Ethereum Plasma: The Ultimate Enlightenment Guide

Author: Okereke Innocent
January 27, 2021

 |6 min read

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Ethereum Plasma

Ethereum is looking to build a network to carry out calculations beyond the blockchain, hence developing Ethereum plasma technology. The reason to carry out the calculations beyond the blockchain is to ensure the chain scales billions of calculations in a second. Another goal is to achieve this with the least possible amount of chain updates. 

With Ethereum Plasma technology, nodes are not required to confirm all data as the next smart contract concludes. According to the Ethereum blockchain developers, the use of their Plasma technology allows transactions between trusted nodes. You can use the Plasma technology without referring to the main block, and you can execute it in a variety of projects. Cryptocurrency exchanges, blockchain systems, and decentralized social networks can use Plasma technology to improve pace and protection parameters. 

Ethereum plasma technology is a second-layer scaling solution for growth. It is likely to become the second fully deployed scaling solution on the Ethereum mainnet, only behind state channels. Plasma is a framework that gives developers the opportunity to create child blockchains that use the Ethereum mainnet as a layer of trust. The Plasma technology enables child chains to be designed to meet specific use cases; especially those not currently feasible on the Ethereum blockchain. All decentralized applications that require users to pay huge transaction fees are best suited for Ethereum Plasma. 

What are the key features of Ethereum Plasma?

The Ethereum Plasma is made up of the following elements:

  • It contains a motivational basis that can be used to measure contracts, which would be economically beneficial continuously. 
  • They are designed to arrange child chains in a tree-like shape to optimize output and reduce cost. 
  • The MapReduce architecture for building proof-of-fraud for state transitions in inserted chains. This is in agreement with the tree architecture for reshaping state transitions to higher scalability. 
  • It also has a consensus algorithm that relies on the parent blockchain, which attempts to replicate the Nakamoto Consensus Drivers results. 
  • The Bitmap-UTXO architecture which ensures that there is accurate state relocation from parent blockchain, thus reducing cost. 

How Does Plasma Technology Work?

Ethereum plasma aims to establish a framework of secondary chains that will rarely communicate and interact with the main chain. The main chain is the Ethereum blockchain system. This Ethereum plasma framework is built to function as a blockchain tree. The blockchain tree is arranged hierarchically to ensure smaller chains are created on top of the main one. 

These smaller chains are also called Plasma chains or child chains. It is vital that note that Plasma chains are similar to sidechains, but they are not the same thing. The plasma structure is built using smart contracts and Merkel trees, thus enabling the creation of an unlimited number of child chains. These child chains are smaller copies of the parent Ethereum blockchain. More chains can be created on top of each child chain, giving rise to a tree-like structure. 

Generally, every child chain is a customizable smart contract designed to work singularly, serving different needs. The implication is that the chains can coexist and still be operating independently. In the end, Plasma will enable companies and businesses to implement scalable solutions in various ways. 

Therefore, the successful development and deployment of Ethereum Plasma technology will ensure the main chain will be less likely to get congested. Each child chain is designed to work in a distinct way to achieve a specific goal. These goals are not necessarily related to the goals of the main chain. In essence, child chains would reduce the overall work of the main chain. 

How Stellar Architecture works? Read here

Ethereum Plasma Architecture  

The Ethereum Plasma constitutes blockchains in a tree-like structure, and each is managed as a separate blockchain. An enforced blockchain background and MapReducible calculations are embedded in Merkel proofs. By reframing a block into a child blockchain supported by the parent chain, users can achieve a broad scale application. The implication is that there will be reduced trust in the root blockchain presence and accuracy. 

Ethereum Plasma Architecture
Ethereum Plasma Architecture

All blockchain calculations are framed into a community of MapReduce structures. They also include an additional way to execute Proof-of-Stake token linkage ahead of preexisting blockchains. However, it comes with the conception that Nakamoto Consensus Drivers discipline with block any restraint. This is guaranteed by implementing a smart contract on the root blockchain using the Proof-of-Fraud method. 

In the Ethereum Plasma architecture, the decision to ensure correctness typically depends on all participants testing the chain. Participants must thoroughly check each block to ensure accuracy before they can be considered. A temporary obligation is used to create a reliable bond so that the claimed data is subject to a controversial period. Within this period, participants are allowed to ensure the data conforms with the state. 

Plasma technology also provides a framework that allows participants to enforce consequences. However, it can only happen if an incorrect state is claimed. The proof model enables interested participants to claim ground truths to non-interested participants on the parent blockchain. This architecture is used for both payments and commutation; thus, making blockchain the decision-maker for contracts.

How Secure is Plasma Technology 

Fraud proofs secure all communications between the child chains and the main chain. Therefore, the root chain is responsible for maintaining the security of the network and punishing malicious actors. Each child chain has a specific mechanism for validating blocks. Fraud proof ensures that users can report dishonest nodes in case of any malicious activity. Users can also protect their funds and exit the transaction whenever there is malicious activity. The fraud proofs are mechanisms that allow a plasma child chain to file a complaint to its parent chain to the root chain.  

Plasma employs the Ethereum blockchain as an arbitration layer, and users can still return to the root chain as a trusted source. The Ethereum main chain is linked to child chains through root contracts. These root contracts are smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain. 

Conclusion 

The Ethereum Plasma has all it takes to enhance the scalability of blockchain systems. At the moment, the Plasma protocol is still under test. However, experts who were part of the test noted a high throughput of up to 5,000 transactions per second. The implication is that increase in the number of projects on the Ethereum platform will not be correlated with network transaction delays.  

Also learn about Optimistic Rollups in our article.

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