In this article, we explore what is CCIP Chainlink and why we consider that this protocol is fundamental for the blockchain ecosystem.
Cross-Chain Interoperability Protocol (CCIP) provides a universal open standard for developers to build secure services and applications that can send messages, transfer tokens, as well as initiate actions across multiple blockchains.
This is very necessary to avoid blockchain breaches and ensure transaction security.
Understanding the Cross Chain interoperability problem
Recently, we saw several vulnerabilities and exploits over different token bridges, with billions in losses.
A blockchain bridge is a tool that lets you port assets from one blockchain to another, solving one of the main pain points within blockchains – a lack of interoperability in token transfers.
The problem is that, commonly, we try to move assets from L1 blockchains that don’t have a common protocol to communicate with each other.
We can understand this problem like that of two people who do not share the same language. To establish communication, these people will need a translator, a third party.
The translator can lie, and you will not realize as you do not know the other language. The translator in this case is a single point of failure and can mislead all the communication.
Something pretty similar to this occurs in the blockchain bridges. There is no common communication protocol between L1 blockchains. There is no way to transfer value without an off-chain mechanism, out of the network consensus.
Chainlink is a decentralized blockchain oracle network. Its purpose is to facilitate the transfer of tamper-proof data from off-chain sources to on-chain smart contracts.
It can check if the conditions of a smart contract are met without relying on anyone involved in the contract. This is done by connecting the contract to real-world information, events, payments, and other inputs.
Coming back to the human translator example, you can imagine the Chainlink consensus mechanism as a simultaneous request to several translators.
You can discover if someone is not translating correctly by checking the difference between the translations. The correct translation will emerge as the most frequent answer.
We will reward the good translators for doing the work correctly, and we will penalize the bad ones.
This capacity to facilitate trustless off-chain processes is the one that allows the creation of cross-chain interoperability mechanisms.
The network consensus mechanism acts as a mediator between contracts in different chains, enabling communication, like a translator.
In this way, Chainlink ensures a decentralized way of communication between different chains.
This enables the creation of smart contracts that can have different parts in different blockchains and communicate through CCIP.
Some use cases of Cross Chain Interoperability Protocol
CCIP for Bridges
Transfer assets from Blockchain A to Blockchain B implies an off-chain activity. At some point, we need to leave one blockchain and move to the other, moving out of the network’s consensus. This situation creates a single point of failure over the bridge process.
To bypass this, we need to use a decentralized mechanism for the bridge too. Chainlink with CCIP is a possible solution, as a universal interface and provides a decentralized network.
- On one side, this eliminates the need for developers to build separate bridges for inter-connectivity between individual chains.
- On the other side, Chainlink nodes can cryptographically sign and validate all cross-chain token transactions, mitigating any single point of failure.
Cross-chain smart contracts
Cross-chain smart contracts are decentralized applications that are composed of multiple different smart contracts deployed across multiple different blockchain networks which interoperate to create a single unified application.
This new design paradigm is a key step in the evolution of the multi-chain ecosystem.
Has the potential to create entirely new categories of smart contract use cases that leverage the unique benefits of different blockchains, sidechains, and layer-2 networks.
We hope this article has helped you understand what is Chainlink CCIP and why it is necessary for asset transfers between different blockchains.