The Ethereum blockchain is increasingly becoming the protocol of choice in the development of decentralised applications. Its groundbreaking features such as Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), smart contract capability and solidity programming language make it a more suitable alternative for building layer 2 applications. In terms of its usability, the Ethereum blockchain is comparable to the Swiss knife as it packs multiple functionalities within a single network.
This versatility has made the Ethereum blockchain a multi-faceted protocol with various use cases ranging from financial applications, gaming platforms, decentralised exchanges and governance hubs etc. The network has seen niche applications mushroom and gradually grow into multi-billion-dollar economic sectors like DeFi.
The increased on-chain activity, especially from the DeFi space has exposed the limitations of the Ethereum blockchain making its comparison with a Swiss knife quite accurate. The same way the multipurpose tool can perform multiple tasks, albeit with limited functionality, is the same manner that Ethereum performs when burdened with numerous layer 2 applications.
ETH 2.0 and competing scalability solutions
The Ethereum developer community is working on a solution to expand the network’s capacity, improve its performance and effectively end the scalability problem. The solution, named ETH 2.0 is being implemented in multiple phases with the initial one just adopted in November. The complete upgrade is estimated to take about 5-6 years.
This is quite a protracted period, especially considering the fast-paced development of new Dapps on Ethereum. Simply put, it is not feasible to wait that long as new use cases emerge and various projects are keen on building Dapps on the network. But, the protocol currently lacks the capacity to host all these layer 2 applications.
The Ethereum community has taken the initiative to develop alternative solutions that can help the network scale whilst improving efficiency and security. Various projects are pursuing different potential solutions like plasm, state channels, side chains and rollups among others. With each project racing to become the first to deliver a viable solution, the search for layer 2 scaling solutions has turned into a ‘war’.
Competing teams have often criticised and poked holes into their rivals’ solutions and questioned their sustainability. Though these checks are ultimately beneficial to the network, the intense rivalry and aggressive competition could be detrimental to the community and adversely affect development.
Tokamak Network focused on collaboration not competition
The Tokamak Network team led by CEO Kevin Jeong understands the need for cooperation in the quest for a lasting solution to Ethereum’s shortcomings. Jeong has made public Tokamak’s dedication to establishing a platform where different projects and teams can come together and work towards the common goal of improving Ethereum in readiness for its widespread adoption.
He reiterated this vision during Korea Blockchain Week 2020, a place where blockchain leaders from different fields of expertise gather to share knowledge and discuss challenges surrounding the blockchain industry.
Jeong explained the reason behind the rebrand to an on-demand layer 2 platform. The Tokamak Network CEO highlighted the dilemma that developers face in selecting the appropriate layer 2 protocol on which to build their application. Accordingly, each of the existing platforms has its core strengths and value proposition that stands out from the rest.
For instance, StarkWare has better scalability with zk proofs, Optimism offers better composability, Aztec is more suitable for projects seeking strong privacy and zkSync has better smart contract functionality.
Since each of these protocols is independent, developers will need to buy the native tokens to access the platform and maintain their application there. They have to repeat this process and build afresh whenever they want to incorporate a feature from any of these varying architectures.
This a laborious and quite hectic process that may put off some organisations interested in adopting blockchain technology by building Ethereum-based Dapps.
In this respect, Jeong outlined the plans to aggregate all these solutions under one on-demand platform.
Tokamak on-demand layer 2 platform
Under this recently announced plan, the Tokamak Network will serve as the aggregator and its native currency, TON, powering the ecosystem economy. Tokamak Network has a unique feature that makes it an ideal aggregator. It is the first Turing complete layer 2 plasma protocol. This means that each plasma chain created on the Tokamak Network has similar functionality as the Ethereum main chain. Therefore, other layer 2 applications, Dapps and smart contracts can be transferred across in a seamless manner.
Interested developers, projects and organisations will be able to access all these alternative layer 2 solutions on Tokamak Network easily and conveniently. Most importantly, users will not be required to purchase the tokens for each protocol to access it. Rather, all these native tokens will be integrated in the Tokamak token economy meaning users will only need to buy TON to access any tool and resource on the platform.
The aggregation of all these solutions under the Tokamak protocol will also save developers time, efforts, and resources presently needed to build Dapps on each of these layer 2 networks. Developers will be able to access the preferred features, on-demand and easily integrate them in their application.
Tokamak will accelerate the development of new Dapps on the Ethereum blockchain by providing easy access to the tools and resources needed in the process. By acting as an aggregator, Tokamak will encourage collaboration among competing projects which will help drive the network’s progress forward. The Ethereum community will achieve more through cooperation with different players contributing to the improvement of the network in readiness to its eventual mass adoption globally.