As Plasma Stalls, SNARKs Become New Hope for Scaling Ethereum

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While plasma "can become super complex," George told CoinDesk, "with snapps we have a super simple architecture." While one iteration of plasma – the so-called plasma cash – is usable today, it's difficult for users and developers to interact with. It's pretty centralized, it is prone to regulation and so on," he told CoinDesk. For example, speaking to CoinDesk, Fichter said one of the most challenging aspects of plasma could be solved using the right application of snark technology. As such, there's a push toward what Fichter called the "holy grail" of plasma research: a generalized plasma that seeks to combine elements – as well as the lessons learned – from all techniques.

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Efforts to scale ethereum, the world's second-largest blockchain, are growing more varied as one much-anticipated solution encounters pitfalls amid its continued development.

At the forefront of this transition has been plasma, a concept widely heralded as ethereum's best bet for short-term scaling. Already, researchers behind the tech have built five distinct versions of the protocol – but within these multiple iterations, there's evidence that work isn't proceeding as originally hoped, with little actionable code being put together well over a year since its inception.

As plasma slows, however, attention is being drawn to zk-snarks – a form of cryptography pioneered by privacy-centric cryptocurrency zcash – as another...

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