Introduction To IRISNet Bifrost


Oct 15, 2020

4 min read

Introduction To IRISNet Bifrost

Hi Readers👩‍💻,

A couple of weeks ago, IRISnet announced Bifrost, a decentralized finance and interchain Testnet. We’ve reported about it in our newsletter, but figured the subject deserves an in-depth look. So, in this article, we’ll take you through an introduction of Bifrost. But first, let’s have a look at why decentralized finance (DeFi) is such a hot subject in the blockchain world these days.

DeFi or decentralized finance is based on the idea that crypto entrepreneurs can recreate traditional financial instruments in a decentralized architecture, outside of organizations and governments control. Ethereum is the most known DeFi application “provider”: most DeFi projects have chosen to build on Ethereum. Well-known Dapps such as Aave or Uniswap, built on Ethereum, now have more than $1bn+ in Total Value Locked (TVL).

However, new DeFi products have taken over the market, which does not necessarily use the congested Ethereum network, such as project Serum built on Solana, or the brand new Kava platform. In an interview with Forbes Magazine, Salis Desphande, a partner at Bain Capital Ventures who leads the firm’s crypto investments, said: “The most powerful effects of DeFi applications will take shape over the long term.”. With that, he means examples such as Venezuela, where a steep drop in oil prices and poor government policies like printing vast amounts of money have crushed the economy. “Decentralized financial applications “can make our financial systems more transparent, more resilient, and less fragile”.

So, in essence, DeFi is a matter of independence that consumers are waiting to have after the many financial disasters of the years. Why not have complete control over your own money? After all, you know the most about your own financial goals.

🥶 BiFrost, The Next Step of IRISnet

In an earlier article, we discussed Stargate, the next step in the “internet of blockchains” quest of the Cosmos Network. IRISnet is connected to the Cosmos Hub. Because it’s such an essential and iconic time for Cosmos when the vision of interoperability is finally coming together, they naturally felt they couldn’t just take a step back.

So, to demonstrate its support for Cosmos’s vision, the IRISnet team planned the upgrade of the IRIS Hub along with the Bifrost Testnet. Bifrost runs side by side with Stargate Testnet to test the new features of IRISnet and to also test the multi-HUB collaboration through the IBC protocol. Bifrost Testnet was launched on September 2nd, 2020.

That said, what are the goals for this new, brightly-shining, eye-catching Testnet? First things first, the Tesnet should verify the unique features of IRIS Hub V1.0 and test the IBC communication discussed above. Additionally, the Testnet should get validators well-prepared for the future. It’s known in the PoS blockchain world that a network’s development and growth are tightly connected to the skills and competence of the validators, and this is even more true in critical moments such as the preparation for upgrades.

Thirdly, the Testnet will help app, wallets, and DEX developers better understand the technical steps needed to test and make Inter-Blockchain Communication’s (IBC) functionalities available in their applications.

💻 The implementations for IRIS Hub v1.0

All these new features and changes brought by Bifrost in the IRIS Hub significantly impact the IRIS Hub v1.0. Therefore, it is vital to understand what each of these changes will imply.

First, there will be major refactoring of the IRIS Service for a much more powerful on-chain/off-chain interoperability. The aspects represent a key piece in the IRIS and Cosmos network’s future since IRIS Service is designed to bridge the gap between the blockchain world and the conventional business application world.

Furthermore, there will be random module enhancement with an off-chain true random source. Say what now?! The random feature, currently still in beta, uses multiple indicators generated by the blockchain as “factors,” which calculate the random number — making this random number transparent and convenient for verification.

The non-fungible token module that supports the digitization of assets. A non-fungible token (NFT) is a particular type of cryptographic asset that represents a unique feature: non-fungible tokens are not mutually interchangeable by their individual specification. The NFTs is a highly essential resource in the blockchain industry and lend themselves to a variety of use cases. Therefore, the IRISnet team improves the tools made available to enterprises so they can implement this technology.

There also is a new oracle module that enables off-chain data feeds. ChainLink is one of the original oracle services providers, increasing possibilities and use-cases of the hub. Some of you might remember IRITA, a product designed for business by IRISnet in collaboration with ChainLink. Which is why the teams chose to collaborate again on the oracle service for the new Testnet.

Last but not least, there will be major code refactoring for better modularity. Now, that means there will be a lot of improvement to the source code’s internal structure while preserving its external behavior to make it more reliable and facilitate the adoption by external developers.

🧐Final Thoughts

We’re very excited to see the new Testnet and implementations of both IRISnet and Cosmos grow and develop. The Bifrost Testnet is expected to be completely ready somewhere this Autumn and we can’t wait to see all the results.

  • Let us know what you think about this new Testnet!

DISCLAIMER: This is not financial advice. Staking, delegation, and cryptocurrencies involve a high degree of risk, and there is always the possibility of loss, including the loss of all staked digital assets. Additionally, delegators are at risk of slashing in case of security or liveness faults on some protocols. We advise you to do your due diligence before choosing a validator.

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