Mark Friedenbach States Bitcoin Network No Longer Needs Hard Forks
Developer Mark Friedenbach, the co-founder of the Blockstream blockchain startup, proposed to solve the problem of the Bitcoin network scalability without the use of hard forks. The Forward Blocks project will allow increasing or decreasing blocks smoothly using the soft fork of the first cryptocurrency, according to the white paper of the solution.
Friedenbach suggests that it is possible to change the block's size, as well as switch to the alternative Proof-of-Work algorithm within the Bitcoin network using soft forks.
Besides, the developer believes that the risk of centralization will be reduced via sharding. In the document, Friedenbach describes this process, proposing to divide the blockchain into 28 separate blocks, which will significantly increase the resistance of bitcoin to censorship.
The concept of sharding is commonly used in the context of the Ethereum blockchain scaling. It is applied to reduce the load on the network, breaking it into small components – shards. With this solution, transactions will be checked, and smart contracts will be processed much faster, the blockchain scalability and throughput will increase.
Moreover, the Blockstream co-founder is confident that the Forward Blocks solution will limit the cost of a transaction confirmation by miners, not allowing excessive price increases.
Forward Blocks also provides conditions for performing confidential transactions, untraceable payments, and sidechain operations.
In turn, Vitalik Buterin, the Ethereum creator, found a way to improve the network scalability. Ethereum can work faster by means of the ZK-SNARK protocol with zero-knowledge.