appXchain: Application-Level Interoperability for Blockchain Networks
preprintposted on 21.06.2021, 16:33 by Mohammad Madine, Khaled Salah, Raja Jayaraman, Yousof Al-Hammadi, Junaid Arshad, Ibrar Yaqoob
Blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionize industries by offering decentralized, transparent, data provenance, auditable, reliable, and trustworthy features. However, cross-chain interoperability is one of the crucial challenges preventing widespread adoption of blockchain applications. Cross-chain interoperability represents the ability for one blockchain network to interact and share data with another blockchain network. Contemporary cross-chain interoperability solutions are centralized and require re-engineering of the core blockchain stack to enable inter-communication and data sharing among heterogeneous blockchain networks. In this paper, we propose an application-based cross-chain interoperability solution named appXchain which allows blockchain networks of any architecture type and industrial focus to inter-communicate, share data, and make requests. Our solution utilizes the decentralized applications as a distributed translation layer that is capable of communicating and understanding multiple blockchain networks, thereby delegating requests and parameters among them. The architecture uses incentivized verifier nodes that maintain the integrity of shared data facilitating them to be readable by the entities of their network. We define and describe the roles and requirements of major entities of inter-operating blockchain networks in the context of healthcare. We present a detailed explanation of the sequence of interactions needed to share an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) document from one blockchain network to another along with the required algorithms. We implement the appXchain solution with Ethereum-based smart contracts for two hospitals and also present its cost and security analysis. We have made our smart contracts code and testing scripts publicly available.