What is interoperability-by-design and how does Earth⁶⁴'s data structure provide it?
Limitations of Blockchain Design
One of the major limitations of the blockchain ecosystem as it exists, is that each blockchain generally operates independently of other blockchains with no standard way for different blockchains to communicate and interoperate with each other.
It is still difficult for most blockchains to exchange data between each other, let alone facilitate frictionless, peer-to-peer transfer of digital assets, smart contract calls and proofs.
Existing solutions for blockchain interoperability involve the development of bridges, which are systems designed to exchange certain kinds of information between blockchains. Bridges can have a variety of different designs and purposes.
Each bridge has its own strengths and weaknesses, but invariably they cannot simultaneously be state-of-the-art secure, efficient in terms of complexity and cost, and permit genuine peer-to-peer exchange of data and assets. This may be because the bridge becomes another party involved in exchange, exacting fees in the process. Or it may be because the bridge introduces an additional attack surface over the blockchains it connects. Or it may be for some other reason due to fundamental limitations and trade-offs of existing approaches.
How Earth⁶⁴ Is Designed Differently
Earth⁶⁴ provides a data structure that securely manages the state of a digital asset, but it also forms an ecosystem of projects that leverage this data structure for a wide range of different assets classes and functionalities. One of the benefits of the data structure design for that ecosystem is that Earth⁶⁴'s Sato-Server specification and associated protocols ensures that any two projects' assets will be compatible with each other out of the box, no matter what those assets are and how they are managed in a given project's implementation.
Therefore, once a single bridge between two projects that respects the specification has been built, that same bridge will be able to connect any pair of projects in the ecosystem, subject to the limitations of a given bridge design. But the Sato-Server specification also permits genuine peer-to-peer asset exchange once an appropriate protocol is established to enable such exchanges. But this is another kind of bridge, such that once it's built, every project can take advantage of it if they so choose. Similarly, any new or improved bridge built in the future can likewise be leveraged directly by the entire community.
This is interoperability-by-design: Earth⁶⁴'s data structure is designed with interoperability in mind, ensuring that any two developers who follow the specification will build systems that are automatically interoperable with each other, without the developers needing to communicate with each other at any time.
Moreover, the bridges between projects can be built in such a way that they can be take advantage of Earth⁶⁴'s security-by-design, leading to distinct security advantages over traditional bridges. This is particularly true for peer-to-peer atomic swaps, because Earth⁶⁴ permits genuine peer-to-peer exchanges without any intermediaries. Bridges in the Earth⁶⁴ ecosystem can also leverage the extreme cost-efficiency of Sato-Servers, which don't require fees to be exacted in exchanges. In this way, Earth⁶⁴ enables unprecedented forms of interoperability of digital assets.
Earth⁶⁴ and the Blockchain Ecosystem
Of course, Earth⁶⁴ also connects to the larger blockchain ecosystem, and has interoperability benefits here as well. For once an Earth⁶⁴ project has built a bridge to a given blockchain, or built an interface to an existing bridge, it can open that interface to the entire Earth⁶⁴ community, again by designing to the Sato-Server specification. And it provides this ability to generalize connectivity to the entire community without needing to sacrifice security or decentralization.
With the ability to provide interoperability-by-design, Earth⁶⁴ solves many hard practical problems with elegance and simplicity by incorporating them into the design of a novel data structure.
Interoperability is not the only problem Earth⁶⁴ solves by-design. In future articles I will discuss other challenging problems that the Earth⁶⁴ data structure solves in its simple and elegant design. Stay tuned!