In an effort to boost the services delivered on blockchain network (as scaling has become the focus of the public blockchain sector), ethereum’s blockchain is going to be getting a very significant upgrade that will do away with the barriers it has had to bear with over the years.
Reports of an interview granted to CoinDesk are stating that December is going to see a new TrueBit protocol released that will eliminate the ethereum “gas limit”. The gas limit is basically the maximum number of computations that the network can make at a point in time, but the new protocol seeks to shoot this capacity through the roof to what it is calling a “world computer”. There are many scaling solutions being engineered for the ethereum blockchain but TrueBit is the only one by far that focuses on the network’s computational ability rather than just the speed of transactions that the network handles. With TrueBit, the ethereum blockchain is definitely going to have much more speed in the broadcast of videos and also for the kind of heavy computation that is required for machine learning. This definitely could be a step towards making the network faster than the “smartphone from ’99” that Vitalik says it is.
Image of Ethereum creator Vitalik Butarin
Mode of Operation
The new protocol is meant to simplify the network according to Zack Lawrence, the co-founder of 1protocol, who developed the technology during an interview with CoinDesk when he said
“In short, the new scheme would be a vast simplification of the current TrueBit protocol,”
A co-founder of TrueBit, Jason Teutsch, also had this to say about the news
“When so many people have eyes on the papers, over time, you get more and more confident that it’s correct, but it’s always an ongoing process for these things that are living systems… Now, we go another layer down the protocol rabbit hole, it’s this iterative process of getting deeper and deeper into this.”
Well the operation of TrueBit is rather quite “complex and technical” if I should put it. It works by outsourcing the computational tasks on the network and then rewarding the people who solve the various tasks. Within the range available for the outsourcing or say marketplace for outsourcing, the people who solve the tasks are known as “verifiers”, the people giving out the tasks are known as “task givers”, and there are people who verify that the tasks are executed correctly – known as “validators”.
But then one question arises, “how does this run effectively if different people who may not know each other are working on the same project from different points?”. Well the developers say that TrueBit depends on an incentive driven plan known as “forced error jackpot”. This makes validators occasionally keep checking for the authenticity of the results the verifiers bring in, and should a validator find any forced errors they are rewarded a payout- the “jackpot”. Now that’s one complex process. But it could be a whole lot easier.
Is New Better?
The new protocol is said to enable all the verifiers to participate openly without limiting the number of tasks each one can do. This way, those that verify tasks get to submit their computational results, and other participants who seem to find errors with the results (providing what they believe should actually be) have their results pooled together for a final decision to be made. Now, the verifier who initially handles the computational task gets paid, but then when there is a need for a verification pool, there is a blow to everyone in the business due to how costly it is. Thus all participants who are involved in task computations are “incentivized” to work with each other in honesty to do away with such mishaps.
Security-wise the new protocol is said to eliminate the shortcomings of the old protocol. But, it still isn’t the end of the line for improvement and achievement of maximum efficiency. Jason further went on to explain that even with the new protocol there could still be limits for computations. In that when a certain verification takes unusually long, people who notice “errors” may have to overlook them. Acknowledging the fact that TrueBit in itself is based on game theory, Teusch remarked that the “security is an observational science” in which its developers put themselves in the most suitable attacking position. He further went on to say that for better security, the developers may want to run both the old and new protocols hand in hand.