New blockchains are born all the time. Bitcoin was the lone blockchain for years, but now there are hundreds.

The problem is, if you want to use the features offered on another blockchain, you have to buy the tokens for that other blockchain.But all that may soon change. One developing technology called sidechains promises to make it easier to move tokens across blockchains and, as a result, open the doors to a world of possibilities, including building bridges to the legacy financial systems of banks.In October 2017, Aggelos Kiayias, professor at the University of Edinburgh and chief scientist at blockchain research and development company IOHK; Andrew Miller, professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and Dionysis Zindros, researcher at the University of Athens, released the paper “Non-Interactive Proofs of Proof-of-Work” (NiPoPoW), introducing a critical piece to the sidechains puzzle that had been missing for three years.

This is the story of how they got there.But, first, what exactly is a sidechain?    Same Coin, Different BlockchainA sidechain is a technology that allows you to move your tokens from one blockchain to another, use them on that other blockchain and then move them back at a later point in time, without the need for a third party.

 In the past, the parent blockchain has typically been Bitcoin, but a parent chain could be any blockchain. Also, when a token moves to another blockchain, it should maintain its same value.

In other words, a bitcoin on an Ethereum sidechain would remain a bitcoin.  The biggest advantage of sidechains is that they would allow users to access a host of new services. Read more from…

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