Ethereum [ETH] has been struggling to find a footing in price above the $250 mark, as the tensions of ICOs selling off their treasury of ETH tokens rise. While many are doing so to fund their products, it is also a known fact that the Ethereum network itself has scalability issues.
There have been a few proposed solutions to the scaling of the network, which include various features such as sharding and the development of Plasma. This brings the question to the minds of enthusiasts: What will drive the scaling of the Ethereum network?
Primary among the proposed solutions is sharding. Sharding is a concept derived from traditional databases, which breaks the data into pieces that can be stored on different servers.
This, applied to the Ethereum blockchain, would greatly increase scalability by not requiring all nodes that secure the network to be “full nodes”. As transaction and blockchain history is required to be stored across nodes, sharding will effectively allow the security to be maintained without requiring this.
Every node will contain a subset of transactions, and transactions that are not part of the subset will be sourced from other nodes. The trust required in this process will be solved using Ethereum’s “cryptoeconomic incentives”.
Another method for scaling the speed of transactions on the Ethereum network is off-chain transactions. Dependable off-chain transactions can make the Ethereum network as fast as centralized payment processes, as stated by Vitalik Buterin.
However, as the Ethereum network is continually running, it is difficult to test the consequences of these changes on the network without negative results. At the same time, there is constant progress being made on the scalability of the blockchain. It is left to see how these methods will be implemented.
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