTP, saying:
“BTP is a technology that can easily connect all blockchains that support smart contracts, and is a core technology that allows the ICON ecosystem to be expanded rapidly and easily. In particular, private blockchains that store sensitive data can exchange specific information with public blockchains, maintaining confidentiality of data, and connecting with public blockchains at the same time.”
If you’re really interested in how the protocol works, the Foundation’s Medium post provides the details, including standards and functions. They even run through a scenario of a public chain application verifying the ID of a user on a private chain — in this case, a rideshare app confirming a myID identity.
And if that wasn’t enough, the Foundation has also created this Youtube demonstration of the technology at work: