Do you think Ethereum can scale?
Yes or No?
If you answered no, you’re probably one of the people that laugh at Ethereum for its low transaction output, often citing crypto kitties.
But a lot has changed since crypto kitties crippled the blockchain. For all you Ethereum scaling doubters, maybe the following statements will enlighten you to change your mind:
- Ethereum is by far the largest blockchain protocol with smart contract functionality and unstoppable decentralized applications.
- Ethereum has the largest global network of smart contract developers with an estimated range between 250,000 to 350,000 developers.
- The Ethereum Enterprise Alliance (EEA) has more than 180 member companies including names like Microsoft, Santander, Intel, JPMorgan, and more.
- The most important projects and dapps in crypto are being built on Ethereum such as Maker, Synthetix, Compound, ChainLink, Loopring, Kyber, and many more.
The point I’m trying to make is, Ethereum is dominating the crypto industry. The vast majority of the crypto ecosystem depends on Ethereum and there’s a tremendous amount of pressure for it to scale.
That said, there is also a tremendous number of developers, including some of the brightest minds in the space, dedicated to scaling Ethereum.
Scaling Ethereum is a Question of WHEN not IF
Most smart contract/blockchain developers build atop of Ethereum as it's the largest and most decentralized network out there, but scaling their projects and the Ethereum blockchain ain't easy at all.
There’s a lot of ideas on how to scale Ethereum floating around in the ecosystem and some of the most notable ones include:
- Sharding (developed by Ethereum)
- Plasma/Side Chains (developed by OmiseGO)
- zkRollups (developed by Loopring)
Sharding is a “layer 1” scaling solution that has been on the Ethereum roadmap for a few years. The idea behind sharding is to split the Ethereum mainchain network into multiple portions called “shards” which verify separate transactions on the Ethereum's blockchain to scale the network.
While sharding is a popular and promising scaling solution, it has suffered from various setbacks that have prevented significant progress on the implementation and development front. Sharding is expected to be implemented along with the launch of Ethereum 2.0.
Plasma is a “layer 2” scaling solution that was conceptualized by Vitalik Buterin and developed by OmiseGO. The idea behind Plasma is to use smart contracts and Merkle trees to create an unlimited number of “child chains”, with more chains being created on top of each child chain. The child chains would have distinct goals and would alleviate the overall work of the main chain, thus increasing scalability.
While Plasma was conceived in 2017, it has yet to be successfully implemented on Ethereum and faith in this scaling solution is beginning to dry up.
zkRollups is a “layer 2” scaling solution that increases the number of transactions per second/throughput of the Ethereum blockchain network while reducing network fees.
Unlike the previously mentioned scaling solutions (Plasma/Side Chains and Sharding), zkRollups have already been developed/implemented on Ethereum and are scaling it today.
The first implementation of the zkRollups scaling solution is on Loopring’s V3.0 decentralized exchange protocol, a revolutionary DEX protocol that enables decentralized exchanges (DEXes) to compete with the throughput of centralized exchanges (CEXes).
Loopring’s implementation of the zkRollups scaling solution can increase Ethereum’s current transactions per second (TPS) from ~15 to ~2000.
And guess what?
This increase in throughput is already being realized today on Loopring-powered DEXes, as the Loopring protocol as a whole can currently handle up to 2,025 trades per second, proving that Ethereum can and is scaling.
DEXes built atop of the Loopring 3.0 protocol can currently settle up to 200 trades per second while guaranteeing the same level of security as the underlying Ethereum blockchain. And not only that, but this scalability is being achieved while significantly reducing transaction costs to just $0.003 per trade at the Loopring Exchange.
Also, according to Vitalik Buterin, Loopring’s zkRollups scaling solution can be used in combination with the sharding scaling solution to reduce transaction costs even further:
As well, the combination of zkRollups with sharding will also increase Ethereum Network throughput to a theoretical capacity reaching 160k transactions per second:
Scaling on Ethereum is already here with Loopring’s zkRollups, a layer 2 scaling solution which is proving to be the most viable Ethereum scaling solution today.
Not only have zkRollups beat out other Ethereum scaling solutions like Plasma, Side Chains, and Sharding, but the technology looks like it will be utilized long into the future in combination with other scaling solutions, like sharding, which will be featured with the launch of Ethereum 2.0.
That said, I think we’ll begin to see an influx of Loopring-powered DEXes throughout the 2020s as Loopring’s zkRollups technology is already scaling Ethereum.
What Ethereum scaling solution do you think is best? Will Loopring’s zkRollups solution be utilized in tandem with other scaling solutions? Let me know what you think in the comment section below.