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What are Crypto Protocols?

Blockchain technology and cryptocurrency have become so popular that numerous companies and individuals have begun to deal with them in the past several years. Whether you are a vast blockchain enthusiast or just a beginner in this field, you have probably heard of the famous crypto protocols.

Like the cryptocurrency ecosystem has expanded and included more exchanges and assets, these protocols have taken on more relevance and eminence. However, you are still uncertain what precisely these protocols are. To understand how they work, it’s essential to know what they mean and represent in the first place.

In the further text, you’ll learn about the crypto protocols, the difference between thin and fat protocols, and the crucial examples of cryptocurrency protocols.

The Definition of Crypto Protocols – Learn the Fundamentals

First of all, it’s vital to understand that not all blockchains are the same. The way these blockchains work are heavily dependent on their protocol.

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A crypto protocol, or as many others know it by the name “security protocol,” represents a concrete or abstract protocol responsible for performing a security-related function. It applies to cryptographic methods, very often as sequences of crypto primitives.

In other words, a cryptocurrency protocol is essentially a code or a foundational layer that instructs something on how to function. It refers to a program that forms the basis of the software of any given network.

For instance, a crypto protocol describes how to use all the algorithms. Also, it includes all essential details about the data representations and structures, at which point one can use them to implement interoperable, multiple versions of the program.

Protocols on the Internet – What you need to know

Think about it like this. Imagine one protocol as specific rules that allow all the entities to communicate and transmit information. It’s crucial to know that protocols aren’t specific to cryptocurrency since they exist in many places.

When it comes to cryptocurrency protocols on the Internet, these protocols are enabling websites to function. Some of the most common internet protocols are HTTP and HTTPS. Also, there are TCP/IP and SMTP.

It’s imperative to understand that these specific protocols refer to the underlying code that allows all applications on the Internet to run. Nearly any website, like Amazon, Google, Twitter, Facebook, Netflix, news, and banking websites, runs one of the internet protocols.

Just like the Internet, cryptocurrencies have their protocols. Of course, any cryptocurrency like Ethereum, Bitcoin, or XRP includes its distinct protocol. Keep in mind that cryptocurrency protocols allow the functionality of a few applications.

In many cases, it’s the application of the cryptocurrency itself. It is also essential to remember that crypto protocols provide high security for a blockchain and access to it.

Why are Cryptographic Protocols Practical?

Now that you’ve understood the true meaning of crypto protocol, it’s essential to know what they are used for. Well, cryptographic protocols became extensively utilized for secure app-level data transport. It’s interesting to know that a crypto protocol incorporates at least one of the following aspects:

  • Entity authentication
  • Establishment or key agreement
  • Secured app-level data transport
  • Key establishment or agreement
  • Secret sharing methods
  • Non-repudiation methods
  • Secure multi-party computation
  • Message authentication material construction
  • Symmetric encryption

Transport Layer Security (TLS) Crypto Protocol Example

Here is one of the best protocol examples. Transport Layer Security, or the TLS, is a cryptographic protocol primarily applied to secure HTTPS (web) connections. It possesses a pivotal setup phase, with an asymmetric encryption key and an app-level data transport function.

It also includes a specific entity authentication mechanism that is based on the X.509 system. All three aspects include very crucial interconnections. However, a typical TLS doesn’t have non-repudiation support.

Also, there are other kinds of crypto protocols since the term also includes various readings. One of the best examples is crypto application protocols that commonly use basic essential agreement methods.

These specific methods are also referred to as “crypto protocols.” Imagine a situation where TLS employs what is famous as the “Diffie-Hellman key exchange.” Even though it’s only a part of TLS, Diffie-Helman could also be considered a complete crypto protocol for numerous other apps.

The Difference Between Fat and Thin Protocols

When speaking about the differences between crypto protocols and internet protocols, it’s mandatory to understand that crypto protocols allow only a few applications to function. In contrast, the Internet provides many other apps to run.

That’s why crypto protocols are referred to as “fat protocols.” They include only a few applications that run on them. On the other hand, all internet protocols are known as thin protocols. They have millions of apps running on them.

The protocol is considered as the value with any given cryptocurrency. It’s what empowers blockchain technology and enables cryptocurrency to do what it’s designed to do.

Cryptocurrency Protocol List

There are numerous crypto protocols out there. However, we’ve provided you with the cryptocurrency protocol list. It includes the five enterprise blockchain protocols. These protocols are responsible for powering some of the most commonly used blockchains nowadays:

  1. Hyperledger – known as an umbrella project which encompasses numerous working protocols and frameworks. Anyone can contribute to them due to their open-source design.
  2. R3’s Corda – primarily designed for enterprise. It sets out to build a blockchain, open-source platform to solve complex business problems. It offers two versions: Corda and Corda Enterprise.
  3. Quorum – It was created for the financial sector by J.P. Morgan. It mainly leverages Ethereum’s existing framework, and it develops third-party solutions and in-house tools.
  4. Ethereum – designed as an advanced alternative to Bitcoin’s more restrictive environment by Vitalik Buterin. It enables the development and running of applications through smart contracts. Ethereum is in the limelight and leading the blockchain race. It demonstrates the potential for growth in the future.
  5. EOSIO – known to be one of the latest blockchain protocols and the one with the best scaling capabilities to deal with the high demands of the blockchain enterprise sector. This protocol also has native permission management and includes support for smart contracts. Numerous blockchains use EOSIO, such as WAX, Europechain, and EOS.


In conclusion, it’s essential to understand that any of these particular protocols could be the best approach from a certain perspective. So, make sure to refer to these specific protocols as candidates that could turn out to be the approach for a particular client’s needs.

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