Two individual blockchains have been successfully linked, as Blocknet announced last night that Xbridge technology had for the first time allowed communications between nodes on two separate blockchains through their Xhub protocol.
Aiming to construct “the internet of blockchains,” the new protocol is designed to allow separate blockchains to inter-operate.
With no clear leader so far in this world of expanding blockchain implementation, every announcement of further development from one of the several groups in competition, edges them closer to a public launch and perhaps winning market-share. By announcing “the successful sending of a message between nodes on different blockchains” in a press release issued yesterday, Blocknet will be hoping to increase developer interest in the open source peer-to-peer protocol they have placed on Github.
Explaining that “mobile phones can scarcely run a full Bitcoin node” Blocknet aims to attract mobile developers through “API and an application platform, putting an open-ended array of services” that would allow “blockchain networks [to] become interoperable.”
However David Mondrus CEO at blockchainfactory.com which produces 'Mining Slicer', a tool which allows blockchain mining hardware to run simultaneously on multiple blockchains, questioned whether the market was currently in need of Blocknet's P2P link between blockchains. “I'm sure it'll get used in B2B communications, but how much of that will exist, and how they will monetize this model remains to be seen,” he explained.
In the second half of 2014 we've seen increasing attention paid to the underlying blockchain technology behind the rise of Bitcoin and related altcoins. The distributed validation and record keeping system has decentralized the arduous and potentially corruptible task of bookkeeping the billions of Bitcoin transactions, and its success in doing so has now led to multiple parties trying to implement these same benefits for other services and processes.
With 500 developers getting onboard with Maidsafe back in May, and Ethereum raising the BTC equivalent of US$15M in its pre-sale, the race between the blockchain 2.0 innovators to capture market-share appears ever-increasing, and Blocknet's announcement will surely work to raise interest in its mobile processor-friendly approach.
The team goes on to state that sending this first message across blockchain networks is just the beginning:
“The Blocknet’s next milestone is to achieve the ability to initiate transactions on one blockchain from a node on a different chain. This will enable distributed exchange of currencies and, ultimately, open-ended inter-chain functionality.”
This is a fundamental goal, but one which is common to an increasing number of competing parties.
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