The Interoperable State Machine Protocol (ISMP) is a lightweight, unopinionated messaging protocol designed to facilitate the creation of modular cross-chain applications.


With a growing number of blockchains and the rise of modular blockchain architectures, a lightweight communication protocol that can be implemented anywhere has become necessary. However, bridging teams are faced with a similar trilemma to blockchain developers wherein one of the following pillars must be sacrificed to optimize the other two:
  1. Decentralization
  1. Security
  1. Scalability
The trilemma dictates that any blockchain can optimize for, at most, two of the three parameters at any time.
Bridges and communication protocols face a similar issue. While other bridging solutions have failed to solve the trilemma ISMP is able to deliver on each foundational pillar without compromise.
Unlike some bridging solutions, ISMP does not introduce trusted counterparties for cross-chain transactions.
ISMP is the only communication protocol in production to rely on consensus clients and state machine clients to ensure the validity of proofs. In doing so, ISMP is able to provide the same degree of security as the underlying blockchains it connects.
ISMP is lightweight and easy to use. Its lightweight design means that ISMP is able to verify proofs even within expensive environments such as Ethereum.
In addition, ISMP offers a familiar and easy-to-understand message-passing mechanism that facilitates two types of requests: GET and POST.
What is contained in these requests and how they are interpreted is up to you (and whoever you’re sending them to). These messages could be in XML, Binary encoded, JSON, etc. ISMP’s unopinionated approach makes sending messages between any two blockchain networks possible!

How to get started

We have guides to get you started with ISMP. Check out our integration guides for help getting started!

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