DeFI’s core infrastructure is clogged, here’s a bold alternative 🌉

The SYS-ETH Bridge makes compliant token transaction fees 1 million times cheaper and up to 15 times faster.

Kaue Cano
Kaue Cano
Aug 19, 2020 · 6 min read

Intro

Be it the DeFI surge, the sheer amount of running DApps or the 2.0 hype, Ethereum's mainnet is now undeniably clogged and gas fees (network transaction fees) have been off the charts lately.

Gitcoin ‘s Gas History plot (ouch!)

Decentralized economy is still a big taboo in many circles of society and so the tripod of usability, accessibility and functionality is as pertinent as ever.

When you’re simply trying to send someone 4 dollars worth of your token, paying 5 dollars worth in transaction fees alone is terrible enough, but just imagine the impact on a larger scale.

Unbalanced gas prices have been directly affecting how Ethereum-based projects perform, making it pretty expensive both for users and maintainers to enjoy the benefits of decentralized applications.

Beyond that, it's even tougher to assess the true toll in the ecosystem, since upcoming development teams are (rightfully so) scared off from crypto's main development-based blockchain by the sheer magnitude of operational expenses.

On the other hand, as any crisis manager will tell you:

It wasn't long since many projects took up tackling this issue and that's basically how I came to know Blockchain Foundry's Syscoin Bridge, a trustless platform which allows ERC-20 token users to port their digital assets to Syscoin's own powered-up blockchain as SPTs (Syscoin Platform Tokens).

I was lucky enough to be invited to try the infrastructure out and, after porting Brazil's most prominent stablecoin BRZ to Syscoin, the results were impressive enough for me to write this story.

So, during the following minutes of your (very much appreciated) reading I'll briefly go over my experience and, above all, learnings using this new blockchain tech and also show numeric comparisons between ERC-20 and SPT transactions.

Nice reading!

Just a couple of hours ago an AMA took place over at Binance's english telegram group regarding Syscoin itself, and who better to talk about the project than the creators themselves? And so, I took the liberty of copying some of the very keen excerpts written by Bradley Stephenson, Dan Wasyluk and Jag Sidhu during the event on the next paragraphs.

Syscoin

Syscoin is a strong complement to both Ethereum and Bitcoin.

It resides between both chains. For example, by using wrapped BTC you can go to Syscoin and effectively have the same security as Bitcoin but much cheaper and faster using trustless methods to cross chains.

Syscoin’s value is in its security, speed and close ties to the Bitcoin codebase with scalability in mind and flexibility of the Ethereum chain through the aforementioned Bridge.

It’s important to understand that the project do not try to do all Ethereum does because it will create exuberant fee markets that have volatility like we see today, so it focuses on simple value transfers on-chain with off-chain solutions for things like DEX’s, payments and other simple smart contracts using the mainchain as a court repudiation system as it is the only way to scale globally whilst remaining decentralized as Bitcoin.

Be sure to read up on their innovative and blazing fast Z-DAG Protocol

Syscoin Bridge

Just realized this image is quite self-explanatory actually, read more here

As other with most other topics, I highly advise reading about the Syscoin Bridge from the source material itself.

The tl;dr is: this trustless and permissionless interop tech enables you to send your own value to another blockchain without needing to swap coins or needing any other party to provide liquidity, solving the scalability issues ERC-20 owners face when sending tokens on the Ethereum mainchain.

Coupled with projects like Matic, which have solved scalability for Ethereum’s smart contracts, current challenges are solved in a way that enables Ethereum-based projects to continue using Ethereum before the 2.0 release. Not only that, this leads to new solutions (and possibly add-ons) to previously proposed ones and ultimately makes the ecosystem more robust and welcoming.

Provisioning the Bridge + any config needed is a very straightforward process and won't take you longer than an hour (counting actionable time, that is). You can simply follow this guide, or watch my walkthrough video down bellow.

No need to install SDKs, libs, node modules, docker images, not even blockchain ledgers — you can do it all using a Console-compatible SYS wallet (I used Spark). Compared to most other developer-focused blockchain solutions, that by itself is a godsend.

Step-by-step guide on how to provision the Syscoin Bridge for any ERC-20 token.

The best part is: since I've already provisioned the bridge for BRZ, anyone can port their tokens to the SPT without having to provision it once again!

All you need to do is head over here, select ETH-SYS, set the asset_guid as 800287417 and follow the interactive steps. Simple! I can't really call it a fast process though, since proofs need to wait for Superblocks (which takes about 3 hours), but once minted, the SPT are already fully usable and packed with very crucial advantages on Syscoin.

Results

I transferred BRZ between two similar wallets four times on Metamask (using "pure" ERC-20) and then on Spark (using SPTs).

+-----------+--------------------+---------------+
| TX | SYS FEE (USD) | ETH FEE (USD) |
+-----------+--------------------+---------------+
| A->B 4USD | 0.00000582 | 5.53 |
| B->A 2USD | 0.00000582 | 5.55 |
| B->A 1USD | 0.00000582 | 5.54 |
| A->B 3USD | 0.00000582 | 5.55 |
|-----------+--------------------+---------------|
| TOTAL | 0.00002328 | 22.17 |
+-----------+--------------------+---------------+

Not only transactions were almost instantly confirmed through Z-DAG, I also managed to pay fees 6 orders of magnitude smaller than on ether-based transactions.

🃏 The little trickster behind 5 usd fees 💸

I'm not currently involved with any ERC-20, but if that wasn't the case I would definitely consider moving major operations to the Syscoin blockchain. Gas prices were relatively high during the test period (between 200–260 gwei) but even if they were to drop by half (rates as of Aug 18 2020), the difference would still be too grotesque to argue otherwise.

Closing thoughts

A lot of stablecoins are actually ERC-20 compliant. Yes, the most closely fiat-connected part of the crypto space (and growingly cross-blockchain DeFI tool) now has the possibility of paying transaction fees million of times lower.

Binance's stablecoin BUSD has already committed to the switch.

I can't really say what else will come out of that, but this kind of impact-driven product craftsmanship is more comprehensible when you look at Blockchain Foundry's crypto consulting and development background.

The cryptocurrency market has been quite bullish lately and it's slightly comforting to see the biggest pumps behind the same projects that have solid tech, community presence and strong products. I'm by no means a trading expert, but just holding the projects I see popping up on Gitcoin or Hackathons (Ocean, Chainlink, Matic, Solana, Serum…) seems to be working quite fine.

So even though this post was mainly oriented towards blockchain developers and Ethereum projects, every crypto enthusiast should also keep an eye at Syscoin and other engineering-focused blockchains.

And for those who are yet to enter the crypto market, now is a good a time as any. Study well and start slow, be open minded about alternative investments because projects such as Syscoin Bridge show that the blockchain technology is here to stay and the ecosystem's maturing alongside its members.

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