until recently, scalability
has been the main issue facing
distributed ledger technology. In fact, it has been the biggest challenge for
pioneer blockchain platforms such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. As the
number of users and transactions continue to grow, the amount of data in a
given blockchain keeps accumulating and, when space runs out, the transaction
speed goes down.
Bitcoin and Ethereum are still contemplating how to best approach the
scalability issue, groundbreaking solutions are popping up. One of the most
notable ones is Ardor, a project by
company behind the cryptocurrency NXT.
is among the top 20 cryptocurrencies in the world by market capitalization, and
it stands out from bitcoin because it depends on proof of stake (PoS), rather
than proof of work (PoW), as a validation protocol. In PoS, blockchain
validation depends on the number of coins held by a miner, while PoW is
dependent on the miner’s amount of computing power.
a blockchain gets bigger, the amount of computing power required to mine coins
increases exponentially and so do the costs of infrastructure maintenance and
electricity bills. However, with PoS, there is no special mining equipment
required and, therefore, the costs are low.
Ardor project also addresses blockchain scalability and usability by
introducing what is known as “child chains.” A child chain is an offset
from the main Ardor chain designed to provide specific business purposes while
maintaining the security and the functionality of the parent chain. Simply put,
when a business decides to use the Ardor blockchain, a child chain is trimmed
from the main chain and customized for the specific purpose of that business.
child chain comes without the technical requirements of running a blockchain,
given that all of the legwork is done at the main chain and is the
responsibility of Jelurida. This approach can be termed as “blockchain as a
service” since it’s open to all users and does not require any technical
background in blockchain technology to implement.
the pruning of the child chains from the main network separates transactions
and data that do not affect the security from those that do, hence further eliminating
blockchain bloat. Consequently, the speed per transaction skyrockets, making it
possible for the technology to be used in day-to-day activities. The ability to
improve transaction speeds without compromising on blockchain security has been
a major headache for Bitcoin and Ethereum.
tap into the Ardor blockchain, all that is required is for the users to
identify a specific purpose and an expert from Jelurida will take them through
the features that they need and the installation process.
instance, if a real estate company wants to use blockchain smart contracts to
facilitate rental housing deposit refunds, all it needs to do is to define the
contract conditions and Jelurida will guide the company through creating a
child chain for that purpose and connecting it with the main Ardor network.
projects providing a solution similar to Ardor include EOS and RChain. The EOS project aims to
introduce an operating system-like infrastructure where decentralized
applications can be built. With such a platform, scalability will increase to
millions of transactions per second at zero processing fees. However, unlike
the Ardor project, EOS is still in its beginning stages of development.
the other hand, the RChain project addresses the scalability problem through
what it calls “Rho Virtual Machines.” These are side chains that operate in a
similar fashion to the Ardor child chains. Like EOS, this project is still at
the beginning of its development.
more solutions appear, the possibility that blockchain technology is adopted by
the masses is being realized. With many new projects in development vying to
solve blockchain technology's scalability issues, the possibility of actionable
solutions is getting nearer.