OmiseGO, one of the most exciting projects being built on top of Ethereum, is also one of the most anticipated. This project is set to be the first cryptocurrency to implement Plasma on the Ethereum blockchain, and that has a lot of people taking note.
Plasma is a blockchain scaling solution thought up by Lightning Network co-creator Joseph Poon and co-founder of Ethereum Vitalik Buterin.
According to the Plasma whitepaper:
Plasma is a proposed framework for incentivized and enforced execution of smart contracts which is scalable to a significant amount of state updates per second (potentially billions) enabling the blockchain to be able to represent a significant amount of decentralized financial applications worldwide. These smart contracts are incentivized to continue operation autonomously via network transaction fees, which is ultimately reliant upon the underlying blockchain (e.g. Ethereum) to enforce transactional state transitions.
Plasma Simply Explained
Simply put, the Plasma scaling solution is blockchains being built on top of blockchains. The blockchains built on top of the main blockchain (Ethereum) are referred to as child chains. These child chains can also have their own child chains, and so on and so forth.
Basically, Plasma is many blockchains branching off from a parent chain, which in turn is linked to one main blockchain. The branching blockchains will be used to perform complex operations, which takes the load off of the main chain. This results in faster speeds and lower transaction fees because the main chain does not need to replicate these actions.
An in-depth explanation of the Plasma scaling solution can be found here.
OmiseGO Plasma Development & Implementation
Now that we have a basic understanding of what the Plasma scaling solution is, how is OmiseGO implementing this technology and what stage of development are they currently at?
OmiseGO started the development and testing of Tesuji Plasma, the first iteration of Plasma in Q1 of this year. The development of this iteration steadily continues as we have now entered Q4.
The basic goals for Tesuji Plasma as laid out in the roadmap are as follows:
- Proof of Authority run on OmiseGO servers
- Exit to Ethereum for final safety
- CLI (Command Line Interface) to monitor the child chain
- Multiple currencies (initially this will mean ETH and ERC-20)
- Atomic swap support
According to the OmiseGO Network Blog, the OmiseGO development team and open-source community have been continuously testing and improving various aspects of Plasma on the OmiseGO testnet.
OmiseGO Plasma Update #6
The primary focus since OmiseGO’s last update has been getting the Watcher API deployed on the internal OmiseGO testnet.
The Watcher plays a key role in the successful construction and operation of Plasma as it serves as an accessible interface to the child chain. It is also critical for the building of dapps and securing the network, as anyone building an app will need to deploy their own Watcher.
OmiseGO’s team has already built the Watcher and conducted a series of performance improvements and bug fixes. These improvements include the Watcher-syncing process and detection of faults such as invalid exits, invalid blocks, and block withholding.
Furthermore, this recent update contained some preliminary audit feedback from Quantstamp, another Ethereum-based blockchain project striving for better scaling solutions. The feedback presented by Quantstamp revealed a potential attack vector in the OmiseGO’s Plasma MVP chain contracts. This attack could potentially make the child chain invalid, which would trigger a mass exit back to the main chain.
According to OmiseGO’s Plasma Update #6, they have addressed the issue among other recommendations from Quantstamp.
Also, the team at OmiseGO have conducted a lot of refactoring and testing of the Plasma MVP root chain contracts. This testing was done to better prepare for the MoreVP implementation which will be the focus over the next few weeks and have mentions in the next Plasma update.