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Vitalik Buterin Pushes for Rollups as Ethereum’s Scaling Solution

Sead Fadilpašić
Last updated: | 3 min read

Vitalik Buterin, Co-founder of Ethereum (ETH), reiterated that rollups are the way to go when it comes to the network’s scaling issue. They’ll likely be the main solution for at least two years, he suggested.

Vitalik Buterin. Source: a screenshot, YouTube/ETHWORLD.

As is all too well known, terms ‘Ethereum’ and ‘scalling’ are far from strangers, given that they’ve been a topic of discussion for years. The solution to the network’s scaling issue should come with the long-awaited, and much-talked-about Ethereum 2.0 (ETH 2.0), also known as Serenity.

As to what form the potential solution may take – at least initially – the Cryptoverse has gotten some clues from Buterin himself.

“ETH2 scaling for data will be available before ETH2 scaling for general computation,” said Buterin in a recent tweet.

He went on to say that this “implies that rollups will be the dominant scaling paradigm for at least a couple of years.”

Buterin has been a proponent of rollups for quite a while. As he himself explained it in an interview, Rollup is a scaling technique that keeps transaction data on-chain, in a compressed form, but the computation is pushed off-chain. That means that the computation, such as signature verification, contract execution, zero-knowledge (ZK) proof execution, and others, are verified in a ZK-Rollup or Optimistic Rollup.

But things get more technical from there. What matters is that these would theoretically allow more transactions per second (TPS). On a public chain, a maximum of 15 TPS can be done, Buterin had said previously. In his tweet, he added that with rollups, and Ethereum 1.0 as the data layer, the TPS will be reaching 2,000-3,000.

However, once Phase 1 of ETH 2.0 is introduced, he suggested, the number will go as high as 100,000 TPS. “Adjust accordingly,” he added.

In his tweets now, as in the mentioned interview before, Buterin named several teams which he said are making progress with rollups, as well as Layer 2 (aka off-chain) solutions which could scale Ethereum, such as Arbitrum, Loopring, zkSync, StarkWare, and Fuel Labs.

“Anyone who’s just moving ETH / ERC20 / ERC721 tokens around should be looking at how to get onto a rollup today,” added Buterin. “Gasprices on base chain would probably fall greatly if it was only used for the more complex stuff.”

To this, Anthony Sassano, SetProtocol product marketing manager and author of the Ethereum-focused newsletter The Daily Gwei, replied that there are “plenty of projects out there with deployments of layer 2 tech (rollups) on mainnet already.” He linked the June 19 issue of his newsletter that lists recently released or announced scaling technology.

Ethereum 2.0 multi-client testnet Altona is live

Ben Edgington, researcher at Ethereum-focused blockchain company ConsenSys, yesterday marked the two-year anniversary since a team got together and “first discussed putting a beacon chain at the heart of Ethereum 2.0.”

However, before a mainnet like a beacon chain can be launched, testnets must be deployed that mimic mainnet conditions as closely as possible. ETH 2.0 multi-client testnets are vital steps towards the beacon chain.

In late April, coders from Prysm and Lighthouse released a multi-client testnet for ETH 2.0, called Schlesi. Schlesi was replaced by Witti as the second multi-client testnet about a month ago. Then came the time to replace Witti too.

The first public multi-client testnet, called Altona, went live on June 29. This is still a devnet though, meaning it’s focused on developers rather than the end-user.

Altona v0.12 is expected to be the last semi-major version of the test network specification, and is expected to become the foundation for the first long-lived ETH 2.0 public testnet. It’s currently supported by four different clients: Lighthouse, Prysm, Nimbus, and Teku.

Ethereum 2.0’s Phase 0 still does not have an official deployment date, but there was talk that it might happen in Q3 of this year. Meanwhile some speculate that this first phase might be ready within 4-8 months.


Learn more:

Will Ethereum Reach Serenity This Year?
Ethereum 2.0 Phase 0 is ‘On track’ With 0 Deadlines