Ethereum Scaling Solution Offering 500Tx/s Has Been Released on the Testnet

One of the biggest impediments towards mass-adoption of digital currencies is their inability to scale accordingly. Thankfully, developers throughout the world are actively working to generate smarter solutions.

Recent reports indicate that a start-up named Matter, alongside the developers at the Ethereum Foundation, have recently released a test net for a Plasma scaling solution, based on ZKSNARKs. The method is based on smart contracts, the Ethereum Virtual Machine, and the Ignis transaction verification protocol. The solution is still work-in-progress, yet it can already facilitate 500 transactions per second.

In terms of how it works, users simply have to send transactions to a smart contract address, which uses snarks to keep count of all transactions received. Since the current number of transactions supported per block is of 8, the system works by condensing 8 transactions into a single transaction that gets published onto the blockchain. Once testing and development is finished, support for condensing up to 1,600 transactions in a single on-chain tx will be offered.

In technical terms, the developers noted that: “In Ignis verification of transactions by users is replaced by the following approach: operator(s) proposing blocks must submit a SNARK proving that the new block is correct, which is verified automatically by the smart contract. No incorrect block can ever be included by an operator, so users do not need to always be online and constantly monitor transaction activity. A small piece of data (9 bytes in our case) from every transaction is posted to EVM, in order to guarantee that everybody can reconstruct the Merkle state.”

Developers of the system think that its implementation will help reduce transaction costs, while also minimizing latency. There are however some questions regarding the privacy and security of the solution. To address privacy concerns, transaction costs would have to be increased. Security seems to be alright so far, yet the developers did note that once it is ready for release, the project will be open-sourced and audited by cryptography experts. Developers will have to make sure that no security flaws are present in the smart contract code.

Generally, this solution can tackle some of the problems associated with the Lightning Network, while also drastically improving transaction speed and scaling. The ZKSNARKs Plasma Ethereum Scaling solution can be implemented alongside sharding, thus providing even bigger gains. There are some concerns regarding the difficulty associated with using the system, and whether casual ETH users will want to get involved. However, only time will tell.