Elph, a scalability layer for Ethereum, has been launched on the blockchain’s testnet. The developers of Elph have detailed its features in a recent Medium post, which reveals the project’s capacity to make Ethereum transactions faster and cheaper than ever before.
How It Works
The Elph network makes use of Plasma, an existing sidechain framework that allows some transactions to take place on “child chains.” Plasma improves Ethereum’s scalability and Elph builds on Plasma’s original innovations.
According to the developers, Elph functions as a second blockchain layer. This approach retains the advantages of Ethereum’s decentralized network, but performs transactions in a more efficient manner.
Essentially, a second layer (Elph) focuses on scalability by rapidly executing most transactions, while the first layer (Ethereum) performs dispute resolution if one of those transactions is problematic. As the developers explain:
“By creating “layer-2” blockchain networks (what we’re doing at Elph), we can leave layer-1 networks as-is and use them as a secure and robust justice system that backs the layer-2 blockchain.”
This division of duties allows Elph to achieve a transaction rate of 6000 TPS, which is a major improvement over Ethereum’s current throughput of 15 TPS. Elph currently supports only token transactions, but will soon support smart contract transactions and EVM executions as well, allowing it to improve transaction rates on a large scale.
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See It In Action
Since Elph is now live on Ethereum’s Rinkeby testnet, users can see the platform in action. An interactive demo allows users to partake in a simulated “shopping spree” — but not with real money, of course.
One of Many Solutions
It should be noted that Elph is just one of many scalability solutions for Ethereum. Ethereum’s much-anticipated scaling solution, sharding, will not be released for quite some time. Meanwhile, the release of Plasma — a collaboration between Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin and the Lightning Network’s Joseph Poon — has given developers a basis to build upon.
As such, many independent groups are developing their own scaling solutions. In fact, Elph’s release coincides with the announcement of a similar Plasma-based scalability effort from OmiseGo and Quantstamp. Other scaling efforts include the Raiden Network, OpenST Mosaic, the Loom Network, and many more.