Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin has published a comprehensive blog post on why crypto scaling at the proportion being suggested by Elon Musk, the Chief Executive Officer of Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) will not work. It is no news that the iconic electric automaker boss is a fan of the Shiba Inu-themed coin, Dogecoin (DOGE). In furtherance of his love for the coin, Musk has in recent times been making comments that show the superiority of the cryptocurrency over the industry’s flagship asset, Bitcoin (BTC).
In one of his tweets as shared toward mid-month, Musk noted that with Dogecoin speeding up block time tenfold, increasing block size by an equal proportion and lowering its transaction fee 100X. Then its superiority over Bitcoin is validated.
Ideally, Doge speeds up block time 10X, increases block size 10X & drops fee 100X. Then it wins hands down.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 16, 2021
However, Vitalik disagrees with this proposition, highlighting in the blog post that there is no feasible way to achieve such scalability “without leading to extreme centralization and compromising the fundamental properties that make a blockchain what it is.”
Decentralization: a Key to Wade Off Network Manipulation
Drawing on the fact that attaining scalability may require vesting enough control on a few participating nodes, a move that can make deciding on a consensus for such scaling to be relatively easy. However, centralization can increase the point of manipulation in any public blockchain network. Vitalik stressed that the fundamentals of blockchain technology are lifted to new heights when any user is able to run a node and participate in the network governance with almost equal leverage.
Vitalik gave an example in which he noted that a properly decentralized system where nodes can automatically reject “blocks that break the protocol rules even if over 90% of the miners or stakers support those blocks,” is what is ideal to keep the trust in a functional blockchain network.
Manipulating the network in such instances as described above is billed to be largely unprofitable, and if the attackers are able to navigate through the chaos caused, the block reward that will be generated is surely going to make the entire ordeal not worth it.
Having noted this, Vitalik proposed sharding as a major solution to bypass the current scalability challenges.
Vitalik on Crypto Scaling: the Sharding Way
Vitalik said the Ethereum blockchain is pursuing sharding as a way to prevent the block storage challenge and the general crypto scaling issue. He wrote:
“Sharded blockchains can safely have very high levels of transaction throughput that non-sharded blockchains cannot. This does require a lot of cryptographic cleverness in creating efficient substitutes for naive full validation that successfully reject invalid blocks, but it can be done.”
Vitalik said Ethereum is exploring the use of Quadratic Sharding where “total scalability is limited by the fact that a node has to be able to process both a single shard and the beacon chain which has to perform some fixed amount of management work for each shard.”
Despite the apparent promises of this sharding technology, Vitalik noted there are still inherent challenges to sharding, reiterating the point that attaining a 100 percent perfect blockchain is almost unrealistic.