Entrepreneurs, enterprises, and governments are using distributed ledger
technology (DLT) as a component of complex information systems, and
therefore interoperability capabilities are required. Interoperating
DLTs enables network effects, synergies and, similarly to the rise of
the Internet, it unlocks the full potential of the technology. However,
due to the novelty of the area, interoperability mechanisms (IM) are
still not well understood, as interoperability is studied in silos.
Consequently, choosing the proper IM for a use case is challenging.
Our paper has three contributions: first, we systematically study the
research area of DLT interoperability by dissecting and analyzing
previous work. We study the logical separation of interoperability
layers, how a DLT can connect to others (connection mode), the object of
interoperation (interoperation mode), and propose a new categorization
for IMs. Second, we propose the first interoperability assessment for
DLTs that systematically evaluates the interoperability degree of an IM.
This framework allows comparing the potentiality, compatibility, and
performance among solutions.
Finally, we propose two decision models to assist in choosing an IM,
considering different requirements. The first decision model assists in
choosing the infrastructure of an IM, while the second decision model
assists in choosing its functionality.