A Comprehensive Guide on Crypto Scalability

Data & Research / 25.05.2021

The definition of scalability differs depending on the area of applications in websites, applications, or blockchain development. Scalability, or ability to scale, is a blockchain’s capability to grow and support the increasing number of activities.

Commonly, the concept of scalability relates directly to the speed, throughput, and ability to host increasing amounts of transactions with time. Most blockchain networks using the proof of work consensus algorithms offer transactions at a speed of 10tps. However, if crypto is globally adopted, it should take serious measures to ensure scalability issues end. 

Why is scalability a massive problem for crypto today? What are the solutions to scalability issues? Keep reading to find out more. 

Why is Scalability a Huge Problem?   

Recently, scalability has increasingly been a problem in the crypto world, with several crypto projects becoming overwhelmed with service provision. Even with their distributed nature, blockchains are still facing this severe issue of scalability.

Long transaction verification times are one of the primary reasons causing the issues of blockchain scalability. Generally, mining crypto coins is tough, thus making the process of completing transactions slower. 

The increase in transaction volumes is another major cause of increasing scalability issues. Networks like Ethereum and Bitcoin are increasingly gaining transaction volumes and not widening in service provision.

There is a severe need to solve scalability issues for crypto to gain global adoption. All the networks must institute more policies to ensure it’s easy for users to trade. 

Top Most Scalable Crypto Coins

Binance Coin(BNB)

Binance coin is probably the most scalable crypto coin of our day. Its host blockchain, the Binance smart Chain, was introduced to imitate the functions of Ethereum with a few adjustments. 

Among the adjustments made to the BSC include lower gas transactions, a faster and more scalable network. The BSC works with Binance smart to ensure services are provided in a more community-focused way. 

Therefore, the Binance coin benefits vastly from the ability of its main chain to expand with the number of transactions. As this coin increases in adoption in the future, its users can be sure that their services will increasingly become better. 

Cardano(ADA)

Cardano is one of the most scalable crypto networks today, owing to the strong policies the platform has instituted. In the introduction, Cardano made it one of its primary objectives to provide a highly scalable network for highly efficient services.

After a long time of researching, Cardano introduces the hydra concept to ensure the network can increase linearly with increased services. Using hydra, adding a pool on the network creates the head for the next pool, leaving the process continuous, thus linear scaling.

According to the research, each hydra can process 1 thousand tps; thus, with 1k hydras, the system can process at 1 million tps. Hydra is a second-layer solution to the less scalable blockchains network. 

Polkadot(Dot)

The Polkadot network is a crypto platform introduced with solutions similar to Ethereum, allowing projects to run decentralized applications. The network has a crypto coin dubbed Dot, with a current tps of 1 thousand transactions.

Dot is among the most scalable crypto assets due to the excellent features installed in the system. Also, the network allows DApps to run in several parallel chains (parachains). By leveraging the principle of parachains, Polkadot makes the entire system work like a sharded network, and many transactions are processed simultaneously.

Coins with Worst Scalability

Bitcoin

Bitcoin is the crypto coin and project with the second biggest scalability issue in the crypto world. Bitcoin is another one of the platforms with the worst scalability. 

According to several sites, the platform has a 4.6 transaction per second rate, very low compared to other networks. The main issue facing Bitcoin is the increasing number of users and transaction volumes.  

Ethereum

Ethereum network and its native currency ether is the blockchain with the worst scalability in the crypto space. Since its launch, the platform has been designed to offer great services, but this network has been full of scalability issues. 

Ethereum just recently hit one terabyte, and ever since then, the problems surrounding this system have increasingly surged. Now more than ever, it’s becoming increasingly harder to deploy DApps in the Ethereum network because the transactions take longer, and the platform’s throughput is low. 

However, the Ethereum network cannot handle the increasing DApp population, and as such, this network is full of scale issues. 

Solutions to Scalability Issues

Database Level Sharding

Sharding is one of the best ways of increasing the scalability of a blockchain to ensure the services provided are more efficient. Database sharding involves breaking the database into small chunks, which will operate independently, thus creating infinite linear increases.

One platform using Database level sharding as a solution to scalability is the Apollo blockchain. Although this network has a tiny community, it hosts several sub-platforms. Ethereum also tried to implement the sharding technique, but no clear developments have been made in that field. 

2nd Layer Solutions(Lighting Network)

Some blockchains have in the recent past been introducing 2nd layer solutions to ensure they provide vast scalability options. A second-layer solution like Hydra in Cardano provides an independent layer that allows users to run more transactions. 

Many platforms have been leveraging lighting nodes, including Bitcoin, but Bitcoin’s number of users still makes this network highly unscalable.

Final Word

After a deep analysis of the term scalability, it’s clear that it’s a big issue in the crypto world. The volume of transactions and the increasing numbers of users have been directly contributing to the growing problems of blockchain scalability. 

There are platforms like Cardano, Binance Smart chain, and Polkadot, which have instituted strict policies to increase scale. However, others like Bitcoin and Ethereum still have massive scale issues even though they provide excellent services. 

Unless the platforms make serious policies to ensure they increase scalability, the crypto world will not survive and gain global acceptance.

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Wayne is a Blockchain enthusiast and expert in crypto trading. Currently, he covers trendy issues on digital currencies.