Multi-chain solutions will transform the blockchain space from a ‘cool new technology’ to a mission-critical, fast-growing industry with wide adoption.
Some estimate that the blockchain industry market will be worth more than $40B by 2025. The total market capitalization of the cryptocurrency market has already surpassed $1.9 trillion. An ecosystem that was once defined by its close-knit community and exclusivity is now reaching governments, businesses, institutional investors, and individuals, all of whom are becoming more optimistic about the changing landscape.
With this newfound popularity, a fork in the road has appeared. We have reached the point in adoption where the number of users utilizing decentralized technology has surpassed the technology’s functionality. As a result, networks are frequently congested, and solutions are in high demand.
Scaling solutions: a bridge to the future
Many of the stumbling blocks now could be easily overcome with scaling solutions like bridges, parachains, and other features. These create seamless transitions for Web 3.0 users. Plus, they rely solely on shared visions of a multi-chain approach to the next wave of blockchain adoption.
The Ethereum scalability challenge
Almost all DeFi projects are now built on the Ethereum blockchain, which has become the standard default blockchain for many decentralized applications (DApps) and protocols.
Scalability on Ethereum, on the other hand, has presented numerous challenges. Costly gas fees, a complicated onboarding process, and unnecessary repetition and obstacles for developers aiming to create new DApps slow adoption.
Consequently, blockchains such as Binance Smart Chain, Solana, Cosmos, and layer-two solutions like Polygon have recently emerged, quickly solving some of the problems with building on Ethereum.
No Ethereum killers
Contrary to popular belief, these solutions are being implemented to provide a multi-chain approach to building for Web 3.0, not to “kill Ethereum.”
The number of blockchains and blockchain projects being built every day is increasing as developers try to capitalize on the technology’s capabilities. The increase is a tacit acknowledgement that no perfect solution will be able to address all blockchain needs at the same time.
More facilitation equals less competition
Rather than competing in a multi-chain world, there will be an ability to facilitate and interconnect new chains in order to improve the overall user experience. A multi-chain ecosystem would enable anyone to build anywhere with cross-chain protocols.
Solutions for Ethereum Virtual Machine compatibility are also becoming important pillars of the ecosystem. These solutions enable different blockchains to communicate with one another without the use of intermediaries, much like the internet does today.
Learning from the internet’s evolution
Like the internet before it, which was once disjointed and had its own set of scaling issues, blockchain technology must evolve from its current state — isolated chains — to a connected ecosystem. This will allow new and inexperienced users to reap the full benefits of ledger technology. The goal is to construct for commercial use.
DApps are now complex and expensive, in the same way that the World Wide Web was once described as “slow” and “crude.” Unlike the fluid experience provided by modern websites and apps such as YouTube or Instagram, the blockchain experience is defined and experienced by each moving part. As a result, actions that should be seamless become fragmented.
Multi-chain technologies will transform the experience from complicated chain-to-chain movements to continuous activities in which the end user has no idea which chain they are operating on.
If these blockchains were interoperable, data transmission from one to the other would be not only possible, but also secure and faster.
If history is any guide, the natural evolution of Web 3.0 will be the ultimate connector of on-chain communication and data-sharing. Whereas Web 2.0 made the internet more interactive, Web 3.0 will make it more accessible, inclusive, and semantic.
A future with multiple blockchains
Taking control of the existing blockchain complexities is critical to transforming blockchain into a high-growth industry.
Consider Ethereum and other major layer-one blockchains to be cities. They are more congested and more expensive, but they provide certain advantages. Layer-two blockchains and sidechains, on the other hand, are more like the suburbs. They are less crowded and may provide less security.
Users could have the best of both worlds if there was a proper means of happy high-fives between communities. In short, you don’t have to stick to your Polkadot tribe. Polygon can work, too.
To prepare for the mass adoption of Web 3.0, which will result in an influx of over a billion users, there must be plans for a multi-chain approach, which will eliminate complex transactions and ensure a frictionless experience for users.
Isn’t that, in the end, what it’s all about?
[Disclaimer: The writer is an investor in Polygon and Solana]
Jay Speakman is a technology writer based in San Francisco, California. He writes on the topics of blockchain, cryptocurrency, DeFi and other disruptive technologies. Clients include Avalanche, Be[in]Crypto, Trust Machines and several blogs devoted to blockchain gaming. He will not rest until fiat currency is defeated.