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June 5, 2024

Scaling Blockchain with SKALE's Horizontal Approach

SKALE Network

Scalability is a fundamental aspect of a blockchain, referring to a network's capacity to handle increasing amounts of transactions. This capability is crucial as blockchains continue to attract a growing number of builders and users. As networks expand, they face the challenge of managing a growing volume of transactions without experiencing delays and escalating costs, which can severely hinder usability and adoption.

Ethereum has grown from a network of few applications and a handful of users to becoming the backbone of thousands of protocols resulting in a surge of users and transactions. This growth has tested the limits of Ethereum's original design, which is not suited to handle such a high transaction load. 

Ethereum currently is capable of 12-15 TPS (Transactions Per Seconds), and while improvements are under development, it's still a long way from traditional payment processors, like VISA, that can handle about 1,700 TPS. The result is often prohibitively high gas fees, sometimes reaching hundreds of dollars during peak periods, and significant network congestion. These issues not only degrade the user experience but also pose a considerable barrier to mainstream adoption.

In response to these challenges, various scalability solutions have been developed, primarily falling under two distinct approaches: vertical scalability and horizontal scalability.

Vertical vs Horizontal Scalability

Vertical Scalability

Vertical scaling in blockchain technology refers to the process of increasing the computational power of existing nodes within the network by upgrading hardware capabilities, such as enhancing CPUs, GPUs, or increasing storage. This method aims to scale the network's capacity to process more transactions per second by empowering individual nodes to perform more computations.

This approach, while improving transaction throughput by concentrating power in high-capacity nodes, leads to significant centralization. The higher the barriers for participating as a node due to the elevated hardware requirements, the fewer the participants who can afford to contribute, thus centralizing control and potentially compromising the foundational ethos of web3—decentralization.

Horizontal Scalability

In contrast, horizontal scalability involves expanding the network's capacity by adding more nodes, rather than solely enhancing the existing ones. This method distributes the workload more broadly across the network, maintaining or even enhancing the system's decentralization by allowing more participants to join and support the network.

By integrating more nodes into the network, it not only supports scalability in a way that doesn't compromise on decentralization but often enhances network security. This approach aligns with the core principles of web3, facilitating open participation and robust performance improvements without centralizing power.

So, while vertical scaling offers a straightforward and quicker solution to enhance blockchain performance by upgrading the hardware of existing nodes, it risks centralizing the network by elevating entry barriers, thus concentrating power among fewer, wealthier participants. Conversely, horizontal scaling, although more complex and time-consuming to implement, distributes the workload across an increased number of nodes, enhancing network throughput while preserving its decentralization.

SKALE's Horizontal Scalability Model

SKALE employs a unique horizontal scalability model that features a network of interoperable EVM AppChains. Developers can spin up their own dedicated AppChain, known as a SKALE Chain, which operates as an individual, fully customizable blockchain. This approach addresses the core challenges of blockchain scalability by providing speed, efficiency, and security to developers building applications in the Ethereum ecosystem.

SKALE's approach to horizontal scalability involves the dynamic integration of additional SKALE Chains as required by the network's demand. This modular strategy allows each application to operate within its dedicated environment—effectively a separate blockchain—tailored to its specific needs. Each SKALE Chain can be customized ensuring that the chain is ideally suited for the application’s unique requirements, whether it's a complex DeFi protocol, a high-throughput AI application, or an immersive gaming experience.

Unlike traditional horizontal scalability approaches where each blockchain must establish and maintain its own security measures, SKALE addresses this challenge through a shared security model. In SKALE's ecosystem, security resources are pooled across the network, ensuring that each individual SKALE Chain benefits from the collective security of the entire network. This pooled security model enhances the overall safety of the system and maintains the integrity and decentralization of each chain.

The combination of independent scalability with pooled security offers a significant advantage in terms of performance and safety. Each SKALE Chain operates with virtually unlimited throughput capabilities and benefits from instant transaction finality, ensuring that as more applications and nodes join the network, the system can scale efficiently without compromising on speed or security. 

Horizontal Scalability Applied: AI and Gaming on SKALE

SKALE's horizontal scalability makes the network especially suited for high-throughput use cases such as AI applications and web3 games. Coupled with SKALE's unique zero-gas fees model, this framework makes SKALE an optimal solution for developers requiring rapid transaction speeds radically improving the blockchain experience for their end-users.

AI Applications on SKALE

AI projects like PaLM AI, ChainGPT, and Exorde harness the power of the SKALE Network by leveraging its ability to facilitate seamless AI operations without incurring any transaction costs. SKALE's rapid transaction processing and instant finality ensure that these AI projects operate efficiently and reliably, maintaining data integrity crucial for AI functionalities. With SKALE's full EVM compatibility, developers of these projects easily integrate and execute AI models within smart contracts, using familiar Ethereum tools to enhance deployment and innovation.

Web3 Gaming on SKALE

5TARS, motoDEX, and Haven's Compass and more than 50 other web3 games utilize the SKALE Network to revolutionize gaming experiences by eliminating gas fees, allowing for uninterrupted gameplay and real-time updates essential for maintaining dynamic gaming environments. These gaming platforms benefit from SKALE’s customizable chains and its invisible blockchain experience, which preserves the fluidity of gameplay and ensures that blockchain complexities remain hidden to players, enhancing their overall gaming experience.

Unleashing the Full Potential of Blockchain with SKALE's Horizontal Scalability

SKALE’s model of scalability and security is not just solving today’s challenges but is also gearing up for future demands. With its capability to handle vast numbers of transactions swiftly and securely, SKALE is laying the groundwork for blockchain's mass adoption. As more builders explore the potential of blockchain, SKALE's architecture offers a compelling blueprint for building scalable, user-friendly applications that could drive the next wave of technological transformation.

About SKALE

SKALE is the world's fastest blockchain, designed for fast, secure, user-centric Ethereum scaling. SKALE chains offer zero gas fees to end-users and have advanced features such as AI/ML smart contracts, on-chain file storage, interchain messaging, zero-cost minting, and enhanced security features.

The SKALE Network enables developers to deploy their own EVM blockchain in minutes without sacrificing speed, security, or decentralization. Welcome to the SKALEverse.

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