Scalability might be the single most important factor in blockchain technology today, as projects that attempt to provide real utility can’t realize their long term goals without it. Ethereum is now proving that scalability isn’t its strong suit, as a new game created full blocks, killing the utility of the platform and spiking fees in the process.
Twitter user Nate Maddrey raised concern over the Ethereum network getting bogged down on November 23, causing high fees for all users:
1/ Just tried to make an Ethereum transaction and suggested fees were over $40.
Looks like mean block fees shot up to over $30 for some blocks earlier today.
— Nate Maddrey (@natemaddrey) November 22, 2019
At the time, Maddrey could only speculate on what was causing this spike of usage and fees. On November 26, Coin Metrics published their weekly “State of the Network,” and they were able to put two and two together to figure out what happened.
Gods Unchained, a trading card game, launched their marketplace on the Ethereum network and created trade volume of $220,000. Due to a wave of new players jumping into the game, especially in the wake of Blizzard’s Hearthstone banning a popular player over his criticism of China’s handling of Hong Kong protests.
The sudden popularity and utility of the God’s Unchained, which has since died down, made Ethereum essentially useless for everyone else.
bloXroute, a start-up focused on solving the scalability problem of Ethereum, has emphasized that if Ethereum can’t figure out a way to scale to the demand of its users, its doomed. “Ethereum feels the burn of the scalability bottleneck more than any other blockchain out there,” said Uri Klarman, bloXroute CEO. “It’s losing momentum, it’s losing market share. They feel the problem. Most others don’t.”
This is a problem Ethereum’s founder, Vitalik Buterin, has also admitted to. He noted in August that his baby was almost already fully congested, and it’s only gotten worse since then.
This all amounts to a lot of time and money wasted on a project that can’t go anywhere fast. As the world turns to blockchain technology, it needs one that has proven scalability that can meet the immense demands of enterprise usage. The only blockchain that has proven it can do that, and continues to scale more massively, is Bitcoin SV.
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