How Cardano Joining IBC Amps up Sidechain Connectivity

Cardano leaps into the IBC network, weaving a web of blockchain connectivity that spans Cosmos, eyes Ethereum, and beyond.

Robot working on a Cardano coin in a wireframe landscape.
Created by Gabor Kovacs from DailyCoin
  • Interoperability is a key to blockchain‘s mass adoption and seamless connectivity.
  • Cardano boosts interoperability with its IBC integration.
  • The IBC protocol tackles the challenges of blockchain interoperability.

Blockchain interoperability refers to different chains being able to exchange data and assets, which is crucial for fostering crypto adoption and ecosystem growth. By connecting siloed chains, interoperability solutions enable networks to share resources and expand their capabilities and reach.

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Cardano recently announced it has joined the Inter-Blockchain Communication (IBC) alliance, significantly expanding its interoperability capabilities. This integration connects Cardano to a network of over 115 blockchains, enhancing its connectivity with other networks.

Cardano Signs Up to IBC

The Cardano Foundation (CF) announced its entry into the IBC alliance, with plans to integrate the protocol using Cardano’s native technologies, including Aiken smart contracts and the Mithril scaling solution.

Sebastian Bode, CF director of engineering, provided insights into what this implementation means for Cardano and how it will be achieved. Bode emphasized that IBC integration would greatly improve Cardano’s connectivity, linking it to the interchain ecosystem of over 115 Cosmos SDK-based interconnected blockchains.

This integration broadens Cardano’s reach across the wider blockchain ecosystem, but it also provides an option for connecting Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM)-based sidechains to the Cardano network.

The IBC protocol originates from the Cosmos ecosystem and leverages the Cosmos SDK framework. This framework is used to build multi-asset proof-of-stake blockchains, with notable examples including Akash, Kava, and Crypto.com’s CRO network.

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The IBC integration aims to enable reliable transactions and data exchanges across different blockchain networks while maintaining Cardano’s robust security and fee structure.

Cardano’s IBC integration will take the form of a sidechain development, which Bode stated offers significant advantages for businesses. A sidechain is a separate blockchain that runs parallel to the main chain, connected through a two-way peg design.

Bode believes this approach will benefit businesses by providing flexibility in tailoring blockchain solutions, improved scalability for handling higher transaction volumes, opportunities for cross-platform innovation, and optimized operational efficiency.

Cardano’s sidechain IBC integration offers numerous benefits for businesses, but grasping the basics of IBC is essential to fully understand its impact.

Connectivity is Key 

IBC is an innovative interoperability protocol linking over a hundred chains, including major networks like Ethereum and Cosmos, with Solana integration in progress.

The protocol offers a permissionless connection for relaying data between blockchains, addressing the critical need for seamless communication in the fragmented blockchain landscape and fostering greater collaboration across the entire crypto space.

Diagram detailing how the IBC protocol works.
IBC protocol diagram

IBC is inspired by the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), which standardizes communication across diverse systems on the World Wide Web. Similarly, IBC acts as a communication standard for blockchains, enabling different networks to interact while preserving their unique characteristics and qualities. This standardization is key to creating a more unified and interoperable blockchain ecosystem.

IBC’s architecture features two key layers: the Transport Layer and the Application Layer. The Transport Layer, akin to TCP, manages the mechanics of inter-blockchain communication through light clients, connections, channels, and relayers. It securely moves and authenticates data packets between chains, forming the backbone of IBC and ensuring reliable data transfer across diverse blockchain networks.

The Application Layer builds on the Transport Layer by providing user-facing modules for functions like token transfers and interchain accounts. These modular components allow developers to create a range of cross-chain applications, utilizing IBC’s standardized protocol for integration between chains.

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This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs pose a considerable risk of loss.

Author
Samuel Wan

Samuel Wan is a finance professional turned crypto journalist, known for his insightful reporting on market trends, regulatory changes, and technological developments within the digital asset industry. His ability to simplify complex concepts and report the facts has made him a trusted source in the crypto community. Beyond his writing, Samuel is an active mountain biker and gamer.