In the face of Ethereum’s recent rocketing transaction fees, its founder and chief scientist, Vitalik Buterin, called on users of the second-largest blockchain to move over to scaling solutions that are “already here for many classes of applications.”
Buterin took the opportunity while speaking at the opening keynote of CoinDesk’s invest: ethereum economy virtual conference, to reiterate his enthusiasm for so-called layer 2 scaling solutions such as “rollups,” which essentially means keeping transaction data on-chain while pushing the computational load off the chain.
Given that Ethereum’s roadmap for scaling the base layer of its blockchain with a technique called sharding seems to be some years away, Buterin said it was imperative users start supporting rollups.
“If you’re listening to this and you are an exchange or you are a wallet or you are a mining pool or you are a major user – even just a regular – then you should be aware of what rollups are and what they do,” said Buterin. “Basically, what your strategy is, in terms of moving over to them.”
The explosion in decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms running on Ethereum has caused the cost of transaction fees to skyrocket in recent months (transaction fees have increased from 8 cents at the start of this year to highs of around $14 in September). Meanwhile, there’s pressure from other competing base-layer protocols like Polkadot, Cosmos and Blockstack.
Buterin praised both “optimistic rollup solutions” and ZK rollups, which use zero-knowledge-proof technology, adding that using these solutions on the current Ethereum blockchain can increase transaction throughput from about 15 transactions per second to between 1,000 and 4,000.
“In terms of where we are now, for simple payments we are actually there, like you can do ETH transactions inside rollups. The challenge is just getting everyone to actually move over,” Buterin said. “Generic EVM [Ethereum Virtual Machine]…