How Ethereum Plans to Scale to a Billion Users

More than 150 Members that include Mastercard, Cisco Systems, Scotiabank, Loyyal Corporation, QIWI Blockchain Technologies, State Street, Merck, ING, Toyota, JPMorgan Chase, Microsoft, CME Group, BNY Mellon, Broadridge and Rabobank as well as the government of Andhra Pradesh (A State of India) – the first state government outside the US to join Alliance makes The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) officially the largest open-source blockchain alliance in the world.

Ethereum is an open-source, public, blockchain that can be used by anyone as a decentralized ledger. With its cryptocurrency Ether – which is similar to Bitcoin – the platform that is used by Ethereum in the back – Ethereum network is attracting companies.

One of the most distinguishing factors of Ethereum is that apart from being just another type of digital currency, it could be described as a new type of distributed computer on which a new generation of applications can be created which are called as “DApps” or Decentralized Apps.

While traditional cryptocurrencies run on a laptop or a server, Ethereum runs on thousands of individual computers at once which all are kept in sync with blockchain technology.

This blockchain can be defined as an ordered list of items upon which the involved computers agree. In Ethereum, this list is made up of programmable computer states. Anyone can pay to run their code and thus changing the status of the computer.

This system is called the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), or colloquially, the “world computer.” The code is run publicly, but users are pseudonymous. Decentralized apps, or DApps, are programs that run on the world computer.

As per the website “The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance connects Fortune 500 enterprises, startups, academics, and technology vendors with Ethereum subject matter experts. Together, we will learn from and build upon the only smart contract supporting blockchain currently running in real-world production – Ethereum – to define enterprise-grade software capable of handling the most complex, highly demanding applications at the speed of business.”

Although bitcoin is more common currency for consumer payment transactions, the adoption of Ethereum blockchain technology by such giant corporations and governments indicate that it will eventually be a larger platform than any other cryptocurrency platforms.

European Aircraft maker Airbus is testing Ethereum for a possible shift of its supply chain management to an Ethereum based blockchain since Ethereum technology is specifically intended to support smart contract applications that can automate complex physical and financial supply chain procedures and compliance processes involving multiple parties. It has numerous potential for internal end uses such as reconciliation.

Another example of corporate usage of Ethereum network is by John Hancock Financial which is experimenting with a tailored version of Ethereum to keep track of compliance with KYC (Know Your Customer) and AML (Anti-Money Laundering) regulations in its wealth management unit.

Taking the decentralization philosophy into social media ‘Indorse’—a reward-based decentralized professional network on the Ethereum blockchain tries to resolve three basic problems of social networking platforms—economic, autonomy and trust issues by using a LinkedIn-style professional networking model, wherein members retain the ownership of data while earning rewards for sharing their professional skills and using the platform.

These rewards are incentives, in other words. The data ownership and reward system are based on the blockchain principles of decentralization and tokenization.

However, Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum, might not be satisfied with such enormous growth since last year he has laid out an incredibly ambitious roadmap with “unlimited” scalability within two years.

According to which “The long-term goal for Ethereum 2.0 and 3.0 is the protocol to quite literally be able to maintain a blockchain capable of processing VISA-scale transaction levels, or even several orders of magnitude higher, using a network consisting of nothing but a sufficiently large set of users running nodes on consumer laptops.”

Since Visa process billions of transactions, a year (in 2008 Visa processed 37 billion transactions at an average of 100 million transactions per day), it’s safe to say Ethereum plans to have more than a billion users.

This kind of goal doesn’t seem quite impossible considering “Ethereum’s benefits over other cryptocurrencies in the form of programmability, flexibility, synergy, modularity, and a philosophy of humility,” which reflects the idea that current and future requirements of every developer for each application can never be known exactly.

So, the value of Ethereum is not perceived as a coin but perceived by what new things one can build with this platform and given the flexibility. Another great benefit of Ethereum which allows its rapid adoption is its transaction time that is about 15 seconds, and will probably drop dramatically in future releases making Ethereum’s dream of scaling to billion users approachable.