Every successful startup at one point or another faces a turning point in its history. This turning point, whether a challenge, conflict, or opportunity, oftentimes becomes the defining moment for the startup’s leadership team. How will they respond? What steps need to be taken? What is the game plan to get from point A to point B? These questions are vital, and investors and board members demand answers.

Blockchain technology, though not a startup in the traditional sense, is at its turning point. Prices are at or near all time highs, trading volumes are soaring, and the number of cryptocurrency users is growing at a tremendous rate. But these statistics don’t tell the full story.

With cryptocurrency prices rising and transaction volumes hitting peaks, the Achilles’ heel of Blockchains, scalability, is back with a vengeance. The problem essentially boils down to block size--blocks that are too big are automatically rejected by the network. As a result, transactions per second are limited to single digit numbers, or double digit numbers if the Blockchain is really fast.

The problem is that this pales in comparison with traditional payment methods like Visa cards. If cryptocurrencies want to compete in the transaction world in a substantive way, something needs to be done.

Sensing this need, some companies are working on customizable operating systems that will establish commercial-scale platforms. The goal is to meet growing business demand through Blockchain technology, as well as provide a central hub for all Blockchains. The hope is that platform operating systems will lay groundwork for the development of new, scalable applications, and organizations like EOS, Grid, DASH, and Waves are aiming to do just that.

How Blockchain operating systems can address the scalability problem

By creating a multi-chain parallel processing infrastructure that fulfills certain requirements, companies could pave the way for greater Blockchain commercialization. The operating systems they are working on are comprised of a main chain and an indefinite number of side chains, allowing a platform to fulfil multiple goals while reducing data redundancy.

The architecture of the operating systems establishes a well organized “Central Business District.” In this business district each industry has its own dedicated side chain--a one to one scenario where specific issues and problems receive direct attention via the corresponding chain.

The highly customizable platforms consist of one main chain, or kernel, that forms the minimum viable Blockchain. As the backbone of the operating system this main chain is used as the core from which custom operating systems can be developed. Developers can use the operating system to create specific configurations, providing adaptability that has so far eluded certain Blockchain projects.

So how does this all impact scalability? In essence, a Blockchain-based operating system creates different streams (side chains) which handle very specific tasks. As a result, the main chain isn’t bogged down by having to process transactions it isn’t built to handle. The abundance of chains means that the platform can process independent transactions at one time.

The operating system creates a scenario similar to adding four additional lanes on a one way highway. Drivers can accomplish the same end goal, arriving at their destination, but take a variety of lanes to get there. Traffic bottlenecks are less likely on a five lane highway than a one line highway In the same way, a Blockchain can accomplish its goal but take a variety of chains to do so. Side chains enable the main chain to operate as intended while also getting specialized tasks done.

Blockchain solutions for everyday life

The end goal for Blockchain-powered operating systems is to provide real world commercial solutions. In order to cope with increased transaction volumes, Blockchain companies are building infrastructures that allow companies to create scalable platforms. By allowing a Blockchain to have connected yet independent side chains, companies will find that they can create customizable solutions to meet their business demands.