The invention of Bitcoin was undeniably a major breakthrough in the world of digital assets. Although predecessors such as Bitgold and Hashcash had formalized the concepts of digital money, Satoshi’s invention has ultimately gone on to revolutionize traditional financial paradigms. Chains like Mastercoin and Nxt were the first to enable developers to mint their own tokens. Ethereum represented further leap forward, introducing smart contract functionality to support programmable transactions.
But now, 11 years on from Bitcoin’s genesis block, and nearly six from Ethereum’s, it’s time to recognize that these platforms were never designed for the one thing that everyone is demanding of them. Scalability continues to haunt the major blockchains, and the solution is far more complex than many believe. Simply introducing a new consensus model isn’t going to solve the issues.
The Focus on Scalability Risks Redundancy
Older blockchains like Ethereum are suffering from well-documented scalability issues, with virtually no progress since the craze for Cryptokitties choked the internet at the end of 2017. EOS offers higher transaction throughput, but less than a year post-launch, it faces the risk that only a small handful of nodes now have the resources, or willingness, to operate as full history nodes.
Everyone in the Ethereum community is waiting for Eth 2.0, the long-promised update that is allegedly going to make Ethereum scalable. It emerged last year that it could still be several years away. There’s now a serious risk that by the time Eth 2.0 eventually materializes, the technology itself is likely to have moved on, rendering any upgrade redundant.
While their commitment to decentralization is laudable, Ethereum’s core development teams don’t give the appearance of operating with any coherent strategy that will bring a unified vision to life.
Other solutions such as second layers or Bitc...