Elastos and a Tale of The Great Scaling Fallacy

As the market rotates its cyclical cog, smoke is cleared from mirrors, and a dose of reality hits the minds of most — a sense of serenity and calm is in the air. At least for the developers who now get to focus intently on building, without the incessant noise of a bull market.

Let’s face it, it was easy to get caught up in the hype. With projects going up 400% in a single day, purely on a (sometimes plagiarised) white paper, a gregarious personality and an unrealistic spiel about hitting one million transactions per second. It’s clear that this was nothing but a delusional fallacy. A lesson most are learning the hard way, as projects run out of funds and scramble for a solution that to be frank, is just simply fighting a losing battle.

Let us cast our minds back to November of 2017. CryptoKitties, a game built on the Ethereum Blockchain was launched. Users were given the ability to purchase digital kittens using ETH, which you could then breed and trade on the market. At its height, one CryptoKitty reached an absolutely ludicrous value of $170,000.

If this wasn’t a sign of the market top, I don’t know what was. (maybe a coin to do with dentists hitting a $2 billion market cap?) Hindsight.

But I digress, the reason I’m asking you to reminisce about this day, is to provide a stark reminder that blockchain is absolutely and unequivocally not an environment for running dApps. Blockchain is about verification and trust, not the breeding ground for an overpriced digital kitten. Especially one that brings an entire chain worth billions to its knees.

Fast forward to current crypto time and space, and Ethereum are still no closer to gaining the scaling solutions they desire. Ethereum in its current state can be best described as a metaphorical skyscraper, built on top of another skyscraper. With no solid foundation to expand upon, and a fundamentally flawed architecture, it was always bound to struggle in its attempts to scale. There is currently no project in the crypto space that can handle the amount of computational power needed to run these large-scale applications. That was until Elastos came along.

Dubbed the ‘Aircraft carrier of blockchain’ Elastos is solving this very issue. While blockchain is actually just one small (but vital) facet of the project, it’s actually used for the intended purpose we spoke about earlier — verification and trust. Elastos isn’t competing with other projects such as Ethereum, but instead aims to be the agnostic friend that can help achieve the true collective vision of decentralisation. This has already begun with the porting of the Ethereum and NEO VM onto Elastos.

To understand the depths of Elastos, you must first be introduced to the man behind the vision: Rong Chen – Sprung head first into the cultural revolution, emerging as a graduate of Tsinghua University, Rong has been working on operating systems since 1984 (A rather ironic date, given the open and free ethos surrounding Elastos) He then went on to become Senior Software Engineer at Microsoft for eight years, before eventually leaving in the year 2000 to follow his passion and ultimately become one of the great minds behind the Elastos SmartWeb. Rong foresaw this scaling fallacy long before others. Nineteen years in the making, a completely peer-to-peer Carrier network later, various iterations and a lightbulb moment when blockchain was added to the equation — Elastos is not just another crypto project. Elastos is special. Let me explain why.

Elastos utilises a main-chain/side-chain structure. This avoids bloating of the main-chain, limits smart-contracts and applications to the side-chains and keeps the main-chain limited to the simple (but crucial) task of being the ultimate trust-zone. With the ability to create many side-chains, scaling is really not an issue. Instead of running CryptoKitties on the main-chain as Ethereum attempted, a side-chain on Elastos would alleviate the bloat caused and enable it to run smoothly, with no network congestion.

So as the projects fight over who can achieve the highest (TPS) which has become more of a marketing term than an actual technological prospect, the majority will soon realise they are completely limited by their own computational power. We will look back on a time where people thought running large-scale applications on the blockchain was a feasible idea and chuckle at the thought. Especially as there are projects worth billions that still adhere to this notion.

The current landscape for dApps is dire. While 2017 bred optimism about the thought of running everything on the blockchain, 2018 was the sobering year that brought that idea to its knees, much like the Ethereum blockchain on that fateful day in December. Currently, the most popular dApp is related to gambling and has a few thousand daily users. Not quite the groundbreaking adoption we were hoping for.

Enter, Viewchain.

Viewchain is a dApp led by the team behind the popular application ‘Zapya’ Hugely prominent in developing countries such as Myanmar, Iran and Pakistan, they do not rely upon the Google Play Store, or Apple’s iTunes Store as their main source of content distribution. The technology is a combination of DPFS (Decentralised Private File System) and blockchain. DPFS enables mobile users to access the distributed storage solution, while the blockchain aspect controls the token element and enables everyone to be rightfully incentivised. Zapya have roughly 500 million globally registered users, with around 75 million active monthly users. They also just happen to be building this dApp on Elastos, with the aim to migrate a large portion of their user base over to Viewchain. Even if just 1% of Zapya’s current users make the leap, that’s a figure that would absolutely dwarf anything in the current dApp market. Real adoption is in sight.

So it’s not all bravado and despair in the decentralised application landscape, some projects are actively seeking out and achieving meaningful adoption. 2019 and onwards will be a special time for Elastos, and to quote Rong Chen:

“People need to be educated by showing them iPhones in their hands, not telling them what an iPhone is. Elastos Core team is focused to show the world what Elastos is”

Get ready for the SmartWeb.


Article by Chris Parker