DLT is not a blockchain; the Future of Blockchain is anchoring to public chains

During the UNLOCK forum panelists in the chat session entitled “The Advent of Scalable and Interoperable Blockchains discussed the future of the technology. The panelists included Ken Huang, Founder &Chief Executive Officer NuclearChain Foundation, Toufi Saliba, Chief Executive Officer, Toda.Network, Nick Spanos, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Blocktech & Zap, Bashar Lazaar, Director of Operations, Middle East & North Africa, ConsenSys, and  Mr  John McGuire; Chief Platform Officer; Finocracy, who moderated the session.

Most of the speakers agree that both public and private Blockchains will be present and will need to be able to communicate with each other. According to Mr. Huang, “ Blockchain in its 10 years was a phenomena and the cryptocurrencies are just one part of the technology the technology itself is the other part, we need to solve regulatory concerns, security, efficiency, scalability and interoperability issues.”

Mr. Spanos believes that the strongest element in blockchain is its immutability feature “Immutability comes from decentralized permission less Blockchains unlike permissioned Blockchains.”

According to Mr. Saliba, “Today we are still at 0.2% of global penetration when it comes to blockchain even though the technology is 10 years old. The reason is that we are missing five elements, decentralized governance, efficiency, confidentiality, scalability and interoperability. Once these are in place we won’t have to wait another 8 years for the revolution to happen it will take less than four months.

Huang agrees, “Performance is one of the top three challenges and some are trying to resolve this through the use of sub-chain technology that we see in Lightening network, as this relaxes security on main chain. Other companies such as Cosmo and Polkadot as well as Plasma are using Parachains or layering.. Then you have those that are working on onchain scalability layer by improving consensus, this could be through Sharding.  Sharding is a concept that’s widely used in databases, to make them more efficient. A shard is a horizontal portion of a database, with each shard stored in a separate server instance. This spreads the load and makes the database more efficient.  In Blockchain through Sharding you partition the node so not all the information is on one node.  Finally there is zero layers, this changes how the network works by tweaking TCIP so packets can switch faster with instant finality.”

Lazaar believe that scalability can be achieved Sharding. Others are discussing merkalization of hashes. So instead of posting a single transaction a Merkle tree composed of hashes will have thousands of documents hashed at once. Sharding will be used for self-organizing network that need lower security requirements with higher volume of transaction and settlement will happen on periodical basis to anchor security.” Saliba disagrees as he states, “the work on Sharding has not been proven yet and there are a lot of security issues to be proven along the way. But it is a good step because you don’t have one ledger replicated but you have it split up between several machines. Saliba believes that Sharding is already inherent within the Bitcoin. “ if you think of that and think of Bitcoin it contains the sharding methodology with Satoshi being the smallest unit in Bitcoin equal to 100 million Bitcoins the smallest unit is managed on its own why we are doing this what are we trying to accomplish here, efficiency.

Huang believes that both permissioned and permission-less Blockchains serve a purpose. So while permission-less Blockchains are more secure and fair permissioned Blockchains have inherent KYC and are not focused on scalability. In the end DLT based Blockchains will have to anchor themselves onto a public chain

Toufi believes there needs to be a polarity of solutions. “For example Ethereum is trying to leverage and anchor to public network itself, this will meet needs of security and privacy while leveraging the full potential of public blockchain. In the end DLT is not a blockchain. Permissioned Blockchains can be built using current databases. If anyone says otherwise, you can fire them. As such the true revolution is not permissioned blockchain; the true revolutionary technology that doesn’t have any hole in it is public blockchain because you are as good as your weakest link. If you have a single point that is centralized forget it just go back to databases.”

Lara Abdul Malak

Lara has been a journalist and writer in the technology field since her graduation from AUB majoring in political science. She has had career in corporation communications in the telecom sector and was part of the launch of first 3G network in the GCC and MENA region. Since her return to journalism she has been focused with passion on blockchain, tokenization, crypto focusing on the GCC and MENA region. Lara worked with Unlock Blockchain until 2022.

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