What Are Cross-Chain Smart Contracts?

Facilitating Seamless Communication and Asset Exchange Between Blockchain Networks

4 min readApr 4, 2023


Cross-chain smart contracts are self-executing programs that run on top of different blockchain networks and enable automated transactions between them. In other words, they allow two or more blockchain networks to communicate with each other and exchange data or assets in a secure and trustless manner.

These contracts rely on the use of off-chain workers like oracles, which act as intermediaries between the different blockchains and provide them with external data that can trigger the execution of the contract. Oracles can also verify the authenticity of the data provided by the other blockchain and ensure that the conditions of the contract are met before allowing the transaction to proceed.

Cross-chain smart contracts have a wide range of applications, such as enabling the interoperability of different cryptocurrencies, facilitating decentralized exchanges between different blockchain networks, and allowing the transfer of assets between different blockchain ecosystems.

Why are cross-chain smart contracts necessary?

Cross-chain smart contracts are necessary because blockchain networks are inherently isolated from one another due to differences in their protocols and standards. This makes it difficult for them to exchange assets and data with one another, leading to fragmentation and inefficiencies in the blockchain ecosystem.

Cross-chain smart contracts provide a solution to this problem by allowing for the exchange of value and data between different blockchain networks in a secure and transparent manner. By enabling interoperability between disparate blockchain networks, cross-chain smart contracts can help to unlock new use cases, increase efficiency, and promote innovation in the blockchain industry. Without cross-chain smart contracts, blockchain networks would remain siloed and unable to fully realize their potential as a transformative technology.

Oracles: Oracles are trusted third-party services that provide data from outside the blockchain. Oracles can be used to enable cross-chain communication by providing information about events that occur outside of the blockchain. For example, an oracle like Acurast could be used to provide information about the price of a particular asset on an external exchange, which could then be used to execute a cross-chain smart contract.

These techniques can be used in combination to enable different types of cross-chain smart contracts. As blockchain technology continues to evolve, new techniques and protocols for cross-chain communication are likely to emerge, enabling even more seamless value transfer between different networks.

Benefits and limitations of cross-chain smart contracts.

Cross-chain smart contracts have the potential to revolutionize the blockchain industry by enabling interoperability between different blockchain networks. Here are some benefits and limitations of cross-chain smart contracts:


Interoperability: Cross-chain smart contracts allow different blockchain networks to communicate with each other, which promotes interoperability between these networks. This can help to improve the overall efficiency and usability of blockchain technology.

Increased functionality: Cross-chain smart contracts allow developers to build more complex decentralized applications that can interact with multiple blockchain networks. This opens up new possibilities for creating innovative solutions that are not possible on a single blockchain network.

Reduced transaction costs: Cross-chain smart contracts can reduce the transaction costs associated with moving assets between different blockchain networks. This is because they eliminate the need for intermediaries, such as centralized exchanges, that charge high fees for cross-chain transactions.

Improved security: Cross-chain smart contracts can improve the security of decentralized applications by reducing the risk of single-point-of-failure attacks. By leveraging multiple blockchain networks, the risk of an attack on any one network is reduced.

Final Note

Cross-chain smart contracts are a critical tool for enabling interoperability and communication between different blockchain networks. They enable the exchange of assets and data in a secure and transparent way, overcoming the fragmentation and inefficiencies that can result from isolated blockchain networks.

Acurast provides infrastructure that enables the execution of transactions on one blockchain by utilizing its network to transport the state of another chain. This technique is a game-changer in the blockchain space, as it can bridge different blockchain networks and allows them to communicate and transact with each other.

This approach can help address one of the key challenges facing the blockchain industry, which is the lack of interoperability between different blockchain networks. By enabling cross-chain transactions, Acurast can help create a more interconnected blockchain ecosystem and unlock new use cases that were not possible before.

In summary, Acurast’s represents a significant development in the blockchain space and has the potential to bring about important changes in the way we transact and interact with blockchain networks.