We’ve called Map Protocol the “blockchain freeway for assets,” and that’s not a description we take lightly. Admittedly, it is an ambitious goal — making all blockchains interact with each other as if one (in layman’s terms) — but it is doable and outright necessary. This is because a lot of the market’s future is underpinned by its ability to be efficient as a means of exchange. Think about the success of the decentralized finance market now. Then, imagine what it could be if it were easier to send and use assets across blockchains, decentralized applications and DeFi services, all with little to no effort.
This is a holy grail that developers are working on at the moment. The solution to this problem often goes by the terminology “cross-chain communication,” but its implications are far more exciting than its technical-sounding name suggests.
Why do we need cross-chain communication?
The problem of getting blockchains to be compatible with each other is solvable through cross-chain communication, that is to say, the ability to talk to each other effectively as if they were the same network. However, as there are rules of engagement in each network, it can be difficult to get one particular asset working on another network.
The utopia of the blockchain ecosystem is to make it possible for any asset to function on any DApp. This is not an impossible goal, and the means by which we get there is through cross-chain communication.
The opportunities of cross-chain communication are simply too good to ignore, which is why it is a niche in the market itself. However, there’s a reason why progress is so limited and why improvements come at a methodical pace. Cross-chain assets have to ensure security, performance and reliability.
It gets more complicated as the more control is required to get the technical parameters just right, the less decentralized a network can become. Unfortunately, this is the approach many inter-chain projects are taking, and while they are showing success in interoperability, they are doing so at the cost of decentralization. Map Protocol changes all of this with its three-layer structure.
How does Map Protocol solve the problem?
Knowing that it is possible to facilitate cross-chain communication in a truly decentralized manner, we set about creating Map Protocol. The goal is to create a complete system that addresses the interoperability challenges of the space as comprehensively as possible.
We designed the three-layer system as follows:
- The application layer: An application layer driven by an automated market maker model for decentralized spot exchanges and cross-chain swaps, leading to better liquidity.
- The asset layer: Infrastructure freeway between other blockchains (cross-chain support), allowing assets to move freely between any chains.
- A dedicated chain for light clients: Using a chain dedicated to serving light clients to all interested chains.
Our solution is best described through an example, such as the Cosmos Hub. To communicate with the Cosmos Hub, we only need to follow the interchain standards specified in GitHub, Cosmos or inter-blockchain communication. Map Protocol functions such that we can build a module for the Map chain to perform this communication. We also develop and maintain a light client for the Cosmos Hub.
Likewise, we can create modules and light clients for other chains, all stored on a dedicated chain for light clients. To facilitate transparent and trustless assets vaults, a Map chain light client is deployed and maintained on all interested blockchains. All of this is completely decentralized.
Cooperating with the light client maintained by the Map chain, the smart contract serving as the asset vault can only be triggered by verifiable cross-chain messages. Throughout these vaults, one-stop boundless assets transfer between all connected blockchains is possible by wrapping all assets on the Map chain.
There are many potent advantages of such a system. Most importantly, it is decentralized, as it is secured by over 100 validators and maintained by thousands of relayers. Unlike existing interoperability solutions, it is also trustless as everything is driven by cryptographic proof. Capping this off is unbiased on-chain randomness that is forged by those relayers. Lastly, all of the cross-chain transactions incur nearly zero fees. Of course, this goes for compensation for Map Protocol (MAP) token swaps as well.
In order to serve as a blockchain freeway, we have to make that freeway “free.” That means no bottlenecks, no heavy gas fees, and a system that is free for everyone and anyone to use. The three-layer approach is the ideal way to do this while simultaneously maintaining decentralization.
Cross-chain communication will become a standard
The time is ripe for new solutions in the crypto space and we know the technology and solutions exist for implementation. The market is now in need of a unique solution that ties all of its varied services together. Should this barrier be broken, there will be much more growth on top of what the market is already experiencing.
This was just a primer on Map Protocol. As time goes by, you’ll begin to see more of Map Protocol in action. With the way the space is growing, we believe that it’s going to result in some revolutionary changes.
We will provide many more updates on Map Protocol in the weeks to come. Stay tuned.