Vitalik Buterin Urges Bitcoin to Embrace Layer 2 Solutions for Scalability

12:20 pm
July 10, 2023
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Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has expressed his belief that the Bitcoin network needs to adopt scalable solutions, such as zero-knowledge (ZK) rollups, in order to become more than just a payment network. Buterin made these comments during a Twitter space hosted by Bitcoin developer Udi Wertheimer, where discussions centered around Ethereum’s scaling experiments.

ZK-rollup chains are off-chain protocols that operate on top of the Ethereum blockchain and are managed by on-chain Ethereum smart contracts. These protocols offer a faster and more scalable way to verify transactions without compromising user privacy.

Buterin highlighted Ethereum’s success in incorporating various scaling solutions over the years and pointed to the recent experiments with ZK rollups and Plasma, which have greatly improved throughput. He mentioned Optimism and Arbitrum as two successful examples of rollups that could serve as case studies for Bitcoin.

“I think if we want Bitcoin to be more than just a payment network, it needs more scaling solutions,” Buterin added.

Scalability has long been a topic of discussion for both Bitcoin and Ethereum. While Ethereum has transitioned from a proof-of-work to a proof-of-stake network, it has also explored layer 2 solutions like ZK rollups and Plasma.

On the other hand, Bitcoin’s layer 2 solution, the Lightning Network, has played a crucial role in its scalability efforts. More recently, Bitcoin ordinals have also joined the scalability movement, contributing to the network’s growth beyond being a mere payment layer. Buterin commended the rise of ordinals and believed they have revived the builder culture within the Bitcoin ecosystem.

Bitcoin Ordinals, a layer 2 solution enabling decentralized storage of digital art on the Bitcoin blockchain, has gained significant popularity. In June alone, Bitcoin Ordinals trading volume exceeded $210 million.

FAQs

What are ZK rollups?

ZK rollups are off-chain protocols that operate on top of blockchain networks like Ethereum. They provide a more scalable and faster way to verify transactions without compromising user privacy.

What is Ethereum’s approach to scalability?

Ethereum has been experimenting with various layer 2 solutions like ZK rollups and Plasma to improve the scalability of its network.

What is the Lightning Network?

The Lightning Network is a layer 2 solution for the Bitcoin network. It enables faster and more scalable transactions by allowing users to create payment channels between themselves.

What are Bitcoin Ordinals?

Bitcoin Ordinals is a layer 2 solution that enables decentralized storage of digital art on the Bitcoin blockchain. It has gained popularity for its contribution to the scalability of the Bitcoin network.

What are the advantages of layer 2 solutions?

Layer 2 solutions offer scalability benefits for blockchain networks, allowing for faster and more cost-efficient transactions while reducing congestion on the main blockchain.

Summary

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has suggested that the Bitcoin network should adopt scalable solutions, such as ZK rollups, in order to expand its functionality beyond being solely a payment network. Buterin praised Ethereum’s progress in integrating various scaling solutions and highlighted successful examples that could serve as models for Bitcoin. He also acknowledged the contributions of the Lightning Network and Bitcoin Ordinals in enhancing Bitcoin’s scalability. Improving scalability has long been a focus for both Ethereum and Bitcoin, and layer 2 solutions have emerged as key strategies for achieving this goal.


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