Vitalik Buterin says Ethereum needs 100,000 transactions per second

Vitalik Buterin says Ethereum needs 100,000 transactions per second

It is being reported by The Daily Hodl that Vitalik Buterin recently did an interview with Abra CEO Bill Barhydt. During the discussion, Buterin discussed four issues Ethereum needs addressed and how they can be resolved. Those issues are scalability, privacy, useability and security.

Buterin had the most to say about scalability, pointing out that there is a long way to go for transactions per second on the Ethereum network:

"So scalability – the Ethereum blockchain right now can process 15 transactions per second. Really, we need 100,000."

As to how this could be achieved, the Ethereum cofounder spoke of two different approaches that could work in tandem, that is, first and second layer solutions. For first layer solutions, Buterin pointed to sharding. This process basically breaks up the ledger into "shards" so that no one node has to store as much information. He explains:

"And our solution to this, called sharding, basically means that you split up the different transactions to randomly selected, different groups of computers. And this basically means that the blockchain can process way more things than one single computer can hold. And that can increase scalability by maybe a factor of 1,000 or so, but then potentially even more, much later down the road."

This in conjunction with a second layer solution akin to the lightning network, could provide a massive increase to the speed of transactions, as the effect is multiplicative:

"...the other thing to keep in mind is that the scalability of gains from layer-one enhancements and using layer two are multiplicative. So if layer one can be made to be 1,000 times more scalable, that’s also a 1,000 times increase in the amount of transactions per second that you can push to layer-two things safely."

Other issues addressed included privacy, and the need for obscurred transactions:

"...every single thing you do right now is totally public to everyone and that just doesn’t do for a whole bunch of use cases. So this is part of why we’re working on some fancy cryptographic technology like zk-SNARKs to try to solve that."

Buterin also mentioned issues with useability, and the fact that for the most part the Ethereum network is still highly technical and prone to mistakes:

"A lot of blockchain applications are just very poor on the usability side. They have a lot of hiccups and like, ‘Oh, why did this suddenly just totally not work? Why did this take 10 minutes longer than I expected?"

Lastly, he spoke to the issues with security, though he was vague on specifics, just implying there were things being worked on:

"So coming up with easy-to-use ways for people to store their private keys that don’t become vulnerable to someone just losing everything because they lost their private key or their private key got stolen. And there are some interesting solutions that are coming out for that. But it will still take a couple of years for all these different strands to get somewhere."