Blocknet (/blok’ net/; BLOCK) launched in 2014, the outgrowth of a thought experiment around how to develop a generic blockchain interoperability protocol. This premise was extrapolated far into the future and presumes the need for communication between discrete blockchains as a compelling and crucial one to support a robust cryptoeconomy. The simple analogy of equating blockchains to individual computing devices almost automatically begs the question: how will these various blockchains become interconnected? This decentralized network, facilitated by the Blocknet, is thought of as laying the groundwork for an “internet of blockchains.”
The goal of such a network is to facilitate the growth of blockchain micro-services and the monetization of APIs, or in other words, a token ecosystem where separate blockchains are able to share data and easily transfer resources. It serves as a protocol which will create the necessary architecture for such a system. Its most basic functionality is entirely decentralized and modular in design so as to pave the way for a myriad of unique cryptoeconomic use cases. The Blocknet’s perspective is that maximum value and utility are retained only in such an agnostic and completely trustless environment.
Components and Structure
The Blocknet consists of three core components: an inter-chain network overlay (XBridge), a blockchain router (XRouter) and a peer-to-peer data transport (XChat). These allow for the network to act as a generic infrastructure instead of a centralizing monolith by enabling connectivity, data lookup and communications. The Blocknet blockchain itself is secured by proof of stake and utilizes a network of Service Nodes (aka SNODES) which allow the operators to vote on community and team proposals regularly. Funding for these proposals is through the periodic minting of new BLOCK tokens in a “superblock”.
Momentum and Achievement
Since the outset, the project has seen steady development of its specific strain of decentralized interoperability architecture. A recent milestone was the successful implementation of XRouter which allows for information to be called from a blockchain without the need for storing a complete copy of it locally.
Currently the Blocknet developers and community have been hard at work developing a decentralized exchange, the first dApp to be built on the protocol. This dApp, known as BlockDX, utilizes atomic swaps and can be used in an entirely permissionless fashion. Blocknet was also awarded the Best Technology Best Blockchain Technology Developer category at the 2018 Block Awards event in Amsterdam.
The Blocknet’s source code is open-source and contributors are welcome to become involved to the extent of their abilities, time and desire to so allow. This is in keeping with its expressed desire to keep the project’s objectives closely aligned with supporting absolute personal sovereignty.
If the above has aroused your curiosity, take a look at this deeper dive into the complex structure of Blocknet.
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