An IBC standard that gives Cosmos zones (blockchains) the ability to open and control accounts on other zones, negating the need to develop new IBC standards for every cross-chain interaction. Zones can be hosts, controllers, or both. Hosts will harbor accounts from other zones, listen for IBC instructions, and then execute the transactions. Controllers create accounts on host zones and control them.
The analogy frequently used is that an Interchain Account transaction is a letter inside an envelope inside a box.
- Zone A sends the box to Zone B through IBC
- The IBC module on Zone B will open the box and send the envelope to the Zone A controlled account on Zone B
- The Interchain Account will open the envelope, read the letter and complete the Zone B-specific task that is required
Interchain Accounts enable a more seamless end-user experience; users don’t need to leave a chain to do activities on others. This creates a better UX and mitigates potential operational and security risks like manually transferring assets between chains, managing different wallets for different chains etc.