Setchain, a new application presented at the 2022 IEEE International Conference on Blockchain improves not only the scalability of blockchain networks by letting more transactions happen per block but also lowers risk and costs for users.
By allowing more transactions to occur per block, Setchain, a new application introduced at the 2022 IEEE International Conference on Blockchain by researchers Margarita Capretto, Martin Ceresa (IMDEA Software), Antonio Fernández Anta (IMDEA Networks), Antonio Russo (IMDEA Networks), and César Sánchez (IMDEA Software), not only increases the scalability of blockchain networks but also reduces risk and costs for users.
Smart contracts, which describe the functioning of transactions, are a component of contemporary blockchains. With them, users can see the details of a transaction from start to finish. This gives them more confidence, and more opportunities, and makes them more efficient.
The Byzantine consensus mechanism, which was added to stop cyberattacks, limited the number of transactions that could be added to the chain.
As a result, there is increased interest in enhancing the scalability of blockchains, or how well the blockchain network can handle a large volume of transactions. In this regard, the research team from IMDEA Software and IMDEA Networks collaborated to develop the Setchain application.
This research was conducted as part of a partnership between IMDEA Software, the Tezos Foundation, and Nomadic Labs, with the goals of serving the Tezos ecosystem and advancing the Tezos protocol.
Pre-doctoral researcher Margarita Capretto of the IMDEA Software Institute says that “right now a blockchain like Ethereum only allows 8,000 transactions per minute while VISA, for example, reaches 100,000. The difference is abysmal. That is why we have worked to create an application that allows us to achieve a breakthrough in this aspect and that can also be applied to any blockchain, not just Tezos “.
Antonio Fernández Anta, Research Professor at IMDEA Networks Institute, says that Scalability is the key advantage of Setchain over traditional blockchains. The conclusion of their study demonstrates that “Setchain allows millions of new transactions to be added, whereas blockchains can usually only add thousands” if barriers (a conceptual visualization of the boundary between blocks) are not requested too regularly (no more than once per second).
According to him, “Setchain allows to store transactions permanently and reliably, introducing order between transactions when it is indispensable. It can be used instead of blockchains when total order between records or transactions is not required, as order in this application is enforced when it is essential to introduce barriers between sets of records .”
Without needing the transactions within the blocks to be ordered, Setchain achieves the ordering of the blocks within the chain. The procedure is more effective, and blockchain users save money.
The authors of the paper believe Setchain can be utilized to build a solution to so-called front-running, which is the act of seeing a transaction request and maliciously injecting a similar one before the observed ones are completed in order to profit. This is done by giving a miner a bigger fee. Mempools are responsible for encoding information about upcoming blockchain transactions, so anyone who observes this data can forecast future transactions and act for their benefit.
Although Setchain’s applications are “used by multiple entities that have to collaborate and may have conflicting interests, Setchain will provide them with a repository that allows them to share data without the risk of any of them manipulating it to their advantage,” adds Fernández Anta.
The research team at IMDEA Software and IMDEA Networks believes that their program may identify front-running and serve as a tool to construct a more efficient Mempool that encrypts transaction requests with multi-signature.
Research professor Antonio Fernández Anta points out that the main conclusion they have reached is that “in blockchains, the total order requirements are often too restrictive, when most applications do not need them. Relaxing these requirements can lead to huge performance gains”.
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