This article understands the development history of Ethereum scaling technology

State Channel→Plasma→Optimistic Rollup→ZK-Rollup

Here’s a technical guide: Will scale Ethereum from 12 transactions/sec to 100,000 transactions/sec…and at a lower cost than you’re paying right now.

This article understands the development history of Ethereum scaling technology

Bitcoin implies that trustless computing is possible; and Ethereum, as the world computer, is the delivery of trustless computing.

The world computer is slow. This slowness manifests itself in two ways: slow execution and high gas costs.

This brings us to the framework that defines Ethereum scaling: keeping as much off-chain execution as possible while still ultimately settling on Ethereum.

If a transaction settles on Ethereum, then it gets all the properties of Ethereum.

A state channel is the first attempt to move execution off-chain.

A channel is a one-time relationship between two or more parties. Both parties lock funds on-chain, allowing them to exchange IOUs for free.

This article understands the development history of Ethereum scaling technology

From Ethereum’s perspective, a state channel is 2 transactions (per participant): opening and closing the state channel. These transactions represent more computation that happens off-chain, but is ultimately settled to the mainnet.

State channels provide scalability but are limited in application.

Plasma (chain) was developed to solve (part of) these problems.

Plasma is an independent blockchain that is much more performant (and more centralized) than Ethereum. However, they are anchored to the world computer by publishing data back to the mainnet.

This article understands the development history of Ethereum scaling technology

Plasma provides even greater improvements than state channels:

  • Assets can be sent to users who have not opted in
  • Support persistent state (exist even if the user logs out of the system)
  • Data is regularly published on-chain

However, Plasma is only half of the solution.

The complete solution is rollup.

Plasma only publishes the state hash root (used to verify that a transaction happened), rollup publishes everything needed to completely refactor the chain.

The first type of rollup is Optimistic Rollup.

Optimistic Rollup assumes that all transactions posted to the mainnet are valid, so it records transactions on-chain. But, just in case, they also opened a challenge window.

This article understands the development history of Ethereum scaling technology

Optimistic Rollup creates its own blockchain where anyone can observe fraud. Once found, they can issue a fraud proof that the transaction batch is invalid and should be revoked.

Result: No transactions were finalized until the challenge period (up to 7 days) had passed.

This brings us to the real solution for blockchain scaling and the future of Ethereum: ZK-Rollup.

Like Optimistic Rollup, ZK-Rollup publishes all data to mainnet, but they also provide a zero-knowledge proof.

Zero-knowledge proofs represent the mathematical certainty that any information posted on-chain is valid and actually happens in ZK-Rollup. If the proof is verified, the transaction is final on both the rollup and Ethereum.

ZK-Rollups are still at the forefront of blockchain technology; I don’t think there is a general purpose/EVM compliant ZK-Rollup that’s ready for production today….

But we’re not far from that, and if you look closely, you’ll find a testnet or two.

Back in November 2021, Stark Ware co-founders Uri Kolodny and EliBenSasson joined an episode of the Bankless podcast. Uri mentioned that Stark Ware is already fast and low-cost enough to support physics simulations.

We are building a real supercomputer!

When you look at Ethereum today, it can be hard to see the world computer. Even if you can understand the metaphor, it’s hard to imagine how 12 transactions per second would underpin the world.

But what I see is not today, but a zero-knowledge future.

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:
Coinyuppie is an open information publishing platform, all information provided is not related to the views and positions of coinyuppie, and does not constitute any investment and financial advice. Users are expected to carefully screen and prevent risks.

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