The Blockchain Trilemma
Sometimes referred to as the scalability trilemma: the issue of scalability — transaction volume and speed, is definitely one of the issues delaying mass adoption. For mass adoption to occur blockchain platforms have to be able to compete with legacy payments systems without sacrificing decentralization and security.
The targeted benchmark would be to be able to compete with legacy systems like Visa with a transaction processing capacity of 24,000 transactions per second (TPS). Currently Ripple — XRP consistently handles 1,500 transactions per second. No where near close to dethroning VISA as the worlds top payment processor.
Ethereum 2.0 — Serenity
New blockchains/platforms always proclaim themselves to be the next Bitcoin or Ethereum and yet, to date, there is no clear winner. At it’s launch Ethereum was considered the second most important crypto with Bitcoin being first.
Vitalik Buterin, founder of Ethereum, created it to serve as a more general purpose driven platform compared to Bitcoin. A blockchain platform that could be used to implement a much broader variety of blockchain applications leading to an evolution in smart contract and dApp (Decentralized Application) development. Revolutionary at the time, the last few years have seen competing projects, like Tron and EOS, also dedicated to dApp development start to enter the market and slowly chip away at Ethereum’s market share.
In the developer community however, Ethereum is still the №1 choice for developers to build their dapp on. According to dApp analytics website DApp.com, a report released at the beginning of April 2019, showed Tron (TRX) has the fastest growing dApp user base while Ethereum’s (ETH) dApp user base is still the largest but its lead is shrinking.
The State of Ethereum in 2019 — Serenity
The anticipated Ethereum 2.0 AKA Serenity release in Ethereum’s roadmap includes three major updates including the transition from a proof of work to a proof of stake consensus mechanism, sharding and a transfer of the existing Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) to Ethereum flavored WebAssembly (eWasm).
Casper: The proof-of-stake algorithm which replaces mining with a more efficient PoS model; a scaling solution aimed to reduce centralisation and remove PoW challenges, including immense energy use and the centralization of mining.
Sharding: The massive scalability improvement that aims to increase the Ethereum blockchain’s total throughput rate
eWasm: A wasm-based EVM with improved hardware features making it possible to write smart contracts in any language that compiles into WebAssembly.
Ethereum’s shift from PoW to PoS is an exciting development for one of the worlds largest cryptocurrencies. Will it solve the blockchain trilemma? Time will tell but it will definitely be exciting to see how it plays out.
Many investors and developers have faith in Ethereum and the Ethereum community including Arunabh Das, Founder and CTO of App Liaison Inc. We discuss it here in Episode 8 of the Crypto Blockchain Podcast
Saturday, June 1st in Toronto, ON at the CryptoChicks Hackathon and Conference Vitalik Buterin and Vlad Zamfir will have a panel discussion about blockchain scalability. Hit the link for more info https://www.toronto.cryptochicks.ca/
With contributions from Arunabh Das, Founder and CTO of AppLiaison
Check out my BlockDelta profile for additional articles.