Ontology's New Multichain Design to Compete with Cosmos, Polkadot, and Plasma

The developers of Ontology, a blockchain-based “distributed trust” network for deploying decentralized applications (dApps), have argued that a single blockchain network cannot meet all types of business requirements.

Multiple Blockchains Are Needed For Different Business Requirements

As noted in a Medium blog post, published by the Ontology Team on May 17th, 2019, “blockchains with different architectures and features” are needed for various business use cases. Separate blockchain networks also need to communicate with each other and their “intended value” will not be “realized” if protocols are not developed to facilitate blockchain interoperability, Ontology’s developers wrote.

To facilitate communication between independent blockchains, Ontology’s team recommends creating a “multichain system.” To promote the development of such a system, the distributed trust network’s architects have released a design, or blueprint, for a “lightweight and safe” multichain solution which can manage cross-chain communication.

Allowing For Interaction Between Mainnet And Sidechains

As mentioned in Ontology Team’s blog, the solution will use the Ontology blockchain as its “main chain,” while integrating support for “side-chains whose architecture” is compatible with the Ontology mainnet. This type of setup, the platform’s developers explained, will allow for interaction “between the main chain and side-chains, and also between side-chains.”

A multichain contract will be issued (by the main network), in order to manage all sidechains that are linked to Ontology’s main blockchain, the Ontology team noted. Moreover, the "cross-chain interaction between source chain and target chain” is also performed by issuing a cross-chain management contract, Ontology’s developers explained.

The “proof of cross-chain interaction” is carried out by “synchronizing key block headers and other state information,” Ontology’s blog stated.

Comparing Ontology's Design With Other Blockchain Interoperability Platforms

Going on to compare Ontology with the other major platforms which aim to provide blockchain interoperability, the distributed trust network’s developers mentioned that Plasma, Cosmos, and Polkadot do not support “sidechain to sidechain crosschain” communication - whereas Ontology’s proposed solution does.

Moreover, Ontology and Polkadot’s cross-chain infrastructure supports “all information” whereas Plasma, designed by Vitalik Buterin and Joseph Poon, and Cosmos are only able to support “all assets.”

Notably, Ontology’s development team has already launched their cross-chain communication testnet. Developers of Cosmos, Polkadot, and Plasma have not yet released their cross-chain testnets, the Ontology team noted.

P2P Token Trading Platform AirSwap Discloses ‘Critical Vulnerability’

  • Peer-to-peer trading platform AirSwap claims to have identified a "critical vulnerability" in one of its smart contracts. 
  • Ten addresses have been identified so far as being at risk of exploitation. 

Peer-to-peer token trading network AirSwap has disclosed a “critical vulnerability” in a newly released smart contract. 

AirSwap's Critical Vulnerability

According to the disclosure, which was published on Sept. 13, AirSwap’s internal security team identified a potential exploit in a newly released mainnet smart contract. The vulnerability would allow an attacker to “perform a swap without requiring a signature from a counterparty.” 

AirSwap claims that the offending code was only present for twenty-four hours on the network before being identified and removed. However, users of AirSwap Instant between Sept. 11 and Sept. 12 may have been affected by the vulnerability, with the report claiming that 10 accounts have been recognized so far as being at risk. 

AirSwap has published the addresses to the vulnerable accounts, telling all other users that no further action is required. The report also outlines the step-by-step actions taken by the exchange in the aftermath of discovering the vulnerability, including an apology to its client base, 

We would like to deeply apologize to our affected users for any inconvenience these vulnerabilities may have caused, and hope that the important lessons we continue to learn throughout these processes form the basis for a more open, secure, and efficient trading environment.

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