Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin published a lengthy paper on the limits to blockchain scalability on his website. He criticized the claims made by Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Twitter.
A response to the tweet of Elon Musk
The article, published Sunday on Buterin’s personal blog, highlights the trade-off between decentralization and scalability in blockchain network architecture. The article is in response to Elon Musk’s tweet claiming that Dogecoin will become the leading chain if it increases its block size by 900%.
Security vs. Scalability
“Just how far can you push the scalability of a blockchain? Can you really, as Elon Musk wishes, ‘speed up block time 10X, increase block size 10X & drop fee 100X’ without leading to extreme centralization?” Is what Vitalik wrote at the beginning of his blog post. According to Vitalik, the answer is no: as it turns out, it’s nearly impossible to increase the scalability of a network “without leading to extreme centralization and compromising the fundamental properties that make a blockchain what it is.”
He explained how a coordinated group of people could organize a sudden change in protocol rules. This example mentioned in the paper points out the importance of security.
Buterin also claims that sharding can enable scalability comparable to that offered by many centralized chains. He predicts that a sharded Ethereum could likely process a million transactions per second. The reason this hasn’t happened yet according to Buterin is that it would take a lot of work to do so without sacrificing the decentralization that makes blockchains so valuable.