The tech world is ever-changing and evolving, making commendable breakthroughs every day. But do you know what is more admirable? The pace with which we are adapting the technology. The concept of blockchain and cryptocurrency trading launched in the year 2008 but today cryptocurrency serves as a favorable medium of exchange. Today, this digital asset is widely used for purchasing of products or services, paying bills; making payments, and avoiding unnecessary payments given to the banks or third-parties as the cost of processing the transaction. But before the large scale adoption of blockchain technology, a few issues like the blockchain scalability issues must be solved to avoid the risks associated with this revolutionary technology.
The Most Important Blockchain Scalability Issues
Here’s a breakdown of some blockchain scalability issues that we must overcome to make the payment environment more secure and reliable.
- Block size
- Response time
A system is said to be efficient only when it carries the information accurately, processes it faster, and drives the result as and when needed. But this thing becomes challenging in the case of Blockchain. So, the first blockchain scalability issue that comes to mind is a limitation to process data. Whenever a new transaction is processed, it adds a node of information about it to the ledger. Thus, every time a transaction is processed a new node is created which comprises all the information about the transaction. The concept of blockchain will be effective when such payment history is accurately and safely stored in bulk. Which leads to its limitation. When the blockchain becomes big, it becomes almost impossible to manage their data.
Block size is defined as the space utilized for the storage of transaction data. Earlier, the capacity of each bitcoin blockchain was 1 MB which means it could store the data of approximately 2020 transactions. But, as the number of transactions increases the size of the block increases which leads to slow transaction processing and inefficiency.
Whenever a transaction is processed, it goes through a validation process. When one transaction goes through the validation process, others wait in the queue for their turn. As the number of transactions increases, it causes congestion, and the processing time increases. In the case of the BTC network, the validation time for one transaction is around 10 min which increases during peak times.
With the increase in popularity of cryptocurrency, more and more transactions are happening every day. This increases their time of processing as the mining of a new node becomes more complex and requires more computational power. The only way to get your transaction validated is by paying a higher amount to process the transaction faster else the transaction will wait in the queue along with other transactions to be processed.
Ways to Solve the Blockchain Scalability Problem
Some of the ways to avoid the biggest blockchain scalability problem are underlined below. Let’s check them out one by one.
- Hard forks (Bitcoin Cash)
- Soft forks (SegWit)
- Lighting Network
- Plasma Cash
As the name suggests, a hard fork technique splits the chain into two parts. Which makes the previous invalid transactions valid. In this latest version protocol, once the two chains are separated they both have their own previous history different from one another.
Bitcoin Cash Scalability
Bitcoin Cash is the most popular form of a hard fork in the history of the crypto world. Under this, the size of one block increases to 32 MB. Since one block now carries much more information than earlier nodes the complete network becomes much less complex and less decentralized. This technique resolves the blockchain scalability issues to too much extent..
Soft Forks- SegWit
Unlike hard fork, which breaks a chain into two, SegWit is a feature of the Bitcoin sidechain which can easily resolve blockchain scalability issues by increasing the block capacity and solving the transaction malleability issue. This process increases the size of the block to 4 Mb and therefore giving enough space to store up to 8000 transactions at once.
This allows all data to move from the main chain to the side chain, giving extra space for the storage of data about the transactions. Here are some of the advantages listed below.
- The storage capacity of the block increases so now every block can store data of other transactions as well.
- The response time required for validation is reduced. This means no longer waiting in long queues for the confirmation of transactions.
- A surefire solution to deal with transaction malleability.
- Reduced fees since now the response time is less.
One solution that we can’t miss to mention while talking about blockchain scalability issues is the Lightning network. When two participants in a network send money to each other, the transaction is first recording and then verified but when it happens several times, it is not recorded on the root blockchain but verified.
This allows the addition of another layer to the blockchain to increase the storage so that the participants can build payment channels on their own. This way the transaction can be processed at low cost or without cost.
Blockchain scalability issues revolve around data storage space issues and reduced speed, luckily plasma cash is the perfect option to overcome such problems. This option is similar to the Lightning network but with a slight difference.
This allows a huge number of decentralized apps built on smart contract execution to run simultaneously worldwide, solving the major issues with blockchain.
It comprises two layers, one the on-chain layer and one the root layer. The on-chain layer is an additional branch attached to the root layer and sends continuous reports to the root layer. This prevents the overloading of data and processing of transactions.
All the four major blockchain scalability issues – limitations, block size, response time, and high fees can be fixed using the solutions mentioned above. The increase in the use of blockchain is bringing more and more issues in limelight. Therefore before its widespread adoption worldwide we have figure out the best ways possible to overcome this failure. Then only blockchain will be a revolutionary technology that can change the world and take us years ahead.