The merits of using Ethereum MainNet as a Coordination Blockchain for Ethereum Private Sidechains

Peter Robinson

A Coordination Blockchain is a blockchain with the task of coordinating activities of multiple private blockchains. This paper discusses the pros and cons of using Ethereum MainNet, the public Ethereum blockchain, as a Coordination Blockchain. The requirements Ethereum MainNet needs to fulfil to perform this role are discussed within the context of Ethereum Private Sidechains, a private blockchain technology which allows many blockchains to be operated in parallel, and allows atomic crosschain transactions to execute across blockchains. Ethereum MainNet is a permissionless network which aims to offer strong authenticity, integrity, and non-repudiation properties, that incentivises good behaviour using crypto economics. This paper demonstrates that Ethereum MainNet does deliver these properties. It then provides a comprehensive review of the features of Ethereum Private Sidechains, with a focus on the potential usage of Coordination Blockchains for these features. Finally, the merits of using Ethereum MainNet as a Coordination Blockchain are assessed. For Ethereum Private Sidechains, we found that Ethereum MainNet is best suited to storing long term static data that needs to be widely available, such as the Ethereum Registration Authority information. However, due to Ethereum MainNet's probabilistic finality, it is not well suited to information that needs to be available and acted upon immediately, such as the Sidechain Public Keys and Atomic Crosschain Transaction state information that need to be accessible prior to the first atomic crosschain transaction being issued on a sidechain. Although this paper examined the use of Ethereum MainNet as a Coordination Blockchain within reference to Ethereum Private Sidechains, the discussions and observations of the typical tasks a Coordination blockchain may be expected to perform are applicable more widely to any multi-blockchain system.

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