What is public blockchain?
Public blockchain refers to a decentralised blockchain where anyone has access to its information and participates in activities. Ethereum is the most famous public blockchain that various Defi, NFT and DApp projects are built on its infrastructure. However, it faces the problems of network congestion and high gas fees. Therefore, it leaves room for other public chains to grow. Currently, there are a growing number of public blockchains with different underlying technologies and algorithms to improve their performances and address blockchain trilemma. Well-known public blockchain includes Terra, Solana and Cardano etc.
What is blockchain Scalability?
An ideal blockchain is bound to have three major elements: security, decentralization, and scalability. The scalability of a blockchain can be measured by transactions per second (TPS). Bitcoin bitcoins average TPS is less than 10, and Ethereums current TPS value is in the range of 12 to 15. The increasing transaction volume on Ethereum and the booming DApp ecosystem have raised the issues of transaction congestion and high gas fees. Therefore, Ethernet 2.0 (ETH.20), which is expected to go live in Q2 2022, will be scaled up with a performance of about 100,000 TPS. The emerging public blockchains in recent years have also tried to explore the scaling methods with different technologies under the premise of ensuring decentralization and security.
How to scale blockchain?/ Is blockchain scalable?
According to the blockchain architecture, there are three major scaling approaches: layer 0 scaling, on-chain scaling (layer1 scaling), and off-chain scaling (layer2 scaling). Layer 0 scaling mainly optimizes the transmission speed by modifying the underlying data transmission protocol. On-chain scaling can be improved by optimizing the data layer, network layer or consensus layer. Off-chain scaling refers to four aspects: off-chain computation, state channel, side chain, and cross-chain.
How to scale layer1?/ What is layer1 scaling?
On-chain scaling refers tos the directly modifying the underlying layer of the blockchain protocol to enhance the block size and speed of the blockchain in processing transaction data in three ways:
The first one is to modify the data layer. The block size can be increased by expanding blocks or changing the storage of transaction data through SegWit to increase the number of transactions per block, to improve the efficiency of transaction processing.
The second one is to modify the consensus mechanism. The public blockchains represented by Bitcoin apply PoW (Proof of Work) consensus mechanism, which has high security performance but extremely slow transaction verification due to the need for all nodes to participate in each transaction. To address this drawback, Ethereum public blockchain is changing from PoW to PoS (Proof of Stake) mechanism, which will be finished when the main network and the beacon chain are fully merged. Some public chains use the DPOS (Delegated Proof of Stake) mechanism, such as EOS public chain and OKT public chain, which is based on PoS and reduces verification nodes to improve verification efficiency but sacrifices partial decentralization. In addition, some public blockchains use hybrid consensus approaches. For example, Solana combines PoS and PoH (Proof of History) mechanism to substantially improve blockchain efficiency.
The third way is to modify the network layer, which generally adopts Sharding method. For example, NEAR blockchain uses Sharding technology to improve the processing of transaction volume per second on the basis of PoS mechanism.
What is the best blockchain?
Currently its hard to define which public blockchain has the most potential because they all have their own strengths and weaknesses. Many people ask if Ethereum surpasses Bitcoin? In terms of its ecosystem value, it should be yes. However, up to now Bitcoins market cap and liquidity performance are still untouchable. Thus, there is no public blockchain with the most potential or the best. In the future, the arrival of Ethereum 2.0 and new public blockchains will make the competition more interesting.