Though the groundwork for the internet was being laid in the 1960s, January 1, 1983 is largely considered the internet’s official birthday, because it marks the adoption of Transfer Control Protocol/Internetwork Protocol (TCP/IP) – a universal language for all computers on different networks to communicate with each other.
Previously, the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) allowed select academic and research organizations contracted by the U.S. Department of Defense to share information across networks. But the co-designers of TCP/IP, imagining much broader internet adoption, designed TCP/IP to be “future-proof.”
The birth of web2 can similarly be thought of as the seamless interoperability between different cloud computing services within a single web application. Following suit, the birth of web3 hinges on the interoperability between different blockchains in an increasingly multi-chain world.
This is the impetus behind Chainlink’s Cross-Chain Interoperability Protocol (CCIP), a global communications standard for cross-chain messaging being developed by some of the world’s premier experts in cryptography and economics.
“There needs to be a single way for systems to communicate with each other on multiple important topics and those topics can be anything from a token movement, to the approval of something, to a signature, to a piece of data.”
Nazarov sees a multi-chain world enabling cross-chain smart contracts as an inevitable next step in the evolution of smart contracts, which have become increasingly complex with the advent of new Chainlink decentralized services, beginning with trust-minimized data provision and expanding into computation and random number generation.
Today, there are multiple decentralized applications using multiple Chainlink oracle networks like Data Feeds, Keepers, and VRF. CCIP, slated for release this year, will allow smart contracts using multiple oracle networks to be built across multiple blockchains.
“CCIP makes it so that you don’t have to build your application in any one chain,” Nazarov explained. He envisions a world where developers will build core code on several main blockchains while using other chains as storefronts. “This will be similar to how web2 applications are built on AWS, GCP, Azure and a few other clouds,” he said.
CCIP will employ the same level of security as the Chainlink oracles that currently secure the vast majority of DeFi.
“The appearance of decentralized data sources is what allowed DeFi to accelerate to where it is today,” Nazarov said. “Now our goal is to accelerate many other verticals with more data and with various computations and to accelerate the existence of more and more advanced smart contracts through the Cross-Chain Interoperability Protocol.”
Listen to Sergey Nazarov’s full conversation with David Nage on the Base Layer podcast.