As blockchain developers continue to compete for resources and traffic within their respective decentralized applications (dapps), some in the industry believe that this could lead to an unsatisfactory user experience, potentially hampering the cause of mass adoption. So, if today’s layer 1 and layer 2 blockchains can’t overcome issues such as slow network speeds and high gas prices, it will be difficult to convince traditional organizations that the technology is necessary. According to Ankr product manager Josh Neuroth, custom blockchains could be the key.
Overcoming Blockchain Scalability Challenges
If a transaction is attempted to boost a blockchain’s performance, it is likely that certain compromises will have to be made in order to ensure the security of the chain. As an alternative, developers could consider using sidechains, or application-specific blockchains, to solve this problem.
Josh Neuroth, head of product for Web3 decentralized platform infrastructure platform Ankr, believes that custom appchains could be the spark that will fuel billions of users into the Web3 ecosystem. In addition, Neuroth suggested that appchains can be used in conjunction with layer 2 solutions to help developers “overcome scalability challenges.”
To learn more about appchains and how they could help solve the “blockchain trilemma” challenge, Bitcoin.com News spoke to Neuroth. Read on for his comments.
Bitcoin.com News (BCN): What are the advantages of application-specific blockchains?
Josh Neuroth (JN): Application-specific blockchains (also known as subnets, sidechains, or appchains) are networks designed to serve a single decentralized application. They can be sub-networks of larger ecosystems like BNB Chain, Polygon, or Avalanche, and they also support a network of additional sub-chains. App developers can benefit from these chains without needing to create a whole new layer 1 chain from scratch.
BCN: How do they differ from other layer 1 and layer 2 chains?
JN: By building on top of existing layer 1 and layer 2 blockchains, developers are competing for traffic and resources alongside thousands of other projects. This can lead to user experiences that are far from ideal, such as slow networks, high gas prices, and a lack of customization. Appchains, on the other hand, allow developers to dedicate all resources and infrastructure to the support of their app, leading to a much improved user experience.
BCN: Why are custom blockchain advocates so convinced they will play a major role in the mass adoption of Web3?
JN: High gas prices, slow transactions, and security issues are just some of the reasons why Web3 users are becoming frustrated. With custom app chains, developers can now focus on optimizing their code to tackle these scalability issues. By doing this, dapps will eventually be able to onboard billions of users, making them all want to be involved. In short, custom app chains can provide a better user experience than even established Web2 apps.
BCN: How do Ankr’s appchains help developers to build custom blockchains that are tailored to their app?
JN: Ankr’s appchain service lets projects select the specifications for their new blockchain (based on larger ecosystems like BNB), while the engineering service handles all aspects of the build. It is then up to the team to build it. Appchains can be customized for any industry or use case with custom programming languages, consensus mechanisms, and development frameworks.
BCN: How useful are they for transaction-intensive use cases like defi and gamefi?
JN: Application chains are best suited for use cases with high demand and scalable computing. For example, if a game was launched directly from Ethereum, players would be paying much higher fuel costs, leading to a slow and costly experience. However, if the game was built on an application chain, it could offer a low-gas (or even zero) experience, with lightning-fast transactions that don’t distract from the game. The same principle applies to all new projects looking to launch a defi or DEX protocol.
BCN: Are custom blockchains the solution to the blockchain trilemma?
JN: Application chains that address specific elements of the blockchain scalability dilemma can provide solutions. They can improve decentralization by creating a blockchain internet with new validators, increase security through allowing developers to customize and enhance their security frameworks, and improve scalability by ensuring that dapps can support any number or type of user or transaction. While appchains are not the answer to the complexities of the trilemma, they can help us to overcome scalability issues by being used alongside other scaling solutions such as layer 2.
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