Vitalik Buterin: Bitcoin Cash for Ethereum’s scalability

Vitalik Buterin: Bitcoin Cash for Ethereum’s scalability

By Emanuele Pagliari - 15 Jul 2019

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Yesterday, Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum, proposed an interesting solution to improve ETH scalability in the short term by relying on the Bitcoin Cash blockchain.

As reported in the Reddit post, in order to reach high scalability it is necessary to combine fast and effective off-chain solutions supported by the non-scalable layer, precisely like the blockchain of ETH and many other cryptocurrencies.

The most famous solution of this kind on Bitcoin is definitely Lightning Network, whereas on Ethereum there is mention of Truebit, as well as Plasma. However, as reported by Vitalik, there is more that could be done.

Vitalik Buterin evaluates the use of Bitcoin Cash

In the long term, at least one year from today, the Ethereum blockchain will evolve into the fully scalable Ethereum 2.0 solution. Data throughput is expected to reach 10 MB/sec, surpassing any other existing blockchain.

However, in the short term, it may be possible to use certain scalability measures by exploiting other existing public blockchains. In particular, it could be possible to use blockchain with lower transaction costs compared to Ethereum.

Of all the solutions, Bitcoin Cash should be the most suitable for this purpose, for a variety of reasons:

  • High data transfer rate (32 MB in 600 seconds = 53333 bytes per second against the 8 KB per second of Ethereum);
  • Very low fees: using Bitcoin would be too expensive;
  • There are already a number of tools (BTCRelay) ready to verify and use the blocks of bitcoin cash within Ethereum;
  • The BCH community is well prepared for those who use their blockchain for data and transactions.

How will the Bitcoin Cash blockchain be used to improve Ethereum’s scalability?

The BCH blockchain could be exploited in the following way: starting from the ethereum chain, N applicants are randomly selected. Users are thus incentivised to send small transactions in BCH to applicants. In the layer two protocols, in order for the data on the BCH chain to be valid, it is necessary to include as input a particular UTXO, which sends them a small payment in BCH.

In this way, once an applicant submits a transaction, if the bitcoin cash anti-double-spending system works, it will prevent that transaction from being replaced.

This means that BCH could be used, albeit in a more limited way, even with the current blocking times, while waiting for ethereum 2.0.

Another alternative blockchain could be Ethereum Classic, which has a much faster block time (14 seconds). However, it has much lower scalability (~8kb/sec) than bitcoin cash and ETC’s proof of work is rather difficult to process.

Of course, there are also other blockchains to evaluate, although there is still a need for compatibility to implement this scalability solution in a short time.

Emanuele Pagliari
Emanuele Pagliari

Telecommunications engineer with a strong passion for technology. His adventure in the world of blogging started on in 2014 and then continued on and Emanuele is in the world of cryptocurrency as a miner since 2013 and today he follows the technical aspects related to blockchain, cryptography and dApp, also for applications in the Internet of Things.

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