Updated: May 30, 2019
At this point in time the idea of swapping Bitcoin for Ethereum is still just that, an idea. As the concept of a decentralized Internet becomes tangible, organizations and individuals are beginning to focus all of their energy and efforts on the development of cross-chain transactions. The thought of transferring crypto without third parties has been around since 2012, but the technology wasn’t fully understood until 2017. The term used to reference the transfer of digital assets across blockchains is ‘Atomic Swap’ or ‘Atomic Cross-Chain Trading,’ and there is still a lot to be developed before it is considered universal.
Atomic swaps are theorized as peer-to-peer transactions made off of the main-chain, similar to the way on/off ramps allow cars to access the highway and drive at higher speeds, reducing congestion on the main road.
Why Atomic Swaps?
The development of the atomic swap, or direct peer-to-peer transaction, will provide the individual with complete control of their coins.This offers everyone the freedom to move their digital assets at will.
Atomic swaps will be instantaneous and allow for on-chain or cross-chain swapping (i.e. once the code is developed, individuals can exchange any coin with another, regardless of what blockchain it resides on).
The concept of atomic swapping offers its users comfort while allowing them to transfer their crypto assets at ease whenever they please. Peers will no longer have to release custody to third parties, establishing a new environment that supports true freedom in the real world.
Once fully developed, atomic swaps will administer a sense of confidence as peers will be able to transfer funds securely, without the fear of falling victim to a malicious attack.
Centralized exchanges are being hacked at higher rates as the equity staked on them increases. Atomic swaps will increase the comprehension that the average user has on the tech, preventing scammers from taking advantage of the public.
To prevent fraudulent transactions, atomic swaps will utilize Hash Time-Locked Contracts, which require both parties to remain anonymous, preventing dishonesty. These HTLCs are agreements between the two parties that are transferring assets, and the process is similar to any other transaction on the blockchain.
Both parties agree on the price of each coin or token before the swap occurs.
The price is then locked into a smart contract.
The transaction, once confirmed by both parties, initiates and proceeds regardless of the fluctuation in value during the transaction.
The transaction is processed, and then protected through the confirmation of the received asset.
This is a custom, time-based deadline where both parties must verify the exchange.
If the cryptographic proof of payment is confirmed, then both individuals can claim their new asset.
However, if the requirements of the contract are not met, then both parties risk the right to claim their new coin and the initial coin is refunded back to the sender, thus preventing misconduct and abuse.
The perks of transferring crypto without the use of a third party can eliminate the need for exchanges, even decentralized ones, in the future.
Privacy - offers anonymity
Fast + Free - no exchanges means no middleman fees and no time wasted on exchanges
Interoperable - unrestricted transactions across a decentralized Internet
Transparent - view your transaction in real-time
Choice - free to exchange any and all coins, anytime
Algorithm - the digital assets being swapped must contain the same hashing algorithm
Support - atomic swaps cannot process assets that do not support smart contracts
Wallet - wallets that process atomic swaps are currently scarce, but this should improve with further developments
Speed - small transactions are rapid, but as the volume being transferred increases so does the transaction time, presenting issues for high capacity swaps
At the moment, the major downside to atomic swaps are the technical restrictions. Though present, they do not hinder the progress and will not discourage those seeking an answer. This quick and easy way to interact across blockchains will alleviate the transition into trading cryptocurrencies, making it common and, in doing so, compelling individuals to interact without third parties.
There are many organizations working to develop the decentralized internet, and HyperionX is in that category. Through community efforts, the advancement in the interchange of secure data can be progressed tenfold. Hyperion’s version of Atomic swaps or as they coined it, ‘Cross Pollination,’ encourages a seamless and fluid way for the transfer to occur. HyperionX is developing Cross Pollination (the transfer of information without the need for fee-heavy middlemen) to contribute to the Internet of Blockchains.
There is a demand for fast and simple transactions between individuals and Hyperion plans to become part of the solution. “Cross-Pollination will allow all parties to connect and partner with other blockchain networks, projects and organizations with extreme fluidity.” (HyperionX Whitepaper)
Through the utilization of a decentralized internet and by supporting the freedom in which blockchain stands for, Cross Pollination will stimulate the ecosystem in which everyone can grow and thrive together. #WithRootForce