Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has recently updated the Ethereum scaling roadmap, confirming that sharding is still an essential part of the upgrade and that rollups are already available.
In a recent tweet, Vitalik Buterin reconfirmed that sharding was not canceled and that ultra-high scaling with sharding and rollup features will be possible in Phase 1. He did not however include an exact date for when these features would be implemented.
Ethereum has come under a lot of pressure recently as the DeFi boom has driven average transaction fees through the roof making the network expensive and slow for the majority of users. In its current state, Ethereum cannot scale to meet demands, so third-party protocols are needed to process data off the primary chain.
A quick recap of the short and medium term of Ethereum scaling.
1. Ultra-high scaling with sharding + rollups will be possible *in phase 1*
2. Sharding is NOT "cancelled"
3. Get on a rollup asap; you get 100x scaling even without eth2 pic.twitter.com/fXW0Q3iAxu
— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) October 5, 2020
The Need For Ethereum Speed
Buterin continued to state that Phase 0, which will usher in a Proof of Stake consensus is ‘coming very soon,’ though did not specify when. Phase 0, dubbed Beacon Chain, will not introduce any scaling improvements, however, as these are slated for inclusion in Phase 1.
Summarizing the current state of the network, Buterin stated that it can handle 15-45 transactions per second. Rollups, which are already in operation, increase this by 100x, while sharding with side-chains will offer a 64x increase. When stacking both these together, speeds can theoretically be bumped up by 6,400x.
Buterin said that sharded rollups only need to be released with Phase 1 because rollups use the chain only for data, not for computation —“So we will have all the tools we need for 6400x throughput quite soon!”
He added that rollups are already available for high-speed Ethereum transactions and recommended using them. Last week, Buterin suggested that Ethereum should be used for payments using the Layer-2 options that are already in operation.
Get on a Rollup
Matter Labs launched the L2 payments gateway zkSync on the mainnet in mid-June this year, with the claim that it enables ‘PayPal-scale’ throughput for dApps or wallets. Ethereum zkRollup exchange and payment protocol Loopring launched a Layer-2 token swap DEX in mid-September while the OMG Network, which launched in 2017 to provide Plasma scaling for Ethereum, integrated the Tether stablecoin in August to facilitate cost-efficient payments.
There are also rollups with EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine) compatibility currently being tested. Optimistic Ethereum was deployed in late September in collaboration with the DeFi protocol Synthetix which is currently offering rewards for participation in testing.