Vitalik Buterin, the Ethereum co-founder, laid out his thoughts on the reason why scaling Dogecoin or other blockchains isn’t child’s play.
To show Dogecoin‘s full potentials, Elon Musk recently proposed increasing the block size of the controversial meme token. The Tesla boss believes doing so can improve speed and scaling to make it a real contender in the world of cryptocurrency.
“Ideally, Doge speeds up block time 10X, increases block size 10X & drops fee 100X. Then it wins hands down,” he said in a tweet.
However, Ethereum Co-founder Vitalik Buterin picked apart the idea in a blog post by saying there are drawbacks and limits to what can be achieved with this proposal.
Dogecoin trying to run with the big dogs
Buterin posted his thoughts on blockchain scaling with a view to Musk’s comments. The Ethereum boss points out that speeding up block times, increase the block size, and fee reductions all come at a cost to decentralization while compromising the fundamental properties of blockchain as a concept.
What’s more, Buterin said the matter is made all the more tricky without technologies such as ZK-SNARKs or sharding, which Musk did not mention.
ZK-SNARKs, or Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Argument of Knowledge, refers to a proof construct that can verify possession of certain information, such as a private key. It does this without revealing that information and without any interaction between the prover and verifier.
Sharding is a way to split and store data across multiple databases. This allows a database cluster to scale as data and traffic increase.
Buterin’s main criticism of the proposal is that increasing block size would make it difficult for Dogecoin holders to run full nodes. He says that a critical component of defending against malicious attacks is a culture of users validating the blockchain.
Under circumstances where just a handful of node runners verify the network, malicious actors have more scope to attack.
” If you have a community where everyone runs a node, the attacker loses. We don’t know what the exact threshold is at which herd immunity against coordinated attacks kicks in, but there is one thing that’s absolutely clear: more nodes good, fewer nodes bad, and we definitely need more than a few dozen or a few hundred.”
According to Buterin, the answer to this is to maximize the number of users who can run a full node. This means ensuring node operation is possible on regular consumer hardware.