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Ethereum 2.0: Encumbents Idea Could Bring Cross-Shard Instant Payments
As Prysmatic Labs shared another update on the progress of Ethereum 2.0 on November 27th the idea of an account model known as encumbents, we have had a chance to familiarize with the idea of Vitalik Buterin, the founder and CEO of Ethereum, which could enable cross-shard instant payments.
It is considered that the main problem in the way of making cross-shard instant payments lies in the fact that shards work in cycles. These cycles define when the crosslinks between shards can take place, which is in this case set in the timeframe of 6 minutes.
This timeframe is simply not acceptable as it wouldn’t make the payment instant, so Buterin came up with the idea of encumbents that should solve this problem and get closer to finding a solution for enabling instant cross-shard payments.
Encumbents Account Model to Solve the Time Problem with Global Receipts
As the team is working on the second version of Ethereum platforms, also known as Ethereum 2.0 or Ethereum Serenity, Prysmatic Labs and the ETH dev team on the head with Vitalik Buterin are working on scalability solutions.
In order to enable easy scaling of the network through shards, the team should add another layer created with the support of Proof of Stake and Casper, that way creating a side chain that should allow the implementation of Sharding.
As Sharding is to become a major part of the network’s scalability and Ethereum Serenity, Vitalik Buterin also came up with an idea that could potentially enable instant cross-shard payments.
The present problem for enabling this instant payment solution through shards lies in the fact that each crosslink within shards has its own cycle. That makes it impossible for one user to send ETH from one shard to another user end that exists on another shard in less than 6 minutes.
This is the case because one cycle takes 6 minutes to complete.
That is how Buterin presented an idea that would cut the time by changing the way the transaction is being sent through shards. So, instead of waiting for crosslinks at every 6 minutes, Buterin suggests the utilization of encumbents account model.
How Cross-Shard Instant Transactions Would Work with Receipts
This account model would allow creating receipts as global objects that will carry the intended value that one user from one shard wants to send to another shard to the other end user where the end user, the receiver of the transactions, could receive the receipt that allows him to acquire the intended value.
That way, instant cross-shard payments would be enabled, however, there is still a lot of research to be done around this idea as Vitalik Buterin only shared it to ETHResearch as a probable solution for solving the cross-shard transaction problem.
There is also a plan to support zero-knowledge protocol through Ethereum network for the new roadmap that will bring Ethereum Serenity, so this function should enable string pseudo-randomness on the new Serenity network.
In the meanwhile, Serenity is set to solve scalability issues for Ethereum network; however, the exact date on when Ethereum 2.0 will officially become a thing is yet to be set.