Rangers Protocol Relay Chain: Heterogeneous Cross-Chain in the True Sense
From the day Bitcoin was born to today, blockchain development has accumulated 13 years of experience, continuously innovating consensus algorithms, block structure, and expansion protocols fields. Such constant growth has formed a scenario that allows numerous blockchain projects to bloom. One of such projects is Rangers Protocol. One big difference between other projects and Rangers Protocol is that it is a blockchain infrastructure, which fulfills its mission of creating an open world for the future.
As we have described in the other articles before, Rangers Protocol was born based on real users’ real needs. Therefore, Rangers Protocol insists on polishing every module and detail when speaking of technical framework design and implementation. Our readers have already learned about the Rangers Protocol virtual machine and the consensus mechanism. Today, it’s time we talk about Rangers Protocol’s cross-chain technology — relay chain.
What Is Cross-chain?
From the perspective of asset transactions, cross-chain means that assets initially stored on a specific blockchain can be converted into assets on another chain, thereby realizing value circulation.
From a technical point of view, the core problem of cross-chain can be classified as the synchronization problem of heterogeneous data sources. Heterogeneous data sources refer to multiple data sources with different data structures, access methods, and forms. The goal of synchronizing heterogeneous data is to realize the integration and sharing of data information resources between data of different structures and establish a globally unified data or view through various tools and processing logic.
In the blockchain, solving heterogeneous data synchronization is called heterogeneous cross-chain. It refers to the bridging between different chain structures and is also called the underlying Internet protocol of the blockchain world. It can bridge and merge all public chains of the blockchain. This way, problems such as the lack of a unified standard for data among the existing public chains and the difficulty of development can be solved.
What Makes Cross-chain Technology So Useful?
The emergence of multiple blockchain projects has led to the existence of communication barriers between different chains. The entire blockchain ecosystem is fragmented, making it impossible to carry out the high-speed network value and information circulation.
The ideal state to realize the circulation of assets and information between multiple chains is to transfer assets and data between chains freely. Even while running products on one chain while exploiting other chains, for example, enjoying the performance of chain A while taking advantage of the community and ecology of chain B.
Cross-chain technology came into being specifically to realize these ideas.
Existing Cross-Chain Solutions And Their Characteristics
So far, mainstream blockchain cross-chain technical solutions are mainly divided into three categories according to their specific implementation methods, namely hash lock, notary mechanism, and side-chain/relay chain.
Hash lock supports the exchange of atomic assets across chains through time difference and hidden hash value. However, it cannot transfer assets or information, and its use scenarios are limited.
The notary mechanism is essentially an intermediary method. Two blockchains introduce a mutually trusted third party as an intermediary to verify and forward cross-chain messages. It solves the problem that the two chains cannot directly interoperate. The advantage of such a mechanism is that it can flexibly support various blockchains with different structures, but there is a risk of centralization.
The side chain refers to another blockchain with the functions of a particular chain that can read and verify the information on the main chain. The side chain mechanism can provide relatively rich cross-chain interaction scenarios.
The relay chain is a combination of the side chain and the notary mechanism. It has access to the key information of the two chains that require and verify the interoperability and transfers the cross-chain messages of the two chains. From this perspective, the relay chain is a decentralized notary mechanism. At present, the two most active cross-chain projects in the industry, Cosmos and Polkadot, both use a multi-chain and multi-layer architecture based on the relay chain. Cosmos currently supports cross-chain asset interaction, while Polkadot provides any type of cross-chain interaction. Whether it is an asset cross-chain or any cross-chain kind of interaction, it depends on the chain’s security and the relay part of the main network.
The relay part is the part responsible for information transmission. The simplest model is the gateway, the primary function of which is information transmission and translation. After the upgrade, it is the relay node to perform the information communication process. When this part has its own ledger and consensus, it will have higher security. It can be a part of protecting other chains. In Cosmos and Polkadot, the relay level part is very high. The relay nodes are part of the main network nodes, and the data synchronized by the full nodes is the chain general ledger. The nodes of the relay also include the nodes of the lower chain. That is, the ledgers of the lower chain and the relay chain are also synchronized. The consensus of the relay chain protects the security of the lower chain ledger, and the lower chain also participates in the consensus process of the relay chain.
Rangers Protocol Cross-Chain Technology And Asset Transfer Process
Unlike Polkdot’s cross-chain focus on the connection between parallel chains, Rangers Protocol focuses on linking Ethereum and directly targets many developers in the Ethereum ecosystem. Rangers Protocol’s relay chain technology connects two independent underlying public chains, which are heterogeneous cross-chains in the true sense.
The Rangers Protocol technical team named the Rangers Protocol heterogeneous cross-chain basic framework Rangers Connector. Although the implementation of the relay chain is very complicated, Rangers Protocol still uses this solution due to its utterly decentralized nature.
Due to the complexity of the information foundation between heterogeneous chain architectures, heterogeneous cross-chain is very difficult. That includes differences in block header structure, encryption algorithms, consensus mechanisms, message verification mechanisms, and state storage methods.
