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Cardano’s Method Aim to Solve Scalability Trilemma

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Cardano is one of a few blockchain-based projects working on solving its scalability trilemma. Its developers have been working on a scaling solution called Hydra capable of solving its scalability problem without compromising on decentralization and security.

What is Cardano’s Hydra?

Hydra is a layer 2 scaling solution designed to address Cardano’s scalability and security issues. It has been in the works for more than five years and is soon to be launched.

Hydra utilizes a process called isomorphic scaling to maximize throughput, minimize latency and reduce storage requirements on Cardano. Isomorphic scaling works by processing transactions off the main chain while reserving the main chain as a secure settlement layer.

To participate in Hydra (the second layer), each pool on Cardano must create a Hydra head. Each Hydra head has Cardano’s functions. Network participants’ can easily run smart contracts, create dApps, vote, use micropayments and execute other functionalities on a Hydra head.

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Cardano vs. Ethereum scalability method

Arbitrum is a layer 2 scaling solution that aims to speed up Ethereum’s transaction time and lower the blockchain’s high fees. The project supports the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), enabling Ethereum Defi developers to integrate their decentralized applications with it without having to make any modifications.

Arbitrum uses a process called optimistic roll up to log batches of transactions submitted on the Ethereum main chain and executes them on inexpensive scalable layer-2 sidechains.

Compared, while both Hydra and Arbitrum are layer 2 scaling solutions, they use different techniques for scalability. Cardano’s method (Hydra) uses state channels while Arbitrum uses optimistic roll up to increase transaction speeds and low fees on the Ethereum blockchain. Hydra also differs from Arbitrum in that its isomorphic scaling mechanism allows transactions running on a Hydra head to be mapped to layer one transactions and vice versa.

Cardano vs. Bitcoin’s scalability method

The Lightning Network is a layer-2 solution designed to make Bitcoin transactions fast and cheaper. It allows off-chain transactions. The Lightning Network uses smart contracts to enable off-chain payment channels between parties. Only when payment channels have been established can funds be transferred between a pair of users.

Compared, Cardano’s method (Hydra) can outperform Bitcoin’s Lightning network considering Hydra’s state channels, which allow for fast and cheaper transactions. Hydra heads also make Cardano more highly scalable than the Bitcoin blockchain.

Unlike Cardano’s method (Hydra) the Lightning network was not co-designed with Bitcoin. Hydra was designed with special provisions in place to enable it to accommodate Cardano. It is, therefore, easy to move in and out of the system while still maintaining security properties.

Bottom line

While not the fast or the last scalable solution in the crypto space, Cardano’s method (Hydra) stands out as one of the best yet to be launched. If it does operate as expected then it can easily help Cardano with its scalability issues. The layer-2 solution seems to have what it takes to boost Cardano’s capabilities.

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Author: Jay Jackson

Author: Jay Jackson

Jay Jackson is a crypto trader, researcher and freelance writer. He works closely with people and businesses in the crypto sphere, writing blog posts, guides, press releases, reviews and ebooks.


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