To reduce the load on Ethereum’s blockchain, Loom Network has introduced Zombiechain, a sidechain geared toward decentralized applications (DApps).
There have been instances in the past when the popularity of a decentralized application such as CryptoKitties has managed to slow down the entire network. The number of pending transactions on the mainchain increases, causing an increase in fees required to complete the subsequent transaction.
A popular proposition has been to transfer such DApp-related transactions to a sidechain instead, which would result in lesser number of transactions left to be processed on the mainchain of Ethereum. Loom Network has, therefore, created a shared side chain for developers to launch future decentralized apps on.
ZombieChain: A Sidechain for DApps
Loom Network announced on May 23, 2018, the launch of ZombieChain, a sidechain built specifically for decentralized games and social networks. DApp developers can use this chain in exchange for a monthly payment to the company and would allow developers to afford a model more suited as per their requirements.
CEO James Duffy believes that such an offering will help developers to achieve scale for their products while paying only a fraction of the cost. He said, “Rather than having users pay gas per-transaction, developers will be able to run their dapps on ZombieChain for a fixed monthly fee. We think this is an important quality of a blockchain that plans to host DApps which require a seamless user experience.” The side chain will use Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS) consensus mechanism to allow developers maintain high throughput.
Mental Transaction Costs
For the transaction to be processed, it must be attached to a particular amount of transaction fee, or gas, which is decided by the user at the time of the transaction. If the gas is too low, the transaction may take longer than usual to be processed.
Although the amount could generally be as little as a couple of cents, the user is constantly aware of how much he has paid in total and accounts for costs and benefits at each step in a game mentally.
If a developer could move all transactions to a sidechain instead, transaction fees are no longer a problem for the user. However, it is too daunting of a task for any small developer to be able to afford the high cost of building such a sidechain.
Sidechains as a Scalability Solution
Developers have already proposed moving some transactions of lower priority to reduce the number of pending transactions on the mainchain.
A disadvantage of this approach is that scalability would be achieved at the cost of decentralization and security. Sidechains would need a new separate set of validators for those transactions, and a less popular sidechain could fall victim to a 51 percent attack.
ZombieChain, the sidechain developed by Loom Network, will employ DPoS consensus mechanism to combat this problem, ensuring that users have equal control over the network. Miners will validate transactions, which will once again be verified by randomly picked nodes that have staked their digital coins.
Using a sidechain would also reduce transaction fees as the network will have significantly fewer transactions to process, while still having interoperability with the Ethereum mainchain. The sidechain handles transactions while the mainchain can be called in the case of arbitration.