Elph, a layer of scalability for Ethereum, was launched on the blockchain testnet. Elph's developers detailed his features in a recent post from Medium, which reveals the project's ability to make Ethereum transactions faster and more economical than ever before.
How does it work
The Elph network uses Plasma, an existing sidechain structure that allows transactions to be made on "chains of children". Plasma improves the scalability of Ethereum and Elph relies on original Plasma innovations.
According to the developers, Elph works as a second level blockchain. This approach retains the benefits of the decentralized Ethereum network, but executes transactions more efficiently.
Basically, a second level (Elph) focuses on scalability by quickly executing the majority of transactions, while the first layer (Ethereum) resolves disputes if one of these transactions is problematic. As the developers explain:
"By creating the" layer-2 "blockchain networks (what we are doing in Elph), we can leave the layer 1 networks as they are and use them as a robust and secure justice system that supports the level 2 blockchain."
This division of labor allows Elph to achieve a transaction speed of 6000 TPS, which represents a significant improvement over the current production capacity of 15 TPS of Ethereum. Elph currently only supports token transactions, but will soon also support intelligent contract transactions and EVM executions, enabling it to improve large-scale transaction rates.
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See it in action
Since Elph is now live on Ethereum's Rinkeby testnet, users can see the platform in action. An interactive demo allows users to participate in a simulated "shopping spree", but not with real money, of course.
Users can also browse a block explorer to see a side-by-side comparison of Elph and Ethereum and their respective transaction rates. Meanwhile, developers can access Elph's intelligent SDK and Plasma contracts on Github.
One of the many solutions
It should be noted that Elph is just one of the many scalability solutions for Ethereum. The long-awaited scaling solution from Ethereum, sharding, will not be released for quite some time. Meanwhile, the release of Plasma – a collaboration between Vitalik Buterin of Ethereum and Joseph Poon of Lightning Network – has given developers a foundation on which to build.
As such, many independent groups are developing their own scaling solutions. In fact, the release of Elph coincides with the announcement of a similar Plasma-based scalability effort from OmiseGo and Quantstamp. Other downsizing efforts include Raiden Network, OpenST Mosaic, Loom Network and many others.