Ethereum Creator Praises Decentralized Twitter Peepeth, But Not All Users are Happy

Vitalik Buterin, co-creator of Ethereum, praised Peepeth, a decentralized, blockchain-based Twitter-like social media platform. However, not all users are happy with it.

The Issue

Buterin, who tested Peepeth for the first time on July 21, 2018, complimented the developers for integrating a clean user interface (UI), opinionated features, charity stickers, and a unique aspect that enables users to connect their Twitter accounts to Peepeth to “Peep” and Tweet simultaneously.

Some users, however, expressed complaints about the data processing system requiring users to send a transaction to the Ethereum main chain each time a Peep or a response to a thread is posted on the Peepeth platform.

As a decentralized application (dApp), every piece of information uploaded to the Peepeth platform is processed on the main blockchain network of Ethereum, and depending on the performance of Ethereum, the user experience of Peepeth can change drastically.

Peter McCormack, the host of a popular crypto podcast “What Bitcoin Did,” said that for casual users, it can be difficult to undergo the process of spending gas and sending a transaction to the Ethereum main chain with Metamask every time a Peep is posted on the platform. McCormack said,

“I didn’t mind the idea of paying a nominal fee to create the account, I found that interesting but posting everything to an immutable blockchain. No thanks.”

Murat Akdeniz, a fintech researcher, echoed a similar sentiment, adding that users should be able to use dApps without having knowledge of its blockchain-based structure.Akdeniz added,

“We shouldn’t ask technical decision making from users. Ideally users should be able to use products without even having to know what a blockchain is.”

Possible Solution

Some protocols based on Ethereum like 0x, the decentralized exchange protocol on which popular decentralized exchanges such as Paradex are built, have created particular off-chain mechanisms to batch transactions and data requests to one large transaction that is sent to the Ethereum main chain.

The benefit of utilizing a hybrid on-chain and off-chain mechanism for both the developers and users is that it reduces congestion on the Ethereum network and costs handled by the users when initiating various operations requiring gas to be processed.

On Peepeth, at least in its current form, users are required to send gas to the Ethereum network for each post or change, creating an impractical environment for users, especially for responding on threads and messages.

Every dApp based on the blockchain deals with lack of efficiency and increased overheads. In contrast to the conventional database technology, the blockchain is highly inefficient in processing information. It excels at providing a peer-to-peer ecosystem for apps that do require decentralization, but for apps that can exist on centralized platforms, the blockchain could be very ineffective.

The deployment of Peepeth could be justified by the censorship of data initiated by central authorities, such as Twitter itself and government agencies, as seen in the case of China banning Facebook, Google, and YouTube to help local companies gain complete dominance over the Chinese market.

If Peepeth intends to provide excellent UI and a seamless experience to users on par with existing social media platforms like Twitter, it cannot depend on the Ethereum network to reach a million transaction per second capacity with Plasma and Sharding. Peepeth will need to design unique native scaling solutions to ensure the platform can exist comfortably on the Ethereum network.

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