CryptoKitties: A puuuurfect use case for Simple Token
At our core, Simple Token, “OST,” is solving the scalability problem with public Ethereum, while making blockchain development simpler and blockchain apps more consumer friendly.
Our ambition is to power mass-consumer blockchain apps.
One of the first challenges we have grappled with is how to enable mainstream consumer apps with millions of monthly users to bring high volumes of transactions onto blockchains in a scalable, open and cryptographically auditable manner.
While the world is enthralled with the rise of crypto in 2017, what’s less known is the scalability challenges currently impeding mass adoption of the technology. (The ethereum blockchain currently supports roughly 15 transactions per second compared to, say, the 45,000 processed per second by Visa.) Just one relatively small consumer app would immediately occupy 1% of Ethereum’s daily transaction capacity, while one smallish-to-medium sized web service (like one of my favorites, Unsplash, with 30M API calls per month) would completely overwhelm public Ethereum.
We’re already seeing this today as the first early-mainstream DApp, CryptoKitties (aka the tamagotchi of crypto) took over 11% of Ethereum’s capacity in its first week, causing major slowdowns and congestion across the Ethereum network, spikes in transaction ETH fees, and even forcing some ICO’s to postpone their offerings.
There are many compelling long term projects now underway to scale public Ethereum, and we are hopeful that all of them will see fruition over the next few years.
At Simple Token, we have followed three principles for scaling blockchain apps to mainstream consumers in 2018:
- Innovate, collaborate, and don’t reinvent the wheel. Modular design of protocols compounds capacity growth from day one.
- Proof-of-Work works, but is expensive. We can leverage Ethereum mainnet as an impartial judge to guard the token value and validator stake while offloading computation to cheaper and faster purposed utility chains.
- OpenST is an overlay protocol that allows Ethereum applications to schedule workload on utility chains, while keeping the value secure on Ethereum mainnet. The direct application of this is the creation of Branded Tokens that are backed by OST. In later work OpenST can also increase the computational capacity and reduce the cost for non-fungible tokens, like CryptoKitties.
The OpenST protocol and the OpenST network, move high volume consumer-grade applications onto open Ethereum-based utility chains that leverage the security and ecosystem of public Ethereum minus the scaling challenges.
OpenST, currently in early release version 0.9.1, enables app developers to stake value (in the form of OST) on Ethereum mainnet and mint a new representation of that value (in the form of a “Branded Token” ) on a utility chain, effectively increasing the computational capacity of Ethereum mainnet by sharding across different cores. We will be benchmarking OpenST sidechains in the coming weeks; our internal minimum throughput rating to achieve for OpenST is 10x public Ethereum to start.
In OpenST version v0.9.2 we will enable any developer to login to an early version of the Simple Token company dashboard using their ETH address and conduct complete end-to-end OpenST demos and tests without our involvement.
In subsequent releases we will continue to push the boundaries of blockchain scalability while also innovating on the user experience of blockchain apps, both on the developer and consumer sides, as we build out the complete blockchain toolkit for business.
While CryptoKitties is an awesome first real-world DApp, it also exposes many current usability limitations in the technology. There are numerous improvements that can be made (and frankly that will need to be made in order to take such apps mainstream) in the areas of key management, identity, wallets, analytics, reporting, and more. (The use of metamask in the current implementation of CK is brilliant, for example, but far from ready for mainstream).
We’re excited to share these developments with the world in the coming months and to work with thecommunity to realize the possibilities of blockchain technologies with mass consumers.
We envision a not very far off scenario where, if CryptoKitties uses OpenST:
- The Ethereum network will no longer be congested.
- CryptoKitties runs smoothly for everyone at cheaper transaction prices.
- It can appeal to a much wider mass consumer audience.
- And, it can grow to be much bigger than it is now..
And so can the next CryptoKitties that a-moew-suses us all.