SKALE is a powerful, hybrid L1/L2 scaling solution for Ethereum, with zero gas fees and unique on-chain functionality.
Ever since CryptoKitties brought Ethereum to a standstill in December 2017, the spotlight has been on scaling the world's first and most popular smart contracts platform.
Ethereum's ongoing upgrades will not be completed for some years, and these improvements alone will not be enough to support the volume of transactions required for a thriving Web3 ecosystem—even when sharding is implemented.
Alongside Ethereum Upgrades, a number of initiatives have been launched to increase the network's throughput, including Polygon, Optimism, Arbitrum, and SKALE.
What Is SKALE?
SKALE was founded by Jack O'Holleran and Konstantin Kladko and formally announced on January 1, 2018, gaining funding from a number of notable VC backers. The SKALE mainnet went live in a phased rollout in the second half of 2020.
Most Ethereum scaling solutions are sidechains or rollups-based Layer2 platforms, which batch ("roll up") hundreds of transactions and post them to Ethereum mainnet (Layer 1) at the same time.
SKALE takes a hybrid L1/L2 approach. The ecosystem is ultimately secured by Ethereum mainnet via SKL token staking, but has its own network of validators to enable high transations speeds and throughput, plus some other features that other networks don't and can't offer.
SKALE has been rated the world's fastest blockchain by the independent Dartmouth Blockchain Study, with the highest transactions per second (TPS) and fastest time-to-finality (TTF). This, and the rich feature set the platform offers, means there are good reasons why a growing list of projects are building on SKALE.
What Makes SKALE Special?
SKALE unique approach to blockchain scaling enables the platform to offer best-in-class functionality:
- Zero gas. No gas fees are paid on any transactions. Instead, chain owners (typically dApp projects) pay for chains up-front, and can recoup those costs however they want. This makes SKALE chains accessible and economical for all users, no matter how small or frequent their transactions.
- Fast, free cross-chain transfers. Metaport, SKALE's interchain widget, enables users to move tokens between SKALE chains almost instantly and with no gas costs.
- Decentralized, on-chain file storage. SKALE allows files of up to 100 MB to be stored on the blockchain—something impossible with most platforms. This has many use cases, including storage for NFT metadata, ensuring 100% uptime.
- MEV protection. SKALE uses threshold encryption to encrypt transactions before they are submitted, meaning they cannot be exploited before they are confirmed on the blockchain. This prevents MEV attacks and front-running, which is a major problem on Ethereum mainnet.
- Fast finality. SKALE's consensus algorithm means that finality is the same as block time, typically just a few seconds.
- Fast, decentralized mainnet bridge. Transfers between Ethereum mainnet and Europa—the SKALE Chain that serves as the entry point to the SKALEVERSE—take only a few minutes. Many other bridges between mainnet and L2s take hours or days to process transactions, or else rely on a centralized actor.
- ZK functionality in development. The SKALE team is implementing Zero Knowledge (ZK) proofs: A promising technology for Ethereum scaling initiatives.
Altogether, this makes SKALE more like a decentralized AWS than a conventional blockchain, and provides a more familiar, Web2-style user experience than other blockchain platforms.
The SKALEVERSE currently consists of 20 chains, supporting tens of thousands of monthly active users, and millions of transactions.
Find out more at SKALE.space.
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