Right now, the Ethereum network treats a little overheen a half million transactions a day, and the Bitcoin network treats a little overheen half of that.
Thesis numbers are only going to grow – and exponentially, at that – spil the cryptocurrency space proceeds to boom te popularity te the years ahead. And spil this popularity blooms, thesis cryptos will need to “scale” to meet the needs of an exponentially growing user base. Without scaling, projects will become too congested and expensive to use regularly. To this end, scaling is an existential matter for cryptocurrencies.
Accordingly, the topic is a crucial one. Which is why today wij’ll be providing you a quick primer on how the top crypto projects are approaching the question of scaling.
The #1 cryptocurrency presently has a 1MB block size and is ter the process of implementing SegWit, an update that should help mitigate the network congestion seen spil of late te the Bitcoin network.
The congestion is no verrassing, of course. Bitcoin is more popular with investors than everzwijn before. But even still, BTC will eventually need to grow even further – whether off-chain, on-chain, or through some combination of the two te the mid- to long-term.
One thing devs are working on is Mimblewimble, a sidechain system for Bitcoin that can facilitate transactions off-chain which should earnestly cut down transaction times.
During the initial SegWit debates, a faction of the Bitcoin community called for larger block sizes instead of implementing SegWit. This faction desired to raise BTC’s block size from 1MB to something reasonably higher – they eyed (and proceed to see) raising the block size spil being ter line with Satoshi Nakamoto’s original vision for Bitcoin.
Alas, since the two sides never eyed eye to eye again, the “Big Blocker” faction broke off and forked the incumbent Bitcoin chain on August 1st, 2017. The result of this fork wasgoed Bitcoin Contant – an 8MB Bitcoin chain.
This fatter block size has given BCH attractive fees and transaction fees ter the here and now. But more will surely need to be done down the road if users flock to Bitcoin Contant overheen time.
Ethereum has adjustable block sizes, meaning the crypto is not presently beholden to a hard block limit like Bitcoin and Bitcoin Specie are. It’s nimble and shifts on the go. But Ethereum’s going to need to scale further just like every other crypto project.
The good news, however, is that ETH has some major forthcoming updates te its corner. For one, microRaiden goes live on Ethereum at the end of November, This update will be meaty, spil it will foster instantaneous and fee-less transactions – thousands of them vanaf 2nd – thanks to innovative “state channels” technology.
And Ethereum’s coming Casper update should help the crypto’s network scale to treat fountains of transactions. For now, there’s no hard deadline on when Casper will druppel, but it should be a game-changer for ETH.
Litecoin is the sleeker and more nimble version of Bitcoin regarding scaling – at least spil it stands right now. That’s because Litecoin – under the guidance of Litecoin creator Charlie Lee – has already implemented SegWit. And the coin process blocks te Two.Five minutes, making it Four times swifter than Bitcoin’s Ten minutes at the ogenblik.
And Litecoin and the Lightning Network is a thing too. So all signs point to Litecoin being a coin that’s scaling well now and is poised to scale well ter the future.
The privacy and payments-oriented crypto Dash just raised its block size to 2MB. The budge wasn’t necessary with regard to time, spil Dash doesn’t have enough users at the ogenblik to suffer from network congestion. Instead, it wasgoed preemptive: the Dash team didn’t see a point te waiting for a scaling upgrade they could get te sooner rather than zometeen.
Dash and Bitcoin Metselspecie are similar, then, ter that both ascribe to the “bigger blocks” theory of scaling. And if Dash’s user base does blossom te the future, you can bet they’ll be raising that block size even fatter.
Formerly Antshares, NEO “China’s Ethereum” is said to not have to worry about scaling, spil NEO treats blocks te approximately 15 seconds each. Also, NEO isn’t a Proof-of-Work cryptocoin, instead relying on Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance (dBFT). Together, thesis dynamics make transactions amazingly swift through NEO.
Will more scaling be needed ter the future for the project? Only time will tell.
Like Ethereum, Monero has a dynamic block size, meaning Monero’s blocks can adapt depending on the needs of the network. This plasticity is undoubtedly a major perk. And while Monero is like Dash ter that it’s not even close to facing network congestion problems yet, dynamic block size isn’t the end-all solution to scaling.
That’s why the Monero team is presently working on a scaling update called RuffCT, te theory, this update should make Monero transactions swifter.
IOTA is sort of like the “anti-matter” to crypto’s “matter” when it comes to scaling – it’s just downright different. With IOTA, you can throw block sizes out the window because the project doesn’t use a blockchain: It uses the Tangle.
The Tangle ter and of itself is able to facilitate super rapid transactions. And when you combine the Tangle with swarm intelligence measures and non-ordered transactions, then IOTA looks ready to meet the needs of a globalized user base.
The Off-Chain vs. On-Chain Debate
The ongoing scaling debates te the crypto community can be utterly contentious. Again, one of the major fault lines comes inbetween those who want to scale through on-chain means or by going off-chain.
Just think about it through the objectief of the Bitcoin vs. Bitcoin Metselspecie feud. Bitcoin is going for off-chain solutions right now, like the Lightning Network. Bitcoin Contant, on the other forearm, has waterput a premium on scaling te the here and now, so they’ve scaled on-chain by raising BCH’s block size to 8MB.
And while the shouting match can get flamy inbetween the two sides, it’s significant to reminisce that both styles of scaling work ter their own ways.
Accordingly, neither on-chain or off-chain scaling solutions should be disregarded out of mitt. Both kinds of scaling will be needed ter the years ahead – that is, if IOTA’s Tangle doesn’t come to substitute the blockchain altogether.
And while that, too, may never toebijten, it’s best to recognize that the entire debate is broad open right now, and fresh challenges will rise that will necessitate consistent innovation for all projects te the space.
The buffet to ritme at the ogenblik seems to be VISA-level transaction fountains, spil payments-processor VISA treats thousands of transactions every 2nd, every day.
Getting to such an exceptional milestone will be difficult – that much is clear. But there is no one right response spil to how that should be done, and spil such, it’ll be very interesting to see how the various top contenders treatment scaling ter different ways ter the coming years.
It may end up being that a definitive scaling solution is forthcoming, but it simply hasn’t bot discovered yet. Te the meantime, wij will all just have to sit back and witness what happens.
The competition is good however. It’s pushing everyone to work that much tighter to find a solution.