Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum, has said that the network will be able to process 1 million transactions per second once second-layer scaling solutions are implemented, in the near future.
Scalability is a major concern for cryptocurrencies and blockchain networks, especially if they are to compete with traditional payment systems, such as Visa
Given how Bitcoin and Ethereum have both grown to become the number and number two blockchain and cryptocurrency networks, their performance issues are highlighted every time they suffer – whether it’s Bitcoin’s processing delays or fees, or Ethereum’s congestion due to games like CryptoKitties.
However, Vitalik has been speaking about scalability earlier as well, in what he calls the scalability trilemma – where a network has to compromise one of the three things to achieve the other two – security, decentralization and scalability. That being said, Vitalik has also stated earlier that decentralization is a luxury, particularly when it comes to a coin’s immediate utility.
Sharing recent progress during the OmiseGO AMA, Vitalik spoke about the second-layer solutions undergoing trials on the testnet, and how they can, when implemented, allow decentralized apps to support millions of users.
Sharding is one of these solutions, which effectively creates small ‘shards’ in the network, freeing the main blockchain from having to process every single transaction. Similarly, another solution is Plasma, which is developed by Vitalik and Lightning Network’s Joseph Poon, and facilitates micropayments via small child networks within the main network.
If the scalability issues are resolved, as stated by Vitalik, the Ethereum network could actually see mass-adoption, and practical applications in various fields, including health, transportation and more, as large-scale decentralized apps become a reality.
“So if you get a 100x from Sharding and a 100x from Plasma, those two basically give you a 10,000x scalability gain, which basically means blockchains will be powerful enough to handle most applications most people are trying to do with them,” wrote Buterin.