Barry Whitehat, Alex Gluchowski, Harry R, Yondon Fu, and Philippe Castonguay are the Ethereum researchers who recently introduced a solution called snark-based side chain. Apparently, the solution could scale the network to 17,000 transactions per second, nearing the transaction capacity of Visa. Since scalability is considered one of ethereum’s well-acknowledged and worst issue, the snark-based side chain solution comes as a great relief for ethereum lovers.
Just few weeks ago, the co-creator of Ethereum (ETH), Vitalik Buterin, announces that by using ZK-SNARKS, the base technology of privacy-focused cryptocurrency Zcash, the Ethereum blockchain network could scale to 500 transactions per second.
Snark-based side chain
Like Plasma snark-based side chain is an off-chain solution that enables the user to transfer tokens and ETH outside of the Ethereum mainnet. The ability of processing transactions off-chain, allows the network to send and receive tens of thousands of transactions per second.
To discourage and to disable malicious intent that can deprive the participants of their tokens, the snark-based side chain has a built-in protocol that punishes malicious operators by replacing them and degrading the channel to an on-chain token disallows any further alternations to be made on the channel. The researchers explained:
“Given a malicious operator (the worst case), the system degrades to an on-chain token. A malicious operator cannot steal funds and cannot deprive people of their funds for any meaningful amount of time. If data become unavailable the operator can be replaced, we can roll back to a previously valid state (existing users upon request) and continue from that state with a new operator.”
In simpler terms, the snark-based side chain acts as a second-layer payment network on Ethereum and allows users to freely send and receive payments at a large capacity, negating the threat of corrupt channel operators and individuals with malicious intent to negatively affect the channel.
With a number of scaling solution introduced and some still in the pipeline, Ethereum will continue to test all of the solutions and in the coming years implement whatever is production ready first, scaling the network gradually. While the current transaction capacity of ethereum will not support decentralized applications (dApps) with millions of users, the dApps aren’t ready either to handle millions of users. Good scalability solutions will improve the blockchain ecosystem as a whole and open opportunities for further mainstream adoption.