Vitalik Buterin published a post on the various scalability solutions for blockchains and how increasing parameters, as suggested by Musk, are inadvisable.
Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, in a blog post published on May 23, offered some detailed thoughts on the scalability problem. The post is in part a refutation of Elon Musk’s claims of speeding up the Dogecoin network by simply increasing protocol parameters.
Buterin sets the record straight
Buterin begins the post by questioning how far one can “push the scalability of Blockchain,” before immediately tackling Elon Musk’s tweet about upping Dogecoin network parameters. After pointing out the complications of centralization and compromises on the technology, he says that there are important subtle factors that influence scaling.
Buterin argues that it’s “crucial for blockchain decentralization for regulators to be able to run a node.” He cites a striking example of how influential groups on a network if they wished to change protocol parameters, could very easily do so at the cost of regular users.
What’s stopping this from happening is the regular user that makes the network decentralized. In other words, users running nodes are the bulwark that oppose a network’s takeover by potentially malicious actors. He goes on to describe in other ways how end-users, by the role they play, prevent malicious actors from executing attacks.
The optimal solution to this problem, he says, is to maximize the number of users that can run a full node. In order to do this, computation, bandwidth, and storage considerations must take place.
Ethereum busy tackling scalability with ETH 2.0
ETH 2.0 is also working on scaling the network, as it becomes increasingly popular with the growth of decentralized finance (DeFi) and non-fungible tokens (NFT).
Sharding is one of the most anticipated scaling solutions that will be introduced to the network. At this point, Ethereum has introduced Rollups, which sharding will eventually take over.
Scalability is a problem that needs to be addressed as blockchain technology and apps expand, with gas fees in recent months already incredibly high. Buterin named storage as the issue that concerns core developers the most. In technical terms, this calls for statelessness and state expiry.
As for sharding, Buterin says that it fundamentally gets around the aforementioned limitations. Ethereum’s plan is to use quadratic sharding, and he goes on to say that a few hundred shards is likely an ideal number. He concluded by stating that all solutions have limitations and upsides, with sharding seemingly the best option on the table.
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