The value proposition of specialized economic agents within cyberspace economies was established in the smart contract era. However, the degree of specialization of its economic agents of this era’s cyberspace economies is inherently bound by the rules of the respective cyberspace economies themselves. In this regard, Polkadot advances its design from Ethereum 2.0 by implementing interoperability as a heterogeneous multi-chain rather than as a homogeneous multi-chain.
Ethereum 2.0 beacon chain will create a sharded multi-chain of many Ethereum Virtual Machines (EVMs) in ‘Execution Environments’. This will no doubt provide a scaling solution for cost and throughput. However, each of the autonomous shard-chains of the Ethereum 2.0 multi-chain will inherently be bound by the performance constraints of the identical EVM’s gas-systems of the individual shards. It should be acknowledged that an EVM is but one class of cyberspace economies and the Ethereum 2.0 multi-chain will, therefore, be a homogeneous multi-chain.
The Polkadot relay chain design, on the other hand, has a higher level of abstraction and allows interoperability between more classes of cyberspace economies. It is thus a heterogeneous multi-chain. Simply put, rather than facing the lock-in Ethereum 2.0’s Execution Environments introduce, Polkadot parachains and parathreads will be able to build their own state machine in their chain’s Wasm Runtime, optimized to their use case.
The smart contract era spawned many software development kits (SDKs) to foster the design of cyberspace economic agents. The interoperability era will spawn SDKs to foster the design of cyberspace economies as a whole. Substrate is a prime example of an advanced SDK that truly opens up the design space for cyberspace economy architects.If the smart contract era explored the value proposition of specialization of economic agents within cyberspace economies, the interoperability era will explore the value proposition of specialization of cyberspace economies as a whole.