Vitalik Buterin Calls Ethereum’s Scalability a ‘Big Bottleneck’

Michael LaVere
  • Vitalik Buterin calls Ethereum's scalability a "big bottleneck" issue. 
  • Proposes a network system that does not require each computer to verify transactions. 

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin had some interesting words on the state of scalability for ETH, calling it a pressing issue facing the cryptocurrency. 

Ethereum Scalability

In an interview with The Star published on Aug. 19, Buterin said that scalability has become the primary hurdle for organizations interested in using Ethereum’s blockchain, and that the issue has become a “big bottleneck.”

He said, 

Scalability is a big bottleneck because the Ethereum blockchain is almost full. If you’re a bigger organization, the calculus is that if we join, it will not only be more full but we will be competing with everyone for transaction space. It’s already expensive and it will be even five times more expensive because of us. There is pressure keeping people from joining.

Buterin proposed an alternative to the vice grip of scale that has plagued most blockchain-based projects, including cryptocurrency. He speculated that the Ethereum’s network should evolve beyond the need to have every computer verify each transaction.

Instead, he believes that a blockchain can remain secure while utilizing a model that has connected computers only verifying a small portion of the transactions on average. 

When asked whether this would compromise the existing security of blockchains, Buterin said, 

There would be a sacrifice but it would be fairly modest.

However, he also said that implementing such a system would reduce scalability costs by “a factor over 100,” for every transaction. 

In addition to scalability, Ethereum’s co-founder also highlighted challenges in usability, posing the rhetorical question, “how do you turn it into something people will use?”