In the Horizen Sidechain Model, all the sidechains interact with the mainchain to transfer coins, which means that coins need to be securely transferred between mainchain and sidechains. In order to allow all of that, The Horizen engineering team is developing a new protocol. We architected a unique protocol that must be used by all sidechains to transfer coins back to the mainchain, named: “Cross-chain Transfer Protocol.”
The first type of transfer consists of a regular transaction from the mainchain to the Sidechain, while the second type is a transfer that is initiated in Sidechain, and then propagated to mainchain.
The second type of transfer is especially tricky because the mainchain does not keep track of the Sidechain, so it is not able to directly verify this kind of transfer. This could be easily addressed by using a trusted party that guarantees the validity of such transfer, but this would lead to centralization. To avoid this, and allow mainchain to validate transfers from Sidechain, we are adopting a revolutionary approach that makes the Horizen Sidechain completely decentralized and unfederated. The Cross-Chain Transfer Protocol is ongoing final phases of rigorous mathematical verification, which will be published soon!
Decoupled Consensus Protocol
Another important element to be mentioned is that our model will provide \”decoupled consensus between chains\”. We refer to the fact that the protocol is consensus agnostic, so each sidechain can adopt the desired consensus protocol, i.e. PoW, PoS.
Not only we are we working on Cross-chain Transfer Protocol, but we are also building a sidechain SDK, which can be considered as a platform to develop sidechains. We started from the idea that each sidechain is a full blockchain application, requiring the implementation of components like:
- network layer
- and many other elements…
Most sidechains, beyond their specific logic and data, can be based on the same implementation (Consensus, transactions, …). Concluding, what we are ultimately going to provide is a platform implementation that addresses most of these aspects, letting the sidechain developer focus only on their specific features, with absolutely no limitations.