If you’ve been in the crypto space long enough, you’ve likely encountered discussions about scalability. Those discussions lead to different viewpoints on how one can achieve optimal scalability but they all revolve around one core premise.
That premise being blockchains are far behind in terms of scale compared to more established web2 centralized technologies. Think of VISA for instance. The VISA network is able to support upwards of tens of thousands transactions per second.
When you’re running internet applications and supporting merchants worldwide, this number is important to consider. If blockchains are to truly become mass adopted and support internet scale applications, they can’t be bottlenecked by a low threshold.
But rest assured, Tezos has been making strides
to improve scalability. With the latest protocol upgrade locked in, we’ve been introduced to another rollup centric optimization and several other features including..
- Smart Contract Optimistic Rollups (SCORUs)
- Improved randomness for distribution of baking rights
- Event-logging, enabling off-chain systems to react to smart contract execution
- Validation pipelining: (ongoing block validation tweaks to improve Tezos Layer 1 throughput)
- Support for ‘Ghostnet’, a permanent testnet that upgrades with Mainnet
Where Jakarta introduced
us to Transaction Optimistic Rollups (TORUs), Kathmandu takes it a step further with SCORUs. Gabriel Alfour of Marigold shared a few words on what SCORUs are and how they will benefit the Tezos network in a past article
, which you can read in full.
In blockchains typically we batch together sending operations and processing operations. With SCORUs, we split those responsibilities. So, there are two kinds of nodes in SCORUs. On one hand, there are consensus nodes that just send operations and build consensus on which operations are part of the chain. On the other hand, there are rollup nodes which actually process the operations.
That’s not all.
Taking it a step further, we’ve already seen the first Tezos sidechain go live - Deku
. Moving forward, there will be other scaling optimizations beyond rollups following Protocol Kathmandu such as sharding.
Gabriel Alfour painted some color
on what we could potentially see down the line.
There is TORUs which have already been done, showing that it can work even if it’s not used in practice. We also have SCORUs and web assembly for SCORUs. That will basically bring WASM support to Tezos. There’s a lot of work that’s been done on zk rollups as well.
So, that’s quite cool. An even crazier thing is sharding, there’s a whole lot of work being done there. Essentially, when sharding and rollups will be completed, we’ll see crazy high TPS (transactions per second). It’s the kind of stuff that could possibly 10x or 100x our current TPS even before optimizations. So, I’d say sharding and rollups are the two things I’m most hyped about.
This is how we get most of the scaling on Layer 1. Even SCORUs and TORUs, they are called Layer 2 but they are not really Layer 2 at this point because they are enshrined into the protocol. With sharding and rollups, we’re making very few compromises. We’re still very close to peak blockchain security.
As we move towards the next Tezos upgrade, the focus is very much on scalability. The seeds are being planted today to support the next wave of internet scale applications.