One of the biggest challenges facing Ethereum today is achieving greater scalability. That is, to remain functional as more people use the network and more applications are developed. With this in mind, the best developers work on proposals that aim to improve different aspects of the network’s operation.
According to what was stated in a publication on Twitter by the expert and entrepreneur Paolo Rebuffo, there are three Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) that could boost scalability of the network in the next 12 months.
If the deadlines predicted by this expert are met, EIPs would be activated after the fusion of the current blockchain with Ethereum 2.0. In that instance, Ethereum will switch to Proof of Stake (PoS) to validate new blocks.
Rebuffo highlighted three proposals, EIPs 4444, 4488 and 4844. The last two were presented by none other than Vitalik Buterin, co-creator of Ethereum, in conjunction with other developers. The three are still in the presentation and debate stage and there are no set deadlines for their evaluation and implementation.
In addition, Rebuffo, also an investor currently working on the development of the Ethereum Erigon client, added other complementary ideas that would help in the scalability of the leading network in the development of decentralized applications (dApps) and decentralized finance protocols (DeFi).
A way to optimize resources
The first of those listed is EIP-4444, which proposes that customers trim stored data that is more than a year old. This makes things easier for node runners, who will need less disk space to run them.
According to him proposal text, which dates back to November 2021, the historical data currently takes up 400 GB of space, and growing. Therefore, to validate blocks in the blockchain, users must have 1 TB disks. However, the EIP details, historical data is not necessary to validate new blocks, but is only retrieved when explicitly requested.
This reduction, in conjunction with the elimination of codes that process historical blocks, reduces the requirements for customers and users.
Vitalik Buterin’s ideas for Ethereum scalability
On the other hand, there is the EIP-4488, proposed by Vitalik Buterin and Ansgar Dietrichs in November 2021. Its main purpose is to reduce commission costs for transactions in the second layers of ethereum.
How would it be achieved? According to the proposal, the key is to reduce the commissions for the call data or call data of the transactions. These data are read-only spaces in the transaction codes that store the transaction parameters.
In addition to reducing commissions for the transfer of this type of data, EIP-4488 also suggests limiting the amount of this type of information in each block.
This alternative would be beneficial for Ethereum rollups, Buterin and Dietrichs say. Rollups are second layer scalability solutions that “roll up” several transactions and then roll them all together in the main layer of the network. In general terms, rollups allow you to reduce rates several times with respect to those of the main network.
Now even these reduced rates are expensive for many users, the proposal says. Reducing the expenses associated with call data can be a short-term solution for this problem, according to these developers. In the meantime, more permanent and complex solutions can be developed, such as the data shardingwhich proposes to divide the network into 64 fragments and leave a certain space in each block for rollups.
“Rollups are, in the short to medium term, and possibly in the long term, the only trustless scalability solution for Ethereum,” the EIP argues. With all this, Vitalik Buterin ratifies his position that scalability will come from the development of these second layers of the network, as reported in CriptoNoticias.
Third, Rebuffo cited EIP-4844. This is another proposal from Vitalik Buterin, together with developers Dankrad Feist, Diederik Loerakker, George Kadianakis, Matt Garnett, in February 2022.
Like the EIP-4488, this proposal it also has to do with rollups on Ethereum. Its main purpose is to be a provisional solution until data sharding is developed, with the aim of optimizing the space dedicated to rollups within each block.
To do this, what it intends is to create a new transaction format, “blob transactions”containing a large number of data that cannot be read by the Ethereum virtual machine, but transmits its compromise.
This is the type of transaction that will be used in the future, when data sharding is finished. However, in this case, the space for sharding would not be left, but the information would be transmitted to the main layer of the Beacon Chain (the Ethereum 2.0 chain).
Other plugins to scale Ethereum
Beyond the EIPs explained above, Rebuffo also cited other ideas that would contribute to Ethereum’s scalability. For example, using a Verkle tree instead of a merkle tree would reduce IOPS on storage.
To break these concepts down a bit, you need to know that the IOPS (Input/Output Operations Per Second or input/output operations per second) is a unit used to measure the performance of storage computing devices. The fewer operations that are stored, the greater the efficiency of the system..
On the other hand, “tree”-based models for organizing data in the blockchain are based on a root, from which many branches then unfold. According to one publication by Vitalik Buterin on his blog, the Verkle tree is similar to but much more efficient than the Merkle tree.
Finally, the last thing Rebuffo says is that optimizing customer data models will also help. This, he details, would help reduce the use of storage disks and thus increase their efficiency.