The searing competition in the blockchain and cryptocurrency markets is keeping the blockchain pioneers on their feet. With issues of scalability surrounding, Ethereum blockchain steps up its game to bring in updates to resolve the underlying issues of the network. Dubbed as zk-snarks, a form of cryptography pioneered by zcash could resolve the scaling issues faced by ethereum, as stated by Vitalik Buterin.
Vitalik Buterin wrote on the research forum on Saturday, that by using the zk-Snarks tech the ethereum network could potentially scale “by a huge amount,” up to 500 transactions per second, without relying on layer-two scaling solutions, such as Plasma or Raiden. Buterin wrote:
“We can actually scale asset transfer transactions on ethereum by a huge amount, without using layer 2s that introduce liveness assumptions (eg. channels, plasma), by using zk-SNARKs to mass-validate transactions.”
Buterin further describes the method of the same, which includes a “relayer” node, a kind of computer that performs the task of aggregating transactions in exchange for transaction fees. He states:
“Anyone can be a relayer; there is no assumption of even an untrusted special ‘operator’ existing.” The node setup is estimated to lead gains of “~24x for ETH transactions and ~50x for ERC-20 transfers.”
At the time when ethereum researchers are facing pressure to figure out ways that could increase the transaction capacity of the platform, the proposal comes as a breath of relief. In a recent Tweet, Afri Schoedon the Parity communications officer urged developers to “stop deploying dapps to ethereum. We are running at capacity.”
In response to the Tweet, Justin Sun suggested developers to shift from Ethereum To Tron Network and Buterin tweeted that zk-snark scaling solutions might alleviate the pressure faced by the ethereum blockchain.
And there are layer 2's without data availability tradeoffs or liveness requirements, eg. tx mass-validation via ZK-SNARKs can reduce costs to < 1000 gas per tx if done well. That's ~500 tx/sec on-chain with all the security guarantees of on-chain.
— Vitalik Non-giver of Ether (@VitalikButerin) September 22, 2018
Furthermore, Buterin added in Saturday’s forum that along with aggregating transactions with zk-snarks is computationally intensive, the technology is likely to improve in the future.
“I understand that the above requires some quite heavy duty computing work on the part of the relayers. But at this point it’s widely known that optimizing snark/stark provers is super-important so I’m sure there will be more and more software engineering work going into it over time.”