Smart Assets — An Introduction: Solving the Scalability Problem
By Rich Phillips, Chief Product Officer at PraSaga
In 2008, an anonymous computer programmer going by the online nickname ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’ created what he called “a peer-to-peer electronic cash system.” That cash system would eventually become known as Bitcoin, revolutionizing how many of us think about money.
It also helped popularize the concepts of the blockchain (a decentralized grid of connected computers) and cryptocurrency, turning them practically mainstream. Since then, lots of cryptocurrency projects, notably Ethereum, inventor of the smart contract, have attempted to improve upon Satoshi’s core idea in their unique way, creating new crypto coins (or altcoins), new online apps, new communities, and so much more.
Building a Global Market
Just like earlier blockchains, a strong desire to innovate is one of PraSaga’s core motivations. We want to turn the blockchain, and crypto in general, into a tool to make the world a better place. We want to improve the blockchain ecosystem and make it more inclusive, transparent, and easier to use and understand. We want every individual to have access to a global market where they can buy, sell, exchange, and invest anywhere, at any time. To meet the goals we’ve set for ourselves, we need to solve some of the problems that are creating limitations on how we use blockchain technology today.
The Elephant in the Room
We’re creating a limitless global infrastructure, a system that can benefit people worldwide. We want people to be able to exchange and invest money, with transparency, in a way that’s both quick and easy. But first, we need to address the elephant in the room that’s keeping us from getting there, and that’s the scalability, or rather lack of scalability, issue of smart contracts.
The smart contract, the most common way of processing transactions on a blockchain today, is a serialized protocol, meaning it can only process one transaction or action at a time. To help illustrate what we mean by “serialized,” let’s start with a little analogy.
Imagine there are four people, Alice, Joey, David, and Dan, sending each other money on a blockchain. To complete these monetary transactions, they’d need to go through a smart contract, which means their transactions would have to be placed in a single-file line and take place one after the other.
So, if Alice sends money to Joey and then David sends money to Dan, these transactions must be executed in that exact order, despite them not being connected at all.
This requirement to have actions executed one after another slows things down.
As you can imagine, any increase in demand on a network that can only do one thing at a time creates a bottleneck. It is like being the only person working at an ice cream stand and having to serve a line of a hundred people, one after the other, instead of serving two or three people at once (a much more efficient solution). Obviously, this is a nightmare scenario, but it still happens frequently when many people use that particular chain simultaneously!
In a perfect world, transactions like the ones done by Alice to Joey and David to Dan should be handled in parallel, with everything being processed at the same time. Scalability is the capability to execute all these actions simultaneously and in more numbers as time goes on. After conducting extensive research, we realized that none of the major blockchains had solved the scalability problem.
Smart Assets, a Better Way Forward
To solve this scalability problem, we’re introducing the Smart Asset: a system that’s faster, safer, and able to keep up with increased demand on the blockchain. Unlike smart contracts, the Smart Asset is quicker because it can handle concurrency, lowering costs and waiting times. It’s a solution that simultaneously supports more users, requests, and transactions. It’s a system that can essentially multitask, turning scalability into a non-issue, thus removing the elephant from the room.
To further develop and put the Smart Asset in the hands of the people, PraSaga needs the help of developers: talented programmers who are experienced with creating tools and apps to run on blockchains. SagaChain™ will be open-source, so it is through the developer ecosystem that we can continue building upon what we already have and reach more users.
To help everyone get settled in, we’ve introduced SagaPython™, a modified version of the popular Python coding language that allows developers ease of programming on SagaChain, PraSaga’s own blockchain. (If you want to learn more, check here)
Creating a Scalable Future
We hope this article helped you understand just a bit about what we’re all about, at least when it comes to our pride and joy: the Smart Asset. But you may be asking yourself, “what now?” Well, if you’re a developer or a miner/validator, we’d love to hear from you! Feel free to join our community (links below) and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in what we’re creating or have any questions. Let’s work together to create a scalable future for all of us.