We all love Ethereum. Think for yourself, what can you do with bitcoin? — You can only HODL and wait for it to grow up. Okay, advanced users can still exchange BTC for wrapped bitcoin (wBTC) and participate in the defi movement. But again, this will no longer be bitcoin, but a token on the Ethereum network. In general, from a crypto enthusiast’s point of view, Ethereum is the main coin in the portfolio. ETH is on fire in 2020 due to a number of factors:
- Rapid growth of the DEFI segment
- ETH 2.0 launch and transition to POS
- Profitable ICO projects
- Airdrops from top projects (Uniswap, 1INCH, TheGraph, Lido, etc.)
- Boom of decentralized exchanges, liquidity farming
Ethereum has convenient wallets, hundreds of use cases, millions of users and thousands of developers. But 15 transactions per second (tps) is the level of the old calculator. The growing popularity of the DEFI segment makes the use of ETH for transactions impractical. The simplest exchange on the Uniswap takes a few minutes and costs $ 30- $ 70 during periods of average network load. But there is still a chance to get a Failed transaction and just lose money. Some of my friends have spent tens and even hundreds of thousands of dollars on gas when paying for transactions in popular DEFI farmings. For example:
About 100,000 USD spent on gas, just imagine! If you are interested in finding out your costs, just go to the site and connect your Metamask: https://fees.wtf/
At the beginning of 2021, Ethereum can be described as a “network for the rich” and there can be no mass adoption here. The network is too slow and expensive, Ethereum 2.0 will solve these problems, but it will take too long to wait — more than a year with a favorable set of circumstances.
Blockchain scalability trilemma
The bottom line is that the blockchain cannot simultaneously have all 3 properties: decentralization, speed and security. They have been trying to solve the blockchain scalability trilemma for a long time. This is how modern L1 solutions were born — Tron, EOS, Solana, Oasis, etc. They all call themselves “Ethereum Killers”, but still remain in the shadows.
In fact, I would call this problem not a trilemma, but a polylemma. Even after solving these 3 key features, a fourth will emerge — a user base. Any super-fast and decentralized blockchain is worthless if it has no users. Therefore, personally in my opinion, L2 solutions that complement and improve Ethereum look much more interesting, instead of trying to replace it. ETH has the largest user base and high security — it remains to add speed and decentralization. Just about such an Ethereum booster will be discussed further.
Introducing Skale Network
Skale Network is a fully Ethereum compatible elastic network that supports thousands of independent blockchains that have the following characteristics:
- High level of decentralization and scalability
- Fast transactions, low gas cost or completely free transfers
- 100% compatible with the Ethereum ecosystem — the same smart contracts, programming languages and wallets are used for users
In simple words, Skale can be explained as an Ethereum booster — the entire ETH infrastructure can work on Skale, but much faster, cheaper, etc. Thanks to this interoperability, Skale can leverage its existing Ethereum base of users, decentralized applications, and developers. Why to kill Ethereum when you can make it better?
If you’re interested in diving into the Skale Network’s capabilities and technical details, I recommend you to read the following resources:
Primer — Key Features of the Skale Network
White Paper — The most detailed document with all the info
Blog — The source of all news
Highlights — Briefly about the technical features
Docs — Dev Tools
Further I will explain in simple terms how Skale works and how all the benefits of an elastic blockchain network are achieved.
How does it work?
On the technical side, Skale is a decentralized network of independent validators connected to Ethereum through a set of smart contracts called Skale Manager. If the ETH network does all the same work, then Skale is different.
Each new validator increases not only decentralization, but also scalability and network security. Skale containerizes (splits) each node up to 128 virtual subnodes, and each such subnode can be used for any blockchain in the Skale network. Each subnode has BLS signatures and is fully compatible with EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine).
In simple words: each node is divided into separate full-fledged subnodes that can be used by different blockchains on the network. This video clearly shows how Containerization and Virtualization technologies work:
Ethereum as a Service Platform
This network architecture opens up amazing possibilities! Decentralized applications (dApps) can rent their own blockchain (Skale Chain) according to their needs and not load the entire network. This approach to using the network is called “Ethereum as a service Platform”.
It works like this: dApp leases the Skale Chain of the required capacity for a certain time. For example, for 3 months or 1 year. It can be a small blockchain, using only 1/128 of a whole node, or a medium (⅛) or large blockchain (a whole node).
Developers pay for rent in SKL tokens and then customize a personal blockchain for their tasks. This can be file storage, private transactions, etc. Such a blockchain can completely save users from paying for gas at the discretion of the developers. At the same time, the virtual nodes allocated for the dApp are not static and are constantly “mixed” to ensure the security of the network. At least 30% of the excess capacity must be reserved for this. Individual Skale chains can have tens of thousands of transactions per second with zero gas fees, but in general, the entire network reaches about 2000 tps.
The image above shows that even a small Skale Chain uses 1/128 of at least 16 different nodes.
The Skale architecture has obvious advantages — fault tolerance, flexibility, scalability, security, no fees, etc. The more validators in the network, the faster and more reliable it is, and the more applications can rent their own blockchain through a decentralized interface.
How to migrate to Skale Network?
I know many projects experiencing problems due to the high gas price on the Ethereum network. For example, Plotx is a decentralized prediction market similar to Augur. 1 simple prediction on Plotx requires 2 transactions — permission to spend + the price of prediction itself. For example, the first transaction costs over $ 20:
Add a second, more expensive transaction here and it becomes obvious that such fees are impossible to work with. If you know projects that need a solution to this problem, encourage them to join the Skale Innovators Program here: https://skale.network/innovators-signup.
The Skale team will provide all the assistance you need to launch your own blockchain and migrate smart contracts. According to the team, this is done in just a few lines of code and does not require any special modifications. From a user perspective, the transition to Skale Chain may not be noticeable at all — you will continue to use, for example, Metamask as usual. Sometimes you need to add custom RPC, which is done in 1 minute.
Briefly about the main
Skale Mainnet has been successfully launched in 3 phases and the team is now actively working to attract more projects. Absolutely any ETH application can migrate to the Skale network and take advantage of unlimited scalability and high speed without paying for gas.
Over 3 years of development, the Skale technical team has implemented many of the latest developments in the field of cryptography and blockchain — BLS signatures, asynchronous POS consensus, virtualization, containerization and much more. It seems that this is the same “game changer” that can solve the trilemma of scalability without the need to conquer the client base — it already exists.
Time will tell how user-friendly Skale is for users and developers. In the meantime, join the Telegram group https://t.me/skaleofficial and ask your questions, share ideas and tell about the project with the dApps you know.