Ethereum Network

After months of scaling issues and proposed means of solving them, Ethereum may have just found the solution it needs. Vitalik Buterin of Ethereum fame has recently stated that Ethereum blockchain could hit a record high 1 million transactions per second. The platform intends to do this with it’s second layers like Plasma and Sharding. This isn’t even the supercomputer news we heard last November.
Scaling on blockchain platforms has been a major issue for the technology itself and firms that are moving for its integration on a larger scale. Ethereum itself is no stranger to this problem, having faced a serious issue when it introduced its crypto-kitties.

Tackling The Bull Of Scalability

Buterin once admitted in an interview some months back that the peak limit of transactions for Ethereum was about just five – six per second. He further stated that if Ethereum was looking to compete with already established money transaction agencies like Visa, then they would have to step up to as much as millions of transactions per second. In the interview which was bent held by TechCrunch he further noted that

“Bitcoin is currently processing a bit less than three transactions per second and if it goes close to four, it is already at peak capacity. Ethereum has been doing five per second and if it goes above six, then it is also at peak capacity. On the other hand, Uber on average does 12 rides per second, PayPal several hundred, Visa several thousand, major stock exchanges tens of thousands, and in IoT, you’re talking hundreds of thousands per second,”

promotional image of Ethereum plasma by Buterin and Joseph Poon

promotional image of Ethereum plasma by Buterin and Joseph Poon

Sharding And Plasma Works In The Pipeline

Sharding, which is one of Ethereum’s second layer solutions, is currently being tested by developers to see how well and efficient it can be. The protocol primarily disintegrates the Ethereum blockchain into what is called “shards” which then process information with the help of specific nodes which are assigned to each shard. This is basically grouping transactions and assigning them to specific transaction units on the network. This is so that the network’s entire capacity is not directed towards every transaction but rather just a piece of it so as to increase the number of transactions that can be carried out at a go – sort of multi tasking.
Then there is Plasma, another second layer solution Ethereum is testing. Plasma, instead compartmentalising transactions, rather creates smaller blockchains within the larger blockchain network to carry out smaller transactions on the network.
Buterin went on to explain in a lengthy manner why he believed in multiple layer structure for Ethereum in the following words

“The reason I think layer 1 and layer 2 [networks] are complementary is because ultimately, if you look at the math, the scalability gains from the layer 1 improvements and layer 2 improvements do ultimately multiply with each other. If you have a Sharding solution, the Sharding solution itself might increase the scalability of Ethereum by a factor of 100, or eventually even more. But then, if you do Plasma on top of the scalability solution, then what that means is, you’re not just doing 100 times of the amount of activity but you are doing 100 times the amount of entrances, the amount of exits, and despite resolutions,”

Theoretically, should the two stated second layers for Ethereum work simultaneously the network’s capacity could increase by as much as up to 1 million transactions per second, which is a huge boost. However, both layer options are still in the testing phase and may be a long way from being integrated into the mainframe. But let’s keep our fingers crossed and see if it’s possible for Ethereum to compete with mainstream money transactions firms should its proposed second layers be successful.

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Featured Images via Coinstaker & SteemKR

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