Blockchain technology has come a long way from its initial inception in 2008 with the introduction of Bitcoin. Since then, distributed technology has transitioned from strictly financial use cases to being implemented in industries such as the art, medical, and logistics industries, with the list of industries growing daily. At the current rate that blockchain technology use cases are developing, the need for a solution to the technology’s scalability concerns grows more pressing. For blockchain technology to be ready for mainstream adoption and usage, the current throughput of blockchains will need to at least match the requirements of mainstream traffic. Let’s take a look at proposed scalability solutions for blockchain technology.
To understand the proposed blockchain scalability solutions, knowing the different layers that make up a blockchain is essential. The layers are:
- The application layer
- The modeling layer
- The contract layer
- The system layer
- The data layer
- The network layer
This layer has to do with creating multiple use cases for blockchain technology across various industries.
The modeling layer facilitates the smart contracts, establishes workflows, and defines how the user will interact with the system.
The contract layer deals with the smart contract itself. There are financial repercussions for poorly designed and coded smart contracts. Therefore, contracts must go through multiple audits before deployment to identify any potential weaknesses in the code.
This layer consists of components needed to maintain the blockchain, such as the mining consensus and its associated sub-systems.
This layer is where data is stored. Data can be stored both on-chain and off-chain in a database.
This layer is the foundation of every blockchain and refers to the network of computers (peers) that make up the blockchain. This network of peers is responsible for continuously communicating the current state of the blockchain with each other, the security of the blockchain, and the validity of the data being transmitted within the network.
Blockchain scalability can be broken into two categories: on-chain scalability and off-chain scalability, or layer 1 and layer 2 scaling.
On-chain scalability, or layer 1 scaling, refers to making improvements to the blockchain itself. These improvements involve making changes to the network’s rules to increase the blockchain’s speed and throughput. An example of layer 1 scaling could be changing the block sizes of the blocks in the blockchain. This will allow for more transactions to be processed and saved to each block, thus increasing transaction speed.
Off-chain scalability, or layer 2 scaling, entails solutions that augment the blockchain protocol and don’t change the blockchain’s consensus or rules. This scaling is applied on top of the existing blockchain protocol to increase network and efficiency. The goal of this scaling is to shift the transactional burden to off-chain processing. Once processed off-chain, the processed transactions are then sent to the blockchain for finalization. An example of this would be nested blockchains, where smaller blockchains are built on top of the core blockchain to divide the amount of processing work into smaller segments. These smaller chains focus on a smaller portion of transactions and push the transactions they have processed to the core blockchain for finalization.
The issue of blockchain scalability needs to be addressed before blockchain technology can be used mainstream. There are currently multiple use cases for the technology. With the Multichain movement taking place, these chains will need to handle a large amount of traffic characteristic of mainstream adoption and usage. Currently, scaling solutions are being designed and implemented in the newer generations of blockchain technology, both off-chain and on-chain.
CORE addresses blockchain technology’s scalability issue by implementing both on-chain and off-chain scaling. CORE uses an enhanced, AI-based Proof of Stake consensus model with a secure and scalable parallel protocol for distributed ledgers achieved through sharding, side chains, and off-chain processing. This combination of on-chain and off-chain scaling allows for the acceleration of block broadcasting within blockchain networks.
LBK Blockchain Co. Limited