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As more blockchains continue to be launched, the phrase blockchain interoperability becomes more popular. In this guide, we will explore various interoperable blockchains and explain the importance of this concept.

Blockchain Interoperability Defined

Blockchain interoperability is the ability of blockchains to communicate with each other, making it possible for crypto users to transfer their digital assets from one network to another easily. Additionally, the concept allows the development of dApps (decentralized applications) that can run on multiple chains.

What is the Importance of Blockchain Interoperability?

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As more sectors adopt blockchain technology, the need for interoperability increases. Unfortunately, most of the existing layer-1 chains do not have the interoperability feature, which may hinder blockchain technology’s progress.

As stated before, interoperability is important since it enhances flexibility, allowing Web3 developers to build cross-chain dApps. Moreover, this concept enables private and public blockchains to co-exist by facilitating data sharing between them.

How Blockchain Interoperability is Achieved

Several solutions have been created to allow layer-1 networks to be interoperable. Some include:

Token Bridges

What token bridges do is facilitate the transfer of digital assets from one chain to another. Each bridge has its own process for executing these transfers. For instance, some bridges have adopted the lock-and-mint mechanism, where the crypto assets to be transferred are locked in the source blockchain while a smart contract on the destination chain mints new tokens that are compatible with that network.

On the other hand, there are token bridges that use the burn-and-mint mechanism, which involves burning crypto assets on the source blockchain and minting the exact amount of those assets on the destination network.

Atomic Swaps

By using smart contracts, Atomic swaps platforms allow users to exchange cryptocurrencies across various blockchains. This means you can swap a crypto asset on one chain and receive another built on a different blockchain.


Sidechains run independently even though there is a two-way bridge connecting them to their parent blockchains. That bridge can be used to move tokens from mainnets to the sidechains and vice versa.

Interoperability Protocols

These protocols focus on making blockchain interoperability possible by bringing together several chains that can seamlessly interact with each other.

Pros and Cons of Blockchain Interoperability


Since interoperability can help private and public chains communicate with one another, it opens up an opportunity for various companies to collaborate.

Further, this concept lets crypto users move their digital assets from one chain to another, thus enabling them to explore various investment opportunities on multiple blockchains.


Blockchains haven’t adopted the same security measures, meaning there is a chance that some a less secure. Therefore, you risk losing your tokens when you transfer them to a blockchain with weak security protocols.

In addition, transaction speeds vary from one network to another. So, you may encounter a poor user experience when you move your crypto to a chain that executes transactions slowly.

Leading Interoperable Blockchain Protocols


Polkadot features public and private blockchains, popularly known as parachains, which can communicate with each other thanks to the protocol’s connectivity layer, Polkadot Relay Chain. It is worth mentioning that the Bitcoin blockchain can also enjoy Polkadot’s interoperability feature using bridges.

So who is the founder of this protocol? Polkadot was launched in 2020 by Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood.


Cosmos allows developers to build interoperable blockchains on the protocol, which communicate with one another using the Inter-Blockchain Communication (IBC) layer. Therefore, users can transfer tokens across these chains seamlessly.


This Web3 project builds decentralized bridges with the aim of making independent blockchains interoperable. In early 2022, Wanchai developed a bridge between Ethereum and Bitcoin, allowing them to communicate.

Using Wanchain bridges, users can make cross-chain transfers for both fungible and non-fungible tokens. The protocol was launched in 2017 by Jack Lu.


Although several projects already offer interoperability solutions, it is important that layer-1 blockchain developers build protocols with this concept in mind going forward to meet the increasing demand for cross-chain transfers.

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James Davis

By James Davis

James Davis is a prominent crypto writer and analyst at Herald Sheets, recognized for his well-researched articles and thorough analysis of the dynamic digital currency market. Holding a degree in Economics from Harvard University, James combines his academic background with a keen interest in cryptocurrency to provide readers with the latest industry insights and trends.