Ethereum Has Already Scaled Quite Significantly: ConsenSys’ Joe Lubin

Joseph Lubin could arguably be seen as a star at any blockchain event these days, but at the Ethereal Summit last month — organized by Ethereum-focused development company ConsenSys, which he co-founded — he was especially revered.

While inside the conference space, the co-founder of Ethereum was either listening intently to what was happening on stage or surrounded by a group of people between panels. Nevertheless, he found some time to speak with us during the two-day event.

So, on a sunny Saturday, we sat down on a quaint cast-iron bench in the garden area of the Brooklyn venue, Pioneer Works.

Lubin spoke about the current technical capacity of Ethereum and what awaits the ecosystem in the near future. Our conversation touched on scalability, consensus protocols and public vs. private blockchains for businesses looking to integrate the technology.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

Can Ethereum scale?

Olivia Capozzalo: Yesterday, Jing from Plasma Group spoke very enthusiastically about Ethereum’s ability to scale. Can you comment on that? Can Ethereum scale? And if so, what are the main developments right now in the ecosystem that are making that happen?

Joseph Lubin: So, I think the point, as she punctuated that panel quite brilliantly and entertainingly, was not so much about its ability to scale, it’s that it has already scaled quite significantly.

So, she’s part of the Plasma Group. It’s a group that is pioneering a class of different solutions for scalability. Essentially, recognizing that we have this base trust layer that can handle 15 to 27 transactions per second. And above that we have state channels of various different varieties in zk-STARKs and in zk-SNARKs and Truebit and Plasma.

And Plasma is this class of technologies that enable you to have less decentralized platforms sitting at layer two in the Ethereum ecosystem. They can benefit from the full trust in some cases — sometimes they benefit from partial trust — but if they’re…

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