Bianjie is a long-term core contributor to IRISnet and the Cosmos network — and no one is better placed to discuss Bianjie’s plans to help grow the Cosmos ecosystem than Jeffrey Hu, Research Director and Head of Strategy at IRISnet.
Here, we discuss how Bianjie and IRISnet have been instrumental in developing Cosmos so far, what the recent grant from the Interchain Foundation (ICF) means, and plenty more besides — from NFTs and cross-ecosystem bridges to enterprise-level applications and expanding the Cosmos China community. Check it out.
Bianjie formally signed a core development service agreement with the ICF as a core contributor in Q1 2021. But this talented team has been fundamental to the growth of Cosmos since way before then. Jeffrey explains, “Bianjie is a long-time supporter of the Cosmos ecosystem. We were founded in 2016 and since then focused on the Cosmos ecosystem, contributing to a lot of the tech stack.”
IRISnet launched its mainnet in 2019 together with the Cosmos Hub, and, Jeffery says, “we contributed a lot of the features like in the interchain service.” In Q4 2020, Bianjie received funds from the ICF for successfully driving Cosmos enterprise adoption on IRITA OPB, an open permissioned blockchain initiated by BSN and developed by Bianjie.
With the new ICF grant, the team will continue to expand Cosmos’ footprint into the enterprise blockchain space, “We see a lot of opportunities in this type of enterprise-level applications,” Jeffrey confirms.
In fact, Bianjie is already working closely with a Japanese open-source development team called Datachain to promote the implementation of IBC to a well-known consortium blockchain — Hyperledger. Together, they have proposed YUI, a Hyperledger Lab project which is based on IBC and supports various Hyperledger projects.
Jeffrey says, “IBC currently supports the permissionless transfer of tokens between heterogeneous chains. Now, Bianjie is working to develop open-source Terse IBC protocol standards to further enterprise adoption and enable the transfer of NFTs, the interactions of smart contracts, and other cross-chain services.”
It’s important to note the difference here between IBC and Terse IBC. At a very high level, IBC enables blockchain interoperability through a series of handshakes that ensure that all the data packets from different chains can be trusted. This makes IBC incredibly secure but adds layers of complexity.
Through Terse IBC, Bianjie will remove some of these layers and handshakes so that connectivity between enterprise blockchains can take place faster and more seamlessly. Terse IBC is aimed at driving enterprise blockchain adoption because it assumes that the channels wishing to communicate already have certain security guarantees, such as in an enterprise permissioned setting.
Bianjie will also continue its educational efforts and work regarding introducing Cosmos blockchain technology to more enterprises and onboarding them to the ecosystem (especially in China, where the adoption of blockchain technology is growing rapidly).
Another exciting condition of the ICF grant places Bianjie at the head of design and development on the NFT module in the Cosmos SDK. In fact, NFT development is, according to Jeffrey, one of Bianjie’s top priorities and a lot of progress has already been made.
As a founding member of the InterNFT group established in September 2020, Bianjie has since set about designing and advancing the technology. Coming soon in Q4 2021, using IBC, Cosmos chains will be able to transfer NFTs from one chain to another by adopting the NFT module.
This will have a significant impact on verticals like gaming, collectibles, and fan applications but also in the fast-growing enterprise blockchain space where NFTs are making supply chain finance, carbon-neutral green finance, and the trading of substantial pieces of rare artworks possible. With the Chinese National Culture Digital Library, Bianjie has already been instrumental in making famous traditional Chinese paintings accessible as NFTs in the global markets through interchain NFT technology.
Bianjie’s work on NFTs is huge for Cosmos as it will allow for cross-chain transfers of NFTs and enable many innovative projects. In fact, Bianjie’s open-source NFT module has already been adopted by several leading blockchain projects, including IRISnet, Crypto.org chain, and Shentu Chain (CertiK).
Jeffrey points out that, if we are to grow the Internet of Blockchains to be as inclusive and expansive as the Cosmos vision, interoperability must go beyond one blockchain ecosystem. That’s why Bianjie will be working to enable interoperability between multiple ecosystems, beyond Bitcoin and Ethereum.
“By Terse IBC, which is specifically designed for enterprise blockchain adoption, Cosmos chains can quickly connect to chains with smart contracts including Ethereum, BSC, etc., as well as permissioned blockchains like Hyperledger Fabric,” he explains. “A lot of exciting updates are coming that could be expected to happen first in BSN environment.”
Being Shanghai-based, Bianjie has worked extensively to promote and expand Cosmos adoption around this region. Bianjie will continue to extend technical support for Chinese-speaking Cosmos developers, translate key materials and documents, host workshops, events, and hackathons, and assist Chinese developers in getting grants.
“Blockchain technology is very, very encouraged in China and that’s why we see lots of opportunities right now. So we want to promote Cosmos as much as possible to Chinese customers and also have more applications in the region,” Jeffrey enthuses.
From pushing new tech to updating existing protocols, expanding the Cosmos community to forging key partnerships, Bianjie is a jewel in the Cosmos crown, and we look forward to a long and continued collaboration with this talented team.