Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin believes the Bitcoin network needs scalable solutions like zero-knowledge rollups (ZK-rollups) to become more than another payment network. Buterin’s comments came during a Twitter Space hosted by Bitcoin developer Udi Wertheimer, with discussions revolving around Ethereum’s scaling experiments.
A ZK-rollup is an off-chain protocol that operates on top of the Ethereum blockchain and is managed by on-chain Ethereum smart contracts. It offers a more scalable and faster way to verify transactions without sharing critical user information.
The Ethereum co-founder shed light on how Ethereum has incorporated various scaling solutions over the years to increase throughput. Buterin cited Optimism and Arbitrum as two successful examples of rollups that could be considered case studies for Bitcoin, adding:
“I think if we want Bitcoin to be more than payments, it needs more scaling solutions”
Scalability has been a long-drawn point of discussion for Bitcoin and Ethereum over the years. While the Ethereum network has shifted from a proof-of-work to a proof-of-stake network, it is also experimenting with various layer-2 solutions like ZK-rollups and Plasma.
On the other hand, Bitcoin’s layer-2 solution, the Lightning Network, has been crucial to its scalability, and lately, Bitcoin Ordinals have helped the Bitcoin network become more than just another payment layer. Buterin lauded the rise of Ordinals and said he thinks they have brought back the builder culture into the Bitcoin ecosystem.
Bitcoin Ordinals are the latest layer-2 solution enabling decentralized storage of digital art on the Bitcoin blockchain. Its popularity soared fast, and by the end of June, Bitcoin Ordinals inscriptions hit over $210 million in trading volume.
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