PAID Dual Ecosystem Ethereum and Polkadot made possible with Plasm
Although PAID is intended to run on Polkadot, to ignore the contribution and continued relevance of Ethereum would be foolhardy. Ethereum has captured developer and user mindshare unlike any other smart contract network. Instead, we are seeking to continue to interact with and include this broad house of Ethereum, while still having our eyes set on Polkadot as a sustainable long term solution. This is why we have partnered with Plasm, a project which aims to act as a bridge between the two networks.
Why not solely Ethereum?
Ethereum’s issues are, by this stage, well worn. The network has a transaction throughput of 15 transactions per second which has proved woefully inadequate due to the explosion in popularity of DApps ranging from CryptoKitties in 2017 to Uniswap this year. Why can’t the network scale? In short, because it’s very difficult. The reasons for this are beyond the scope of this article, but essentially it is not simple to scale a network without a corresponding trade-off in security or centralization. This process is made more difficult for Ethereum than for newer networks being built from scratch, because Ethereum is attempting to upgrade an already functioning network with significant daily activity.
Polkadot aims to build a scalable, interoperable and secure network capable of handling the strenuous demands of Web 3.0. Again, while a deep dive on Polkadot is beyond the remit of this piece, Polkadot aims to scale in a different way than Ethereum. Instead of one giant network with a single interface, Polkadot aims to have a main chain which parachains can link to. These parachains can dictate their own logic, as well as process transactions. Through this, there are multiple networks working together to alleviate the demand as opposed to one network through which all transactions are funneling through. It can also link with other chains through bridges. This will make it possible to not only transfer tokens from chains such as Ethereum or Bitcoin to Polkadot, but also smart contracts and states.
Why do we want to use both Ethereum and Polkadot?
While Ethereum may be currently struggling to scale, this does not mean that its developer or user base have shown any signs of transitioning to a new network. Indeed, Ethereum’s status as the pre-eminent smart contract platform has been cemented in 2020 despite scaling shortcomings, because it is the network with clearly the most genuine usage. DeFi has shown how important having a developer base is; with each new project created, other developers have more pieces to work with to build their own. This has led to innovative new DApps that have replicated much of the traditional financial services offering.
We want to make PAID open to these developers, and allow for people to build up Decentralized Law (DeLa) just as they have DeFi. But we also want to be able to build for the future, and we believe that Polkadot provides us with the best solution for that.
We are delighted to be partnering with Plasm Network to achieve this aim of bridging both networks. Plasm is a Layer 1 blockchain that aims to bring much of the Ethereum smart contract and development functionality to Polkadot to provide a link between the two. This will allow projects like PAID to build DApps that do not have to compromise on either the functionality or the ability to scale.
In short, Plasm will:
- Allow for fast and high capacity transactions
- Provide interoperability with blockchains such as Ethereum
- Enable Layer 2 scaling solutions on Polkadot
Importantly, Plasm will also support important development functionality such as Ethereum Virtual Machine and WebAssembly. It will also, through the use of a tool known as Solang, enable Ethereum smart contracts (built in Solidity) to be ported over to Plasm. This means that Ethereum developers can deploy their smart contracts on both Ethereum and Polkadot with ease. The team is also working to allow developers to use existing Ethereum development tools and library, including existing Ethereum Layer 2 protocols.
Through this, the team at Plasm is hoping to make a central hub for DApps on Polkadot.
Best of both worlds
We believe that using Plasm provides us with the best chance of success moving forward. It allows us to appeal to Ethereum developers and users — crucial for success — while providing us with the flexibility of moving to Polkadot. We will launch our MVP on the Ethereum network, and will subsequently port this to Plasm after mainnet in 2021. We are excited to be one of the first teams leveraging Plasm’s technology and look forward to sharing more details on this as we continue to build!
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