Web3 industry is in its infancy and a lot is happening in its subdomains. The million-dollar question is which segment will propel its mass adoption and mainstream success. We have already seen and read plenty about gaming as a promising catalyst in this regard. However, there is another catalyst hidden in the haystack of Web3 technology that can revolutionize industries. We are talking about interoperability in Web3 and its ability to upgrade the entire systems we rely upon. The interoperability technology and its functionality has a broader scope attached to them. It is not only limited to blockchain gaming and metaverse but has the capacity to impact every significant sector of the world. How? Let’s find out.
What is Interoperability in Web3?
A simple answer to the question is the ability to transfer something from one system to another like transferring a file from an Android to an iPhone. However, in Web3, it means transferring a token, crypto, avatar, etc from one blockchain to another. This interoperability functions impacts almost everything in the Web3 domain. Every blockchain developer is using this technology in their projects and constantly working on improving it. However, there are concerns as well as challenges in interoperability, especially security and inter-blockchain project functionality.
Interoperability in Gaming and Identity
Gaming and virtual identity are both at the forefront of the Web3 industry. If we take gaming, it is the leading segment of the entertainment industry. It uses cutting-edge technology and sits at the forefront of it. Moreover, the gaming industry is expected to reach $435 billion by the end of 2028. So, for gaming, the sky is the limit and it continues to expand at an ever-increasing rate. However, despite sitting at the forefront of technology, there are stark limitations evident when it comes to being ‘open’ or without borders.
Web3 gaming projects or traditional games, both have sky-high borders, meaning every game project works in solitude. Open-world games are not truly open as players can’t escape or transfer their digital presence from one game to another. Consequently, there is no persistent virtual gaming identity for players to carry forward from one game to another. It is an important aspect for gamers as they put in a lot of effort to personalize their online presence. There is a lot of effort involved in in-game character profiles, earning rewards, and making a reputation within the community. But the sad part is that their online presence is limited to only one game. As soon as they switch games, their online presence vanishes.
Interoperability Solution in Games
One of the games working towards a solution is Roblox which acts as a central hub for developers to launch their projects. Roblox metaverse allows developers to develop games or projects which allow interoperability from one project to another. Every project on Roblox uses one single currency powered by Roblox. However, to achieve interoperability, Roblox had to compromise on developer freedom and game design. Developers need to use mandated developer tools including coding and rendering.
Another example lies in Decentraland, its approach is different when compared to Roblox. Decentraland allows developer freedom but with a downside. The game tokenizes in-game assets which allow them to work outside the game. However, the transferring process is complex as it involves digital wallet integration, gas fee, and cross-chain bridging. Besides environmental concerns and gas fees issues, the biggest challenge lies in bridges. Bridges pose a massive security challenge as it is on the hit list of hackers for a long time. Only last year, bridges saw losses of more than $2 billion making digital assets movement a lot riskier.
Interoperability and Identity Verification
Identity verification is a vital part of either the real world or the virtual. The capability to establish one’s identity is essential for a functioning society and economy. A formal method for identifying ourselves, our concepts, and our belongings is the foundation for exchanging goods and forming global markets. However, at present, the infrastructure for identity verification is severely restricted.
The use of blockchain technology can enhance the handling and storage of digital identities by offering a unified and secure infrastructure. Cryptography ensures protection and verification, thereby providing a tamper-proof solution. Blockchain introduces innovative developments in identity management through an interoperable and verifiable system that integrates identity information, such as attributes, claims, credentials, and attestations. For instance, an individual’s identity can encompass affiliations, certifications, qualifications, and even endorsements from coworkers.
The true strength lies in the possibility of preserving the confidentiality of this information while confirming its accuracy through the use of “zero-knowledge proofs,” a cryptographic principle. Zero-knowledge proofs can be utilized to validate identity tokens or specific portions that have been approved by the owner, demonstrating their accuracy while safeguarding privacy.
Looking Forward to the Future
The advantages and possibilities of Web3 interoperability are particularly evident in gaming and identity verification, but their impact extends to a wide range of industries that still rely on outdated systems and communication protocols. Looking beyond immediate applications, there are compelling prospects and untapped areas for disruption. Sectors such as voting are ripe for transformation, and it is likely that blockchain-based voting will soon become a reality.
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