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InChain Architecture

Summary: Inchain Architecture is a distributed ledger technology (DLT) that separates the execution layer from availability and consensus systems. With InChain computations spanning multiple independent blockchains, we achieve tight semantic coupling and causal consistency. By leveraging this architecture, Coinweb enables immediate information propagation, reducing risks and eliminating delays between interconnected blockchains. Our approach overcomes the limitations of traditional blockchain systems, allowing for the unification of diverse DLTs and maximising network effects while maintaining security and scalability.

The most essential advantage of the Inchain architecture is that it enables deterministic computations over data from independent blockchains (consensus systems).

Deterministic computation is what makes functionality and data from different dApps composable. It is the most fundamental property for new concepts and ecosystems such as DeFi to emerge. It allows different dApps to use each other's outputs and create something new on top of it. You can read more about deterministic computation and why it is so valuable here. What is deterministic computation and why it is essential

Inchain architecture

The Coinweb protocol is an instance of an Inchain architecture that spans multiple blockchains. The Inchain architecture provides a robust solution to "The Blockchain Trilemma", and makes Coinwebs fundamental improvements and functional extensions to blockchain technology possible.

Several aspects of the Inchain architecture differ significantly from other DLT protocols:

  • It is a new way of using existing blockchains, not a new blockchain variant. Shards are embedded inside existing blockchains, using a common format across all blockchains. The embedded data inherits the security and data availability of the L1 blockchains but is not bound by specific higher-level transactional rules. As we will see, this gives several unique advantages. More details about this can be found here

  • The execution layer is separated from the data availability and consensus layers (the L1 chains)

  1. An Inchain architecture constitutes a layer of DLT infrastructure in which the execution layer is separated from the consensus and data availability systems.
  2. Enables computations over multiple different consensus and availability systems, where the outputs of the computations are executed deterministically from available consensus-bound data retrieved from commonly available DLT-ledgers.
  3. Both the inputs and the outputs of computations are available

To achieve these characteristics, an Inchain architecture must implement mechanisms to meet the following conditions:

  1. Inputs to computations can be retrieved from multiple different consensus and availability systems, but the outputs must be consistent and adhere to the 3 defining characteristics.
  2. The outputs from the computations must be verifiable and useful for off-chain participants. Any verification method that fits the other characteristics can be used here, Coinweb uses RDoC, but other mechanisms can be used and still be instances of the Inchain architecture.