April 29, 2020
SKALE FAQ – Moving from the Loom Network to the SKALE Network
On Thursday this week SKALE is hosting an online event focused on Loom migration. Join us here.
Why are dApps and other blockchain-based games moving from Loom to other scaling solutions?
The Loom Network have indicated that they are de-emphasizing their support of Dapp games and shifting their market focus to other sectors. As a result, a number of blockchain-based games are migrating to other scaling solutions. SKALE is one of the top scalability solutions for Ethereum and one of the most used technologies in the biggest Ethereum hackathons. It is a host to a number of games in development and is well-suited for dApps that need high throughput and zero to low gas fees.
SKALE sees blockchain-based games as an important driver for blockchain adoption and use and has committed significant resources in support of gaming developers. To illustrate this support, game developers are able to connect the Unity3d game engine to the SKALE Network via the Nethereum .NET package. This and more integrations and support are sure to follow.
Is it easy to move from the Loom Network to the SKALE Network?
Yes. The SKALE execution model is fully compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) making it so that smart contracts that run on the Ethereum mainnet can also run on the SKALE Network. There is no need to rewrite or port smart contracts. Anything written for the EVM will execute on the SKALE Network. As such, developers are able to migrate to SKALE Chains in a phased manner – moving smart contracts to SKALE on an individual basis as the needs and benefits dictate.
Because the SKALE Network makes use of the Ethereum EVM, it also has full Solidity support and works with almost all the Ethereum developer toolset. These include connecting to the network via web3.js and web3.py as well as supporting tools such as Truffle and Remix. The SKALE Network supports all major Ethereum token standards including ETH, ERC20, ERC721, ERC777, and Dai. Interchain messaging, as well as deposit boxes and token clones, ensures the integrity and fidelity of token operations with the SKALE Network.
In addition, the SKALE Network supports a number of major crypto wallets and browser plugins and bridges. These include Bitski, Fortmatic, Metamask, Portis, Torus. These interface components are well-regarded in the community and used by thousands of developers. Lastly, the SKALE Network is easy to use. The steps to provision one or more SKALE Chains are simple with options to select SKALE Chain size (small, medium, large), chain duration, storage options, and more.
What are the benefits of using SKALE?
The primary benefits of using an SKALE Chain are faster commit times, greater throughput, and lower transaction costs. The advantages of using the SKALE Network in particular include a robust security model (based on random selection and frequent rotation of validator nodes), virtualized and containerized validator nodes, variable chain sizes, expandable on-chain storage options, BLS rollups, full EVM and Web3 compatibility, and more.
You can visit the SKALE Network: Technical Highlights for a deeper dive into the benefits of the network including.
- Zero to Near-Zero Gas Fees
- Random Node Selection/Frequent Node Rotation
- Virtualized Subnodes
- Containerized Validator Nodes
- Consensus via Asynchronous Binary Byzantine Agreement (ABBA)
- BLS Rollups
- Node Monitoring
- Ethereum Interoperability
How is the SKALE Network different from the Loom Network?
The SKALE Network has a number of advantages over other sidechain networks
- Virtualized and Containerized Subnodes – Each SKALE Chain is comprised of a set of randomly assigned virtualized subnodes which run the SKALE daemon and the SKALE consensus. Nodes in the SKALE Network are not restricted to a single chain but rather can work across multiple SKALE Chain via the use of virtualized subnodes. This multiplex capability is made possible via a containerized subnode architecture deployed on each node in the Network.
Unlike other sidechains that operate within a shared space with a one-size-fits-all provisioning model, SKALE’s virtualized and containerized subnode architecture, provides development teams with their own dedicated resources that can be upgraded to address more transactions per second, additional file storage, additional transaction security, or even a different consensus algorithm. This innovative design also largely alleviates the noisy neighbor problem whereby other user workloads and traffic dynamics can negatively affect your resource usage impacting your transaction throughput, data accessibility, and network performance.
- Pooled Validation Model – The SKALE Network uses a pooled validation model that uses random and frequent rotation in combination with a node incentive and governance model to preserve the security and validity of transactions within its SKALE Chains. Validator nodes are assigned to SKALE Chains via a random process that is arbitrated by a mainnet contract. Security of chain consensus is further protected via frequent node rotation. Nodes will be removed from one or more chains on a non-deterministic schedule and new nodes added. This rotation takes place via the node cores continually checking in with the mainnet – exiting current chains and connecting with and working on new chains as so determined by the mainnet contracts and its random assignment algorithms.
- Full Web3/Ethereum API Compliance – The SKALE Network features expansive interoperability with most common Ethereum tools and frameworks. It is fully compliant with the Web3 /Ethereum API including full compliance with ether.js and support for web3.py and web3.js. This support also extends to developers using C# and connects from the Unity3d game engine to the SKALE Network via the Nethereum .NET package.
- Non-Blocking Transactions and Data Persistence – The SKALE Network is designed to be robust and fail-safe – preserving transactions in a queue and providing data availability in the event of consensus failures. Unlike other sidechains where prior transaction data requests might block during such events, the SKALE Network will provide full state contract access. Inbound transactions will also be queued until such time as node rotation can occur or consensus otherwise begins again.
- Expandable file storage – The SKALE Network features on-chain storage as part of the SKALE Chain. This storage is expandable and persistent across the SKALE Chain. This feature provides developers with numerous cost and performance advances, reducing the need to store data on the mainnet or resort to more time and cost-intensive decentralized storage not to mention more centralized off-chain storage options.
Do you have any examples of how gaming dApps are using SKALE?
Yes. We have written on a number of case studies of developers building on the SKALE Network. A few of these case studies address gaming dApps and include the reasons why they’re using SKALE, and the benefits they are seeing.
One case study is on a strategy war game where players can build empires and battle with other players. The other is an Ethereum-based angel battle game that features collectible cards. The benefits they see are higher transaction throughput, zero to near zero gas fees, and faster commit times. They are also able to employ cut over very easily to SKALE, either by migrating a single smart contract at a time in a phased approach and/or making use of multiple SKALE Chains each tailored to a specific feature set.
What’s the process for getting started with SKALE?
The first step we recommend is to read the developer docs on the SKALE Developer Portal (skale.network/docs). From there, it’s as simple as filling out a form to get set up with a SKALE chain.
You can also connect with us on Discord as well as schedule a hands-on architecture and/or pair programming session with members of the SKALE Labs team.
What should I know about migrating from Loom to SKALE?
The process in moving from the mainnet is generally pretty smooth given the EVM compatibility of the SKALE Network and the interoperability with the Ethereum development tools. Many developers start by migrating a single contract to a single SKALE Chain and then proceed with additional contracts in a sort of phased migration approach.
Note that the SKALE Network offers full token support and so migrating any ERC20 or ERC721 tokens from existing dapp workflows should be a snap.
Where do I find more information on getting started or migrating to SKALE?
Please visit the developer documentation at the SKALE Developer Portal (skale.network/docs) and see the code at Github (github.com/skalenetwork). Also, feel free to connect with us on Discord (www.skale.chat).
The signup form to get provisioned with a chain can be found here.
Where do I find more information on SKALE?
Here is an explainer video that gives a quick overview of the network.
Here are several resources to start with.