Cross-Chain refers to a technology that enhances the interconnectivity between relatively independent blockchain networks. This technology enables different blockchains to communicate with one another in order to exchange data and value.
The Long Explanation
Cross-chain technologies are seen as a critical part of the future of blockchain. These solutions help move blockchains from a slew of isolated ecosystems to an interoperable network of ecosystems, thus improving the usefulness and practicality of the distributed ledger systems.
Originally seen as comprehensive solutions for all types of transactions and contracts, blockchains were designed to be closed systems. With new blockchains being developed every day for differing use cases, and existing blockchains proving difficult to innovate or scale further, interconnectivity was needed.
With cross-chain technologies, it is now possible for independent blockchains to communicate and share data seamlessly. This means data carried by a blockchain can now be seen, read, understood, and acted upon by another blockchain with minimal effort.
Cross-chain also eliminates the need for centralized systems within the blockchain space, ensuring communication is possible without intermediaries or third parties.
Examples of Cross-Chain Implementation
1. Decentralized Exchanges: Cross-chain technologies are at the heart of decentralized exchanges (DEX) which enable asset swapping and transfer across blockchains. Popular cross-chain DEXs today include Curve, SushiSwap, and Poly Network.
2. Cosmos: Known as a blockchain of blockchains, Cosmos is a massive cross-chain project. It supports the development of other blockchains, all of which are interconnected via a central protocol called the Hub.