For blockchain based systems to gain wider adoption and achieve consumer scale in high growth industries like decentralized finance (DeFi), we need to quickly solve the scalability problems that have plagued the space since its inception. The industry, and our team at Akash, has tried many different approaches to solving this problem.
Three Approaches to the Blockchain Scalability Problem
One approach that a number of blockchain projects are taking to expand blockchain scalability is to develop faster databases with hardware, and increase transactions per second (TPS). However, there are limits to the scalability of individual computers, which in turn limits the scalability of chains that rely on individual computers. Another approach is to shard the blockchain. This approach is technically complicated, and there are many well funded teams working on it with little to show in terms of production systems.
With both these approaches, there are still unsolved technical problems, no working implementations, and solutions are at least a year away from deployment.
There is a third approach, called Inter-Blockchain Communication (IBC), led by Cosmos Network’s non-profit Interchain Foundation, that solves the scalability problem by enabling different blockchain protocols to communicate and transact with each other independently.
Inter-Blockchain Communication and Interoperability
The proposed IBC standard provides a framework to connect the global economy to the blockchain, and parties on existing blockchains will be able to interact and exchange with each other across chains.
In development for over three years, IBC is the flagship feature of the Cosmos Network. For crypto and blockchain, where interoperability and composability are essential to continued growth for decentralized sectors like DeFi, IBC is the most promising and production ready solution.
The ability to transact quickly across chains will be transformational for the industry.
So much so that Polkadot and Ethereum 2 are working to adopt IBC and join the broader interchain system.
Akash Partnership with Interchain Foundation
IBC will underlie the next generation of blockchain protocols. It’s no secret that Akash has been a committed proponent of Cosmos Network and Tendermint. We were early believers in Cosmos and Tendermint’s mission, technology, and community, and intentionally built our decentralized cloud marketplace with Cosmos SDK.
Today, we’re thrilled to announce that Akash Network is solidifying an essential position in the Cosmos ecosystem through partnership with the Interchain Foundation. We’re partnering with ICF to accelerate development of the IBC interoperability protocol.
With the ICF, we’ll be working on the leading edge of research, deploying live production systems to make IBC a reality. The ICF has awarded Akash with a grant to maintain and build the relayer for IBC. Critical to launching the protocol, the relayer is the user interface that will enable all transfers and transactions on IBC. It is the only way users will initially be able to use IBC.
IBC development has a legacy at Akash. As former Head of Product at Cosmos/Tendermint, I worked with Iqlusion founder Zaki Manian on Game of Zones, IBC’s successful testnet implementation. Leveraging my early work on IBC development, I will be leading Akash’s team in building the relayer, and Akash’s IBC implementation.
Through the work with IBC, Akash will be one of the first companies to implement and integrate IBC. With IBC, Akash DeCloud’s distinct and differentiating features like multi-currency settlement and the ability to pay for cloud compute using stablecoins (such as Kava’s USDX) will be coming much sooner, rather than later.
In the future, decentralized organizations (DAOs) will be able to purchase cloud compute programmatically on Akash DeCloud, over IBC, instead of relying on centralized exchanges or centralized cloud providers.
The Possibilities of Akash DeCloud with Inter-Blockchain Communication
Akash Network’s partnership with ICF, and our integral contribution to the development of IBC will enable us to adopt and benefit from interchain technologies faster than any other company.
Akash DeCloud, integrated with IBC, will enable more composability, innovation, and massive scaling for exciting decentralized sectors like DeFi.
And this is just the beginning.