ICON (ICX), South Korea’s largest public blockchain project, released its Blockchain Transmission Protocol (BTP) on May 28. 

The protocol enables interoperability between individual blockchains, facilitating value transfer, service invocation and data exchange.

Connecting the chains

As blockchain technology has evolved, the multitude of competing networks springing up have largely been content to isolate themselves, occasionally looking at others for inspiration, but rarely fully interacting with one another. 

ICON however, has always stated its mission to “Hyperconnect the World”, and this latest release is a large step towards that goal.

BTP is an interoperability protocol, which allows distinct stand-alone blockchains to interact and communicate with each other, including those with completely different consensus models and algorithms. It also allows for interoperability between public and private blockchains.

Real world uses

The killer app for this kind of interoperability is to be able to transfer tokens between different blockchains. ICON claims that:

“BTP facilitates such transfer directly through smart contracts, from one chain to another without using a central trading platform, at the protocol level.”

Other potential uses include the verifying of data, such as a decentralized identity, through cross-chain communication, and the automation of services on one blockchain being triggered from and for the benefit of another.

Lets get talking

BTP connects networks via message relayers, which are independent of the blockchains, and message centers, verifiers, and service handlers, which must be implemented on each blockchain via smart contracts.

Blockchains which do not support smart contracts can only participate as a sender, not as a receiver of messages.

While a single implementation of BTP connects two blockchain networks, these networks can also connect to other networks through further BTP implementations, creating an interconnected and interoperable web of blockchains.

As Cointelegraph reported, ICON last month unveiled its new consensus algorithm, improving scalability and bandwidth while maintaining security.