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Loom Network, sidechains saving blockchains

Blockchain technology is the future and more and more companies and institutions are becoming aware of it. Impossible not to say that the technology still has problems, but a company, Loom Network is working to solve them.

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The problem of scalability

In recent years we have seen the emergence of protocols with different consensus mechanisms and different applications and, despite their diversity, all these blockchains have to deal with the so-called “scalability trilemma” described by Vitalik Buterin.

Regardless of what a blockchain is designated to do, it is subject to the trilemma rule: a blockchain can only have two of the three properties, namely scalability, security and decentralization.

We know only too well the scalability problems Bitcoin is trying to overcome with the Lightning Network and, not so long ago, we also witnessed the congestion of the Ethereum network due to a game called CryptoKitties.

In recent weeks, other games have been launched on Ethereum that have once again raised gas prices and transaction times.

Ethereum developers have been trying to solve this problem for a long time with solutions such as sharding, Raiden and plasma, but developments take time and meanwhile Ethereum is congested and unsuitable for the needs of companies.

It seems, however, that there is a more viable solution.

Loom Network’s solution

Loom Network is a startup specialized in applying blockchain technology to DApps dedicated to games, but applying gas commissions to each transaction is not optimal for either the creator of the game or the player.

It is to solve the problem of cost and scalability that Loom Network decided to create a shared sidechain that application developers could use in exchange for a small monthly commission.

The sidechain will be called ZombieChain and will look very much like the “traditional web hosting.”

James Duffy, co-founder of Loom, announced that ZombieChain will be a sidechain “where developers pay a flat monthly fee based on the resources consumed by their application, upgrading their web server and paying more as their app grows in popularity over time.”

The advantage of a sidechain would be to enhance the user gaming experience by helping DApps achieve the desired scalability.

Other sidechains

Loom Network is not the first sidechain of Ethereum, there are already others.

POA Network is a public sidechain of Ethereum with Proof of Authority as a consensus mechanism. It provides a platform for smart contracts designed for security, speed and cost efficiency.

Although the POA protocol seems to be very centralized with only 12 validating nodes, companies may be tempted to give up total decentralization in order to have more security, speed and cost-effectiveness.

Sidechains, in fact, are created for a specific use. In this scenario, each DApp can decide which features are indispensable for operation and which less and consequently choose the appropriate sidechain for the purpose.

It may be that one DApp needs speed while another needs security. The sidechains allow you to adapt to various use-cases.

The idea of sidechain comes from Bitcoin

The idea of sidechain was first described in 2014 by Bitcoin protocol developer Adam Back in an article entitled “Enabling Blockchain Innovations with Pegged Sidechains“.

Back described how pegged sidechain technology allows interoperability between different blockchains through the transfer of bitcoin and other accounting resources between multiple blockchains.

By reusing Bitcoin’s currency, these systems can more easily interoperate with each other and with Bitcoin, avoiding the liquidity shortages and market fluctuations associated with new currencies.

Sidechains are independent systems and in the event of a cryptographic failure or other problem, ” the damage is entirely confined to the sidechain itself”.

Relying on this idea, RSK, better known as Rootstock, also decided to create a sidechain of Bitcoin.

RSK aims to create Bitcoin smart contracts and, currently, the sidechain allows scalability that reaches up to 100 transactions per second but, thanks to the implementation of Lumino technology, could reach 20,000.

Another protocol that relies on sidechains is Aelf which is developing a platform that functions as a highly efficient and customizable operating system.

Even EOS, which will launch its mainnet on June 3rd, uses sidechains as a solution to achieve transaction validation within 1 second.

Sidechains are an elegant solution to the problem of scalability of blockchains such as that of Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Thanks to the flexibility they provide, each DApp developer can choose a sidechain that best suits the needs of their application.

Aneta Karbowiak
Aneta Karbowiak
Laureata in Biologia all'Università degli Studi di Genova, si è presto interessata allo sviluppo delle applicazioni mobili e dei chat bot. È entrata nel mondo dell'editoria come manager di un sito di sport inglese dove ha gestito un team di dieci persone. Appassionata della tecnologia blockchain e delle criptovalute, ha cominciato a scrivere per Qubithacker.