Today, the Metronome team demonstrated that two-way, cross-chain imports/exports of Metronome (MET) — “chainhops” as we call them — between Ethereum and Ethereum Classic are now possible as of June 26, 2019, at UTC 21:48 PM. It’s only fitting that this takes place about one year after the conclusion of the Metronome Initial Supply Auction.
This is a milestone moment for Metronome, its team, and its community. In all due modesty, though, we also see it as a leap for cryptocurrency in general — the end of “chain permanence,” bolstering Metronome’s core design principle of self governance.
To be a lot more specific: Chainhop transfers between Ethereum and Ethereum Classic are enabled as of Ethereum blockheight #
8036077 on 06.26.2019 at 21:50:45 UTC. To memorialize, 28.80 MET (approximately US$40 at the time of transfer) exited the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain. Ported MET will be transferable on Ethereum Classic after 24 hours, as explained in the Validator document — this to mitigate against reorganization attacks and maintain the global supply. The event was captured in this YouTube video.
The result is the first multi-chain, autonomous cryptocurrency. This provides MET owners with an incredible amount of choice to hold their MET where they see fit — Ethereum or Ethereum Classic — with additional blockchains to be supported in the future.
What This Means
“Decentralization” is an article of faith within the blockchain industry and drives a lot of what we all do. That said, one species of centralization that our industry has become comfortable with is the notion that a digital asset must be forever tied to its blockchain ledger. A blockchain may have disparate miners and nodes, sure, but is still centralized in that rigid adherence to its protocol is vital to its operation.
Metronome expands how we think of decentralization — the elimination of chain permanence. Today, the team demonstrated mobility between sister protocols — Ethereum and Ethereum Classic, with Qtum and RSK expected to follow soon. In the future? Only time can tell, but it’s clear that other spins on Ethereum Virtual Machines are within reach.
Chainhop capability, combined with many of Metronome’s other features, together roll up into what our trade calls “decentralized finance” or “DeFi.”
Addressing Some Questions
I wanted to preemptively answer four questions that I know are going to come up, particularly from those within the community who are very familiar with past approaches.
How is this not an “atomic swap?”
Metronome is different than an atomic swap. A chainhop is moving the same coin (MET) to different blockchains and back. Swaps are exchanging one coin for another. After moving MET from one chain to another, it’s still MET just on a different chain — not a different cryptocurrency.
Can I port back to the ETH contracts from ETC contracts?
Yes, you can port to ETC from ETH or from ETC to ETH — both sets of contracts allow export and import.
Will there always be Validators?
No. As outlined in the cross-chain technical document, Validators are necessary only in the first phase of Metronome’s portability. Phase 2 uses chain Attestors, who are known entities on a given blockchain. Phase 3 will use neither Validators or Attestors, opting for a stake weighted vote and cross-chain validations.
How is Metronome chainhop different from Cosmos or a dex?
Metronome is like a 1:1 token swap on different networks. Metronome only manages a single currency, sending the same token across multiple chains — and back. Cosmos is a token swap network managing many coins, never sending the same tokens back and forth. A dex is exchanging two different tokens through smart contracts. While Metronome has a Converter contract, it is not a dex.
See the team’s article for more information on how Metronome is different than other interoperability solutions.
It is up to the community, as a whole, to expand Metronome as much as possible — both in terms of adoption and engineering. Head over to Metronome’s GitHub, read the documentation, and consider which chains you’d like to see MET ride on. We’d love to work with you to help make it happen.
Jeff Garzik is the chief designer of Metronome
Edit: Updated graphic.