Ethereum researchers are currently exploring ways to improve the network’s transaction speed, which could see it reach up to 17,000 transactions per second using a solution called a Snark-based side chain.
Snark-based sidechain addresses limitations in Vitalik’s zk-Snarks
Researchers BarryWhitehat, Harry R, Alex Gluchowski, Yondon Fu, and Philippe Castonguay are currently working on a solution that could massively improve the scaling problem faced by the Ethereum network.
A snark-based side chain is an off-chain solution which would make it possible for users to send and receive tokens outside of Ethereum’s main network. With this, tens of thousands of transactions can be conducted per second.
The snark-based side chain operators will close a channel of transactions and upload it to the Ethereum’s main network as a single transaction. Before a channel is released to the mainnet, users could be allowed to request for withdrawals at the smart contract level.
The researchers explained that in the case where the operator fails to serve this queue within a stipulated time, the system would assume that the data is unavailable. The operator would be removed and a new one would be introduced.
They added that the operator is forced to process requests in the priority queue. If they refuse to work on the snark side of the system, the operators would still be forced to process the priority queue.
Operators with malicious intent could potentially deny the withdrawals of funds in a channel, in the process destroying a channel that holds important data. The system includes a built-in protocol designed to punish and replace those types of malicious operators.
This proposal comes just two weeks after Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin announced ZK-SNARK would help Ethereum process 500 transactions per second.
zk-SNARK, a technology used by privacy coin Zcash, is a method of cryptography that allows large amounts of information to be compressed into what is called a “succinct proof.
The compressed information remains the same regardless of the size of data inserted.
Aside from zk-SNARKS, Ethereum developers are also working on Plasma and Sharding, which are expected to improve network speed.
Scalability has been the biggest problem plaguing the Ethereum network since it was founded. The transaction volume per second on the network remains low, affecting the operations of dApps like CryptoKitties, which are being run on the platform.
The developers continue to test all scaling solutions and would implement the one that becomes ready first. With all these, there is hope that the scalability problem would be solved by the developers.