The “Vegetarian Predators” of Blockchain Developments: How is it going to work?
“Creativity is not a solution in every situation; especially if it lacks intelligence…”
Do you remember the archival footage of different attempts at flying where most of them failed? It is evident that aeronautical engineers of that time period failed to take into account or did not completely understand the laws of physics; laws that define the parameters for the construction of an airplane. Unfortunately — or rather, fortunately — in the case of faulty construction of an aircraft, the results showed themselves relatively quickly (Obviously, this statement excludes modern-day plane accidents). Either it could take off, or it couldn’t!
I look at blockchain innovations of recent years with a similar feeling. Of course, there are a few notable exceptions, but their number is very limited. The year 2017 was a time when we could hear countless imaginative ideas; most of which failed at the very beginning. However, there were some concepts that could remind us of the aeronautical experiments of Joseph-Michel and Jacques Étienne Montgolfier.
I will never forget the very first presentation of Vitalik Buterin where he compared Ethereum (ETH) to Bitcoin (BTC) the same way as if we compared a smartphone to a pocket calculator. Clearly, everything is only a matter of perspective. If, without considering any other factors, we start out with a premise that you can only perform fundamental equations with a pocket calculator yet you can run hundreds of applications on a smartphone, Vitalik was probably right. However, the situation is not that simple. When you have a look at the complexity and the potential difficulties associated with sending an Ether compared to sending a BTC, the logic of “pocket calculator vs smartphone” pretty much fails. I could easily continue to list the points where Vitalik’s comparison was exaggerated, but now, it is only a secondary matter.
The logic of smart contracts essentially offers more than a simple operational transaction does. However, Ethereum’s achievements are far from being outstanding. In other words, Vitalik simplified the concept/problem, and by doing so, he obviously achieved great success amongst those who had spotted the business potential in Ethereum. Needless to say, many questions did not become articulated in the very beginning simply because desires stole the attention away from facts. By now, we have discovered that Ethereum is not as ‘perfect’ as many had hoped. With that said, certain merits of Ethereum cannot be taken away.
As for me, I believe that Vitalik has given enough motivation for thousands of untalented developers and polymaths, which resulted in hundreds of pointless ideas. The only problem is that these ideas were promising miracles through ERC20 tokens by building on the value of Ethereum. This means that, from a certain standpoint, this “smartphone” is not really that promising after all. Frankly, the “great Ethereum decentralization” envisioned by Vitalik is much more of a business trick than an intellectual uniqueness.
However, the real problem does not emerge when projects fail to reach a point where they can be referred to as a blockchain, but rather when a project comes up with a workable solution that is far from being as effective as they would think. And here is where I’d like to articulate the point of my writing: efficient data transfer with a decentralized approach. There are two problems:
1) What do we call “efficient”?
2) What do we consider to be a decentralized solution?
The first question is an interesting one because our answer to efficiency is essentially already pre-determined as the limitation of the network determines the maximum data transfer capacity. This means that we can only consider solutions that are able to resolve this elementary problem. Therefore, the increase in block size is fundamentally not a solution to large amounts of data transfer. According to our experience, it is a 25MB size that can be efficiently handled on the network. Here, the fans of Sharding and the Lightning Network will want to disprove my claims since they solve this issue in a different way. Sure, in a different way. But how? Come on, let’s finally see a proper solution.
The second question is much less obvious. That is why there is no consensus on it. However, we firmly believe that data may only be decentralized if everyone can have access to it. Put differently, everyone should be able to run full nodes and synchronize the entire network through it. Clearly, this is very complicated in practice as running data is not only costly, but it’s also problematic from a communications standpoint. Unfortunately, the currently prevalent and popular off-chain solutions are lacking full transparency through the running of data. Furthermore, systems based on diversified or segmented distribution are also incapable of ensuring full transparency; even though they like to call themselves decentralized.
This perception reminds me of that time when Vitalik stated with Herculean courage that Bitcoin was the “pocket calculator” while Ethereum was the “smartphone”. Don’t get me wrong, the problem is not when a system is incapable of ensuring full transparency and security. The problem arises when we call this decentralized data storage. With the best intention, we can only call it decentralized blockchain-based data storage of data-related records.
At the ILCoin Development Team, we believe that the problem should be approached from the very foundation, and those aspects that take long-term stability into consideration should never be overlooked. The RIFT Protocol provides a solution that no other project possesses. Do you need proof?
Here you are: