Alibaba’s Cross-Chain Patent Approved by Us Authorities; Hailed as a ‘Better’ Option to Cosmos


  • China's eCommerce giant, Alibaba, has been granted approval for a ‘unified blockchain domain name' (UBCDN) by the U.S Patent.
  • This will advance the firm's footprint in blockchain given recent milestones under its blockchain subsidiary, Ant Financial.

Dubbed ‘Cross-chain interactions using a domain name scheme in blockchain systems‘, the patent was filed back in April 2019 in a bid to make cross-chain interactions more seamless. According to Alibaba, the UBCDN proposes a greater value than the current cross-chain networks like Cosmos.

Alibaba's UBCDN

The concept of interoperability has emerged as a core fundamental for blockchain networks, especially when it comes to communication between organizations or large entities. Alibaba's UBCDN aims to solve existing inefficiencies attributed to relay chain ecosystems. Ideally, the design is based on providing a unified protocol to facilitate the communication of blockchains deployed on a given network. The patent reads,

“The described domain name scheme can provide a unified protocol for interactions between blockchain systems in a unified (or global) blockchain network that includes multiple or all blockchain instances deployed, based on different blockchain products or technologies.”

Compared to the Cosmos relay chains, Alibaba noted that its approach will make it easier to identify blockchain instances despite being transferred to a different ecosystem. In the former, a chain is assigned multiple ID's before interacting with different chains hence making it difficult to identify a network in the long-run. With Alibaba's UBCDN, this will not be a challenge since the chains will maintain a described domain scheme making them globally identifiable.

In addition, this cross-chain product might include a human-readable identifier that will help the blockchain users to better memorize their instances.

“As an example, owners or operators of public blockchains, private blockchains, or consortium blockchains can choose blockchain domain names that correspond to their names, helping users to remember the identifiers of the blockchain instances….”

Alibaba's Expansion into the Blockchain Space

Notably, this is not the first blockchain milestone by Alibaba; the firm has been actively involved in the sector competing with IT giants like Huawei. Last year, the blockchain arms of both firms were both approved by Chinese Authorities. Since then, Alibaba has invested in a number of blockchain-based projects through Ant Financial.

Its blockchain platform ‘Ant' had facilitated over $6 billion in medical billing as of Q4 in 2019. Going by these developments, the newly acquired patent might add to the portfolio of products/projects under Alibaba's blockchain initiatives.

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