Plasma on Loom Network DAppChains: Scalable DApps With Ethereum-Secured Assets

Matthew Campbell
Apr 13, 2018 · 4 min read


Articles in this series:

  1. Plasma on Loom Network DAppChains: Scalable DApps With Ethereum-Secured Assets 👈
  2. Practical Plasma (Volume I): Gaming
  3. Plasma Cash Initial Release — Plasma-Backed NFTs Now Available on Loom Network Sidechains

Proudly Announcing Development of Plasma Support for Loom DAppChains

When Plasma?? In the month since our first DAppChain DelegateCall went live, people have been asking us constantly whether we are competing against Plasma. We were also asked by Vitalik Buterin whether we planned to “include Plasma-like constructions to mitigate trust dependence on the Loom chain consensus.”

The issue boils down to this: DAppChains are convenient, but they require trust assumptions to be made in order to achieve their scalability goals. Using DPoS, they can be decentralized given enough honest witnesses, but we realized this was not good enough. As a result, we started searching for other ways to enable DAppChains to bring scalability, all while compromising neither security nor decentralization.

After discussing scalability with Vitalik and David Knott, implementor of the Plasma MVP, we quickly discovered that Plasma, and more specifically Plasma Cash, is a great addition to the DPoS sidechains we are building at Loom Network.

We are convinced of Plasma’s utility, feasibility, and desirability. We want Loom to be the go-to platform for companies that need turn-key, automated Plasma security for their public and private chains.

How Plasma Cash Secures Game Assets

Plasma Cash allows users to transfer assets like Tokens onto sidechains securely.

It does this by associating the tokens you deposit onto a sidechain with a unique serial number. The token is non-fungible and has its own transaction history. This allows for more compact proofs on a coin’s history along with the possibility of zero-confirmation transactions.

As a result, exchanges and games can benefit from this as they can operate on an efficient sidechain, and in the case of a hack or fraud, users can reclaim their funds or rare-collectibles on the Ethereum mainchain through Plasma exits.

The goal is to be able to have users leave their assets on the DAppChain with total peace of mind.

Why Is It Important to DAppChains?

DAppChains are distributed and secured via DPoS. However, DPoS is not fully decentralized and requires users to put some level of trust in the witnesses running the network.

By combining DAppChains with Plasma Cash, we can have better security and allow more critical operations to be run on a DAppChain without requiring a high level of trust.

We envision mobile games that run on sidechains with collectible items on the Ethereum mainchain.

DAppChains will support all kinds of tokens — you could even transfer Ether to use it on a DAppChain-based decentralized exchange.

Users no longer have to trust the sidechains, since they are further secured by Plasma Cash constructs.

Plasma + CryptoZombies Battleground

Real time card battles on a DAppChain

CryptoZombies Battleground is our Collectible Card Game (CCG) where you can buy decks of zombie cards and play out PvP battles on a DAppChain.

We expect our first use of Plasma to incorporate ERC721 tokens for the cards. Using Plasma Cash, users will be able to use the cards on a sidechain, while still being able to transfer ownership back to the Ethereum mainnet.

Collectible Decks (ERC721 tokens)

How will it work ?

DAppChains will periodically report Merkle Proofs acting as checkpoints to the Ethereum mainnet. The frequency would depend on the desired level of security and cost (as more proofs require more bandwith).

A Plasma Exit is the mechanism which allows a token holder to withdraw their funds from a Plasma Chain, in case of fraud or if they want to transact back on the mainnet.

While the current Plasma MVP prototype is a great reference, we will be building our own custom implementation specifically around its use case in games, in order to provide an improved user experience.

For more questions, you can head to DelegateCall and we will be happy to answer them!

To learn more about Plasma details, check this article by Karl Floersch.

We expect to have our initial Plasma implementation ready in June, along with our general public release of the Loom SDK.

In closing, Plasma and DAppChains are like peanut butter and jelly. They are very complementary technologies, that only make sense to combine together. Plasma-enabled DAppChains will allow developers to create a whole suite of applications with scalability that is orders of magnitude better than the current limits, while still retaining decentralization and security.

We are glad that Vitalik sees the potential of Loom to make the Foundation’s theoretical efforts accessible and usable for developers.

Want to learn DAPP Development? Click here for “ The Ultimate Guide to DApp Development “

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