Vitalik Reveals New Idea for Plasma Scaling On Ethereum

Vitalik Buterin discussed a new idea Friday for a scaling solution that envisions how the capabilities of the ethereum blockchain might be expanded.

AccessTimeIconMar 9, 2018 at 9:02 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:40 a.m. UTC

In a surprise appearance at the ethereum community conference EthCC in Paris on Friday, ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin presented a scaling solution for Plasma, a system of smart contracts that seeks to increase the computational potential of the world's second-largest blockchain.

Created by Buterin and Bitcoin Lightning Network co-creator Joseph Poon last year, the scaling solution is one of many under development that aims to boost the capacity of ethereum, specifically working by creating a layer of smart contracts that can interact with the main blockchain.

But while the current iteration of the prototype requires all users to download and validate each smart contract in the Plasma system, in his new talk, Buterin described a way to limit this to a handful of data points.

"The main benefit here is that basically the amount of data that clients need to process goes down by a lot," Buterin explained.

Rather than having to download the entire Plasma history, users would be able to instead generate "Plasma coins" by sending a deposit to the contract. As such, instead of downloading and verifying everything, users could simply track the tokens they have created within that system.

"Now users only have to verify the availability and correctness of the Plasma chain only at the specific index that they want to spend, or the specific index of any coins that they own and coins that they care about," Buterin said.

Created by Buterin and developers Dan Robinson and Karl Floersch, the idea has yet to undergo testing. However, according to Buterin, this minimized system could have a number of important use cases, such as protecting cryptocurrency exchanges from large-scale hacks.

Rather than dealing directly with user funds, the vision is that exchanges could provide order book functionality and insure losses through Plasma contracts.

"Hopefully when the next multi-billion dollar exchange written by a totally incompetent developer gets hacked, no one will lose any money," Buterin said.

And crucially, the discovery could help accelerate scaling efforts at a time where the platform is under pressure to keep up with the demands of an expanding user base.

In a nod to this, Buterin said:

"It's just one simple way to make Plasma more scalable and vastly reduce its usage requirements for regular users."

DISCLOSURE

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Trending

1
CoinDesk - Unknown
A New Chapter of Web3: Solana Unveils Smartphone ‘Saga’; Moody’s Downgrades Coinbase

The most valuable crypto stories for Friday, June 24, 2022.

CoinDesk - Unknown
2
CoinDesk - Unknown
How Are Institutions and Companies Investing in Crypto?

From putting bitcoin on their balance sheets to setting up shop in the metaverse, the ways brands and institutions are investing in cryptocurrencies continues to expand.

CoinDesk - Unknown
3
CoinDesk - Unknown
Consensus 2022: Hollywood, Colleges, Conferences vs. Crypto

The state of crypto and economics live from Consensus 2022 in Austin, Texas.

CoinDesk - Unknown
4
CoinDesk - Unknown
Bitcoin se estabiliza cerca de $21K; inversores esperan evitar otra caída el fin de semana

Los analistas se cuestionan si BTC podrá mantenerse por encima del umbral de $20.000 en un clima de desconfianza entre los inversores.

CoinDesk - Unknown