This Friday, at the ethereum community conference in Paris, ethereum cofounder Vitalik Buterin presented a scaling solution for Plasma. Now, Plasma is a smart contract system designed to interact with the main blockchain and enhance the capacity of ethereum. It was created by Buterin and Joseph Poon, the guy behind the Bitcoin Lightning Network.
For the current prototype of Plasma to work, it requires a difficult feat of having all users download and validate each smart contract in the Plasma system. However, in the event, Buterin explains “The main benefit here is that basically the amount of data that clients need to process goes down by a lot,[…]It’s just one simple way to make Plasma more scalable and vastly reduce its usage requirements for regular users.” So now the Plasma system should function with the help of a handful of data points.
Users now don’t have to download and verify the entire Plasma history. Instead, they can now generate “Plasma coins” by simply sending a deposit to the contract and then track their generated tokens with the system.
In the words of Buterin, “Now users only have to verify the availability and correctness of the Plasma chain only at the specific index that they want to spend, or the specific index of any coins that they own and coins that they care about.”
Now it should be noted that the system is yet to undergo testing. But when it comes out to the public, it’s scope of application would be limitless. Through the use of the technology, new crypto exchanges won’t have to deal directly with the funds and can simply keep an order book functionality and then insure losses, if any, through Plasma contracts.
Buterin commented, “Hopefully when the next multi-billion dollar exchange written by a totally incompetent developer gets hacked, no one will lose any money.”