Cross-chain messaging ensures blockchains can talk to one another, reducing fragmentation in this fast-moving industry.
Zhaojun, co-founder of Multichain, tells us why it matters — and what could happen to networks that fail to embrace this "revolutionary headwind."
1. Hello! Why is cross-chain messaging so necessary?
As we can all see, a multi-chain ecosystem is beginning to take shape in Web3 — and the necessity for communication between blockchains is growing.
After going through various stages of evolution, Web3 DApps have now reached the point where they can execute on a single chain while being deployed on multiple chains. The operational logic, however, is still fragmented, which leads to problems like liquidity fragmentation and DApp cloning.
To address this, multiple blockchain networks should be more integrated. The level of integration is only possible when chains share business logic level information, like smart contracts and block data, with one another — not just liquidity. That way, users and liquidity are not confined to one ecosystem, — instead, they are efficiently managed by their free flow across networks.
2. Can you tell us in basic terms what anyCall does?
anyCall a generic cross-chain messaging infrastructure to exchange arbitrary data. It is a system of smart contracts and an open-source, off-chain, decentralized validator network based on SMPC that works together to make cross-chain communication possible.
Think of blockchains as parallel lines, they never meet. In anyCall, the off-chain validator network has access to a set of smart contracts on the connected chains that they're licensed to read and execute.
Any message that needs to be transmitted is sent to these contracts, from where it is picked up and transmitted by these validators. The system is designed for flexibility and security, making it well-suited for many networks.
3. Multichain describes itself as "the ultimate router for Web3" — what have been some of your achievements so far?
We boast of Multichain as the ultimate router for Web3 because we manage the majority of cross-chain traffic.
With $2.54 billion in TVL, Multichain is the most sought-after cross-chain solution for many DApps and thousands of users.
Our router connects more than 60 chains, and helps over 1,000 projects become multi-chain — with $87 billion in cross-chain volume among more than 720,000 users.
4. How have crypto projects and DeFi protocols benefited from anyCall so far?
anyCall has paved the way for monumental improvements in capital efficiency for multiple DApps, and one of its significant beneficiaries is Curve Finance.
With disparities in reward ratio for the same token pool on other networks, Curve's liquidity gauges and reward distribution logic started to fall apart when it expanded to other networks.
When Curve integrated anyCall, the pools still operated in their respective ecosystems, but the rewards were now distributed based on the cumulative activity of all the pools, across all networks. anyCall provided the means for Curve smart contracts to exchange the necessary information to make that possible.
5. There are many blockchains in existence now. Are you confident that anyCall can end up connecting all of them?
There are many blockchains in Web3 today — and as the industry grows, we expect the introduction of many more EVM and non-EVM blockchains with time, a feature we believe to be essential for mass adoption.
We can support mostly EVM and non-EVM blockchains with TSS technology. At the same time, in the future, anyCall will also be compatible with IBC protocols such as Cosmos and Polkadot.
To be futureproof, we adopted a modular design for anyCall. Its off-chain trustless mechanism is agnostic to the data being transmitted and anyCall's smart contracts can be programmed to support new blockchains when the need arrives.
This design when paired with anyCall's decentralized security makes us incredibly confident in its ability to make the whole of Web3 interconnected.
6. A recurring problem for blockchain technology lies in how it's difficult for everyday consumers to use. What are you doing to address this?
We agree that the process of interacting with multiple chains, token standards and keys is something only enthusiasts enjoy. Simplifying cross-chain interaction, a cleaner UI/UX, and having to execute fewer steps in general while using DeFi services are essential for further adoption.
Multichain caters to this need on two fronts. We strive to integrate more blockchains into our ecosystem to eliminate having to look for workarounds that involve multiple networks, bridges, DEXs, and CEXs. Furthermore, anyCall eliminates DApp cloning and lets users access other chains with just one transaction, reducing the complexity of using multi-chain DApps.
anyCall's vision is to promote the development of truly cross-chain DApps, an application and business logic that uses anyCall to simultaneously architect on multiple blockchains. This will enrich applications on the blockchain, advance the further evolution of existing applications such as DeFi, and promote the emergence of applications with public-facing service capabilities.
7. If your infrastructure is widely adopted, will there be any point in there being different blockchains at all?
We use multiple blockchains because the scalability trilemma limits the scope of one network.
With anyCall, users no longer need to make a choice and bear the trade-offs, as we leverage the strengths of multiple networks. For instance, one may auction an NFT on optimism and let users on Avalanche participate with $AVAX.
We perceive a multi-chain future with thousands of chains tailor made for incredibly specific purposes and then, technologies like anyCall will be indispensable.
8. You're confident anyCall could have huge benefits for DApps — can you tell us more?
Apart from enriching UX and easing DApp development, anyCall can help optimize the broader economy of Web3 as well.
For instance, liquidity fragmentation has been a persistent complication in DeFi. It arises when liquidity is limited within a network, causing price disparities and uneven supply and demand.
With anyCall, DEXs can essentially form cross-chain liquidity pools, concatenate stablecoins and develop multi-chain economies.
Furthermore, metaverses and NFTs integrated with anyCall would jump platforms — and this can unlock some interesting applications. There may be use cases that we haven't thought of yet.
9. Gas fees are a big concern for many crypto users. Does anyCall offer any big benefits here?
anyCall does not inherently reduce gas prices, but it can be utilized for improving the gas payment experience for users.
For instance, DApps may provide the facility to pay gas fees for multiple chains with tokens on just one chain, and anyCall can be leveraged to build such an infrastructure.
Multichain has even built a DApp called Fiver for Gas to demonstrate such a capability. It allows users to acquire a small number of native tokens on select chains to pay for gas with their stablecoin funds on another chain.
10. What will happen to blockchain networks that don't take cross-chain messaging more seriously?
Cross-chain messaging is a revolutionary headwind that has evolved from a gimmick to the most essential feature of DeFi.
We foresee a multi-chain future where the execution layer of multiple networks is so interconnected that they operate as a cohesive entity, with an unprecedented exchange of liquidity, data and information.
Cross-chain messaging is the only solution to issues like liquidity fragmentation, DApp cloning, and complicated UX that have plagued Web3 since its inception. Therefore, if the blockchain networks do not adapt to this development, they face risks of isolation and irrelevance.
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