Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin advocates revisiting Plasma, an Ethereum layer 2 scaling solution. Initially introduced in 2017, Plasma diverts data and computation off-chain, offering a unique approach.
Despite being surpassed by roll-ups in terms of cost-effectiveness and security, Buterin deems Plasma an “underrated design space,” especially for chains that would otherwise be validiums.
In a recent Twitter post, Buterin highlights roll-ups as the “gold standard” in scaling solutions.
However, he stresses the importance of not overlooking Plasma, considering it as a potential “significant security upgrade” for certain chains. With the advent of zero-knowledge Ethereum Virtual Machines (ZK-EVMs), Buterin sees an opportunity to re-explore Plasma’s design and enhance its effectiveness.
Unlike roll-ups, which use ZK-proofs, Plasma relies on fraud proofs, making it comparatively slower.
However, Buterin argues that advancements in ZK-proofs, specifically validity proofs, address past limitations of Plasma, making it a more viable option for scaling.
The co-founder expects the Ethereum layer 2 ecosystem to evolve with diverse technological approaches.
Plasma has seen various iterations, including Minimal Viable Plasma, Plasma Cash, and Plasma Cashflow. Despite initial enthusiasm, the movement away from Plasma gained momentum, partly due to the decision of the nonprofit research firm Plasma Group to cease Ethereum-based scalability work in January 2020.
After Buterin’s endorsement of Plasma, the token of OMG Network, which employs Plasma, experienced a 28.6% spike to $0.78 within three hours.
Chart from Coinlive
However, the token’s value later decreased by 14.3% to $0.67.
The revisiting of Ethereum’s Plasma design draws parallels to Cardano’s Hydra solution, leading some community members to liken it to a “simple copy-paste” of Hydra’s design.