The Achilles heel of Ethereum has always been resized. Since its inception, developers have been looking for ways to resize the blockchain in order to increase the capacity and speed of the network.
In August 2017, Ethereum's co-founder, Vitalik Buterin, published an initial draft of the Plasma project that provided an off-chain level 2 scaling solution. By creating chains for children, the work is performed by the root chain that will alleviate the pressures on it under heavy load (think back to CryptoKitties).
Plasma problems that prevent progress
The developers have already created five different versions of the protocol, but have come across various problems and the system did not work as expected. Each new Plasma iteration has created a new set of cross-version compatibility problems and problems. Plasma implementation, along with other scaling solutions such as sharding, has been slow, complicated and somewhat unpredictable. The plasma needs what is known as "output" for the funds to be recorded on the root blockchain and this requires highly complex mathematical operation.
Researchers and developers are now turning to an alternative scaling solution, a pivotal cryptographic currency focused on Zcash privacy (ZEC). The use of zk-SNARKs (zero non-interactive knowledge The topic of knowledge) is a method of cryptographically demonstrating knowledge of something without revealing what that something is. An example would show that you have enough Ethereum to make a transaction without disclosing exactly how much ETH you actually have.
The recent Devcon4 Buterin has been proposed to use zk-SNARKs that would allow proof of the knowledge that entire batches of transactions are correct. This would allow the network to process multiple batch transactions over individual ones, increasing its speed. Buterin said the network could reach 500 transactions per second in the near future. Ethereum currently supports about 15 transactions per second.
This would work in the short term as developers would focus on the long-term solution known as Serenity, Shasper or Ethereum 2.0, although it is still likely that a couple of years have passed. Forecasting Platform Gnosis is already exploring the use of zk-SNARKs to feed a decentralized exchange using & # 39; snapps & # 39; o & # 39; snark dapps & # 39 ;. Gnosis CTO, Stefan George, said that this approach has the potential to be more decentralized than plasma, it is much less complicated and is ready for deployment in the near future.
There is a certain overlap between the two technologies, since the zk-SNARK could be used to make Plasma more private; however, this is also a couple of years on the line. Currently it seems that the short-term scaling solution of Ethereum will come in the form of zk-SNARKs while Plasma is set aside for the time being.
Image from Shutterstock