At its core, a sidechain is a parallel blockchain that operates independently from the main blockchain (also referred to as the main chain). Typically, this connection is established through a two-way bridge, enabling the seamless transfer of digital assets or tokens between the main chain and the sidechain.
How Do Sidechains Work?
The distinctiveness of sidechains lies in their autonomy. Unlike the main chain, sidechains have the flexibility to adopt unique consensus algorithms and block parameters tailored to their specific purposes. This freedom allows them to process transactions efficiently, offering advantages such as faster confirmation times and lower fees.
Consensus algorithms on sidechains can vary, ranging from Proof-of-Authority to Delegated Proof-of-Stake. Validators within the sidechain network play a crucial role in verifying transactions, producing blocks, and ensuring the overall security of the chain.
Additionally, sidechains often differ from the main chain in terms of block parameters. While the main blockchain imposes limits on block times and sizes, sidechains can adjust these parameters to achieve higher throughput. However, this comes with trade-offs, as more permissive block parameters may compromise decentralization by relying on a smaller number of powerful nodes.