Therefore, it is necessary to technically ensure the reliability of information interaction and the security of the chain network system to ensure that the status information generated by the protogenesis chain is passed through the intermediate transmission. The cross-chain information of the original chain received on the target chain has not been tampered with. Despite the difficulty of development, Rangers Protocol hopes to realize that digital assets can flow smoothly between Rangers Protocol and other public chains. A heterogeneous cross-chain is a link that must be implemented.
At this stage, Rangers Protocol focuses on linking to Ethereum and directly targets a large number of developers in the Ethereum ecosystem. The realization of heterogeneous cross-chains breaks the barriers of information interaction between chains of different underlying technologies. It makes it easier for Ethereum developers to develop complex applications directly on Rangers Protocol without worrying about asset transfer.
Digital assets can run unimpeded between Rangers Protocol and Ethereum, based on the concept of decentralization. Rangers Protocol adopts a consensus system based on the relay chain and the smart contract for verifying multiple signatures deployed, whether it is the transfer of public chain assets to Rangers Protocol or putting assets on the public chain. Through such a double guarantee mechanism, Rangers Protocol avoids the risk of centralization and ensures the safety of users’ assets.
Thus, how can the assets in Rangers Protocol be transferred in both directions with Ethereum through the relay chain? In the overall architecture of Rangers Protocol cross-chain, Rangers Connector is responsible for completing the interconnection with each public chain, while Rangers Protocol Mainnet nodes and Ethereum are the actual bearers of cross-chain data.
1. Ethereum NFT Transfer To Rangers Protocol
For example, users send NFT asset-locked transactions to lock the assets to a specific contract. The Ethereum public chain packs these transactions into blocks. Rangers Connector node receives the public chain block through the P2P network and parses the public chain asset data. If the asset data is correct, the relevant data is formatted according to the cross-chain protocol to generate cross-chain transactions. Then blocks are generated according to the PoW (Proof of Work) consensus of the relay chain, and the cross-chain transactions are packaged when the blocks are generated. Rangers Mainnet node receives the relay chain block and verifies it according to the PoW consensus algorithm of the relay chain. After the verification is successful, the Ethereum asset is stored in Rangers Protocol. This completes the transfer from public chain assets to Rangers Protocol.
2. Rangers Protocol NFT Transfer To Ethereum
Suppose a user submits an application transaction for NFT to re-list on Ethereum to Rangers Mainnet. In that case, the transaction includes the NFT to be added to the chain and the corresponding on-chain address. After the Rangers Mainnet node verifies the user’s NFT assets, it locks it and packs the transaction into a block simultaneously. The Rangers Connector node receives the Mainnet’s block generation information and, after verifying the block, parses all transactions in the block. If there is a cross-chain transaction, it parses out the corresponding data and generates a cross-chain transaction. Rangers Connector node generates a block according to the PoW consensus of the relay chain. When the block is generated, the cross-chain transaction is packaged. The Connector node calls the contract through the Ethereum SDK. After the Ethereum contract collects a threshold number of multi-signatures, it writes the user’s NFT data into the contract to complete the process of Rangers Protocol NFT assets to the public chain.
The Commercial Value Of The Rangers Protocol Relay Chain
Rangers Protocol’s vision is to become a bridge for the circulation of blockchain assets, connecting various public chains. This will allow digital assets to seamlessly flow between Rangers Protocol and public chains. Rangers Protocol used the bridge and cross-chain technologies in its version 1.5 to empower games. Rangers Protocol 2.0 upgrades bridging and cross-chain technologies to a relay chain based on the PoW consensus mechanism and supports the circulation of existing Ethereum assets in Rangers Protocol. Rangers Protocol’s heterogeneous cross-chain solves data heterogeneity and realizes the circulation of assets between chains of different underlying technologies. This simplifies the development environment for developers and improves the NFT’s commercial value capture capabilities.
The Rangers Protocol ecosystem is supported by not only a single excellent technology but a complete and high-performance underlying infrastructure that is formed under the interaction of various strong technical modules. At present, we have introduced the REVM (Rangers Protocol Ethereum Virtual Machine), the Rangers Protocol consensus mechanism, and the Rangers Protocol relay chain technology. NFT standard protocol and token economy series will be introduced in the future.
Just as people’s awareness of the blockchain industry and even NFT continues to deepen, Rangers Protocol technology is constantly upgraded and improved.
About Rangers Protocol
Rangers Protocol is the backbone of a Web3 Engine for creating immersive Web3 applications. It minimizes the development difficulty for Web3 developers and maximizes the user experience of its Web3 applications. Rangers Protocol provides comprehensive infrastructures for efficient complex-app development, successful cross-chain and mass distribution, diverse in-app NFT and DeFi features, and more. Through its full EVM-compatibility, strategic industry partnerships and its curated all-in-one IDE, Rangers Protocol supports AAA and indie developers to succeed in the Web3 world.