Ethereum is a blockchain platform that enables developers to construct decentralized applications, or dApps. However, due to its secure consensus, processing throughput is limited on the base layer, which has caused the rise of protocols that are built on top of this initial layer. Hence, now the Ethereum blockchain has two protocol categories – layer 1 and layer 2 solutions. Layer 1 solutions are integrated into the central infrastructure of Ethereum, while layer solutions are built as a top layer of the blockchain while maintaining trustlessness. The second layer is where Plasma technology is found.
Plasma and Its Functions
Plasma is Ethereum protocol’s layer 2 technology. It utilizes both smart contracts and cryptographic verification that enable quicker transactions across nodes like a secondary chain. When transaction activities take place, this secondary or “child” chain reports back to Ethereum’s main chain to settle conflicts. The funds are then sent to the correct receiver or party. Security is an essential criterion for Plasma since your funds can be retrieved as the rightful receiver of the transaction, and, at the same time, prevents another party or hackers from stealing your funds. Decentralized exchanges apply Plasma in their systems, and it is also used for accelerating commerce ecosystem and transfer of assets.
Vitalik Buterin reinforces the practicability of Plasma technology and how Ethereum is benefitting from it. “It would create a high level of governance overhead as the platform would have to discuss, implement and coordinate newly discovered technical improvements continually. The intensive task to add a new feature into the base protocol might cause Ethereum to stagnate. We should not only be relying on changes to the base protocol to continue progressing Ethereum. I do think that as blockchains become more and more mature, layer 1 will necessarily stabilize, and layer 2 will take on more and more of the burden of ongoing innovation and change.”
Plasma continues to grow and change, and developers are looking into various ways of designing and configuring the technology. Further improvements are possible with the help of more active participants in the blockchain network to boost expansion and scalability and prompting a safer and more secure decentralized system. To keep up to date with the latest Plasma research check out ethresear.ch/c/plasma.