Ever since the world’s first cryptocurrency was launched,the excitement around the blockchain technology has been building up. In years gone by, the idea of decentralized virtual currencies looked far-fetched. In recent years, however, more people are waking up to the fact that cryptocurrency is headed towards mainstream adoption.
Despite its incredible growth, the main issue that has faced blockchain technology is scalability. There’s a need to have blockchain’s scaling problem explained so that cryptocurrencies attain mainstream acceptance in the financial markets.
Blockchain’s Scaling Problem, Explained
It is a consensus that blockchains are severely affected when it comes to their capacity to scale. This could perhaps be attributed to the nature of blockchain’s consensus protocols. As it stands, all participant nodes on any cryptocurrency network must process each transaction taking place within that particular network.
This is what gives blockchains their decentralized characteristics but denies this technology the ability to scale. With transaction data piling up each day, the existing cryptocurrency system is increasingly straining under its weight. With each purchase made, the blockchain adds a block or more to its transaction ladder. Each block size increases with data since the history of preceding data is also carried. This puts the entire system at risk of collapse.
Anyone who wants blockchain’s scaling problem explained also needs to look at the amount of data involved in blockchain transactions. For instance, Bitcoin blocks were initially capped at 1MB, which translates to approximately 2,020 transactions. Even so, the potential of making an infinite number of transactions on each coin was still there. These transactions typically get recorded on each block.
As transactions persist and records grow, block sizes increase thus exceeding any limit set. Even if the cap per-block is increased,it gets increasingly difficult to keep scaling up. As a result, blocks continue growing while processing times become longer.
How Can the Scaling Problems be Solved?
One of the ways to scale the blockchain is by pushing most transaction activities off the main chain. The use of side-chains to handle smaller transactions while only recording the results on the main blockchain will ease the scalability problem. Once implemented, participants will be able to undertake offline transactions while the main chain will only reflect transaction details rather than being involved in the transactions.
The use of smaller networks that have fewer nodes will also ease the scalability problem. Generally, the number of modes on a blockchain network determines its ability to scale. A smaller system that has fewer nodes makes it easy to get a consensus on all transactions made. On the other hand, increasing block size can also help because more transactions will be accommodated.
When blockchain technology came into existence, no one expected it to have widespread adoption. Its burgeoning popularity has necessitated the need to not only have blockchain’s scaling problem explained,but also implement a scaling solution that increases the functionality of the technology. This will ultimately lead to more adoption and increased use of cryptocurrencies.