Scaling 101 - Trinity
By Block Society
Scaling 101: Trinity
Cryptocurrency tech is often seen as mind boggling. You can dive as deep into the tech as you have time and still not scratch the surface of what the most advanced applied cryptographers are building. However, this daunting tech can be split up into smaller segments of technology that exhibit similarities between multiple projects. Once you begin to identify and understand the main segments of tech that are applied crypto, you begin to see repetitive application all over the place.
I remember two or three years ago, I read the Aeternity whitepaper. I owned a very small amount of AE and I decided it would be intelligent to gain a slight understanding of each of the projects that I had a stake in. One idea really stuck with me, state channels. It was the first time I heard about this segment cryptographic technology. The philosophy behind Aeternity is that as little data should be held on a blockchain as possible. Instead, most data should travel through encrypted state channels, which receive authority and immutability for certain operations through stamping into the blockchain. Sound familiar? The lightning network also uses similar state channel tech to allow for Off-Chain transactions.
Think of a Virtual Private Network (VPN) that one might use to obfuscate their whereabouts in the world, or access a geo-fenced online product. VPNs tunnel data through the internet from the endpoint of your internet connection to the other endpoint at the end of the VPN (Often administered by a third party like NordVPN). State channels are analogous to this, but in the cryptocurrency world. State channels act as tunnels in which you can send value and program that value between multiple users without having to clog the blockchain with that data.
Enter Trinity. Trinity is the iteration of state channel technology that has been proposed for Ethereum and NEO. The long-winded introduction to state channels is necessary to understand what is going behind the scenes. Through Trinity, users can open state channels with smart contract functionality and transact value using them instead of using the main chain. Users settle on the backend when they close or edit the channel. One more added benefit that has been developed is cross-chain state channels. This way, users who hold NEO can transact with ETH holders using this tech. Decentralized exchange tech is very young in general and I am skeptical that this product doesn’t come with drawbacks, but I would definitely look into it in the coming years. Cross chain transactions will bring value to the entire cryptocurrency ecosystem.
Trinity is a scaling solution that is built without necessary use from the blockchain. If widely adopted, it could be highly beneficial to the blockchain as a whole. I am excited to see how its usage progresses.