Ethereum could soon enable thousands of transactions per second

Ethereum could soon enable thousands of transactions per second

Over the weekend, Ethereum went through a significant software upgrade, dubbed Istanbul. The hard fork brought several improvements to the network. And, it allowed the integration of a second layer scaling solution that promises to enable more than 3,000 transactions per second (TPS) while maintaining decentralization and privacy.

Scaling solution

Earlier this year, Matter Labs received a grant from the Ethereum Foundation for their work on a second layer scaling solution with zero-knowledge proofs. Since then, the team is working to build ZK Sync. This is a trustless scaling and privacy solution that emphasizes on user and developer experiences.

According to Alex Gluchowski, the founder of Matter Labs:

“A successful solution to the scaling problem in public blockchains is not only a matter of high transaction throughput. It must also be defined as the ability of the system to meet the demands of millions of users without sacrificing decentralization. The prerequisites of mass crypto adoption include high speed, low cost, smooth UX, and privacy.”

ZK Sync was designed to bring thousands of TPS to Ethereum while keeping the funds secure and maintaining a high degree of censorship-resistance. With the help of ZK Rollup technology, the second layer solution can hold funds in a smart contract on the mainchain while computing and storing transactions off-chain.

ZK Rollup keeps the security features of the underlying protocol. As a result, validators can never corrupt the system or steal funds. Users will always be able to recover funds even if validators do not cooperate. And, not even a “single trusted third party” needs to be online to monitor blocks to prevent fraud.

At the moment, the devnet for ZK Sync v0.1 is live, and it is the first step to take advantage of the full potential of this technology.

Gluchowski assured:

“ZK Sync is going to be a bridge for bringing millions of users into crypto. We are setting a high bar for user experience and will demonstrate that zk-technology is capable of providing a Web-like experience without sacrificing the values of the blockchain revolution.”

“Scalability is a big bottleneck”

Ethereum has been struggling with crippling congestion over the last few years. The blockchain’s network utilization surpassed 90 percent several times in 2019, for instance, making it costly to run applications and use. The congestion is mostly a function of ETH’s 15 TPS bottleneck.

Even Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum’s figurehead, admitted to the limitations that could impede this blockchain from realizing its potential as a widely adopted “world computer.”

Buterin affirmed:

“Scalability is a big bottleneck because the Ethereum blockchain is almost full. If you’re a bigger organization, the calculus is that if we join, it will not only be more full but we will be competing with everyone for transaction space. It’s already expensive and it will be even five times more expensive because of us.”

Ethereum Network Utilization chart
Ethereum Network Utilization. Source:

Now, time will tell whether Matter Labs’ second layer solution will indeed solve the scalability issues that the Ethereum network is facing. And, bring with it a “VISA-scale throughput” of thousands of transactions per second.

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