Maximising Blockchain Efficiency: TRON’s Sidechain
In April, TRON officially announced the SUN Network — a second layer to TRON’s distributed ecosystem. This article will provide a brief overview of the sidechain mechanism, with a dedicated focus to TRON’s SUN Network; what they are, the benefits and a focus on how sidechains may be a viable option for Intergalactic Gaming.
What is a Sidechain?
A sidechain is essentially an extension of an existing blockchain that operates on a two-way peg; a blockchain can have numerous sidechain’s operating from it. This two-way peg allows for assets to be transferred across the main and sidechains, respectively.
Assets on a sidechain may be stored independent of the main chain or integrated, securely, into the main blockchain as required. As the number users entering the blockchain industry increases by the day, sidechains will prove integral to scalability.
The SUN Network
The DAppChain, TRON’s public sidechain, presents a solution to the TRON ecosystem: unlimited scaling capacity for the TRON MainNet to support the ever-increasing number of transactions. At the time of writing, TRON’s block height sits at 10,224,719; the SUN Network will no doubt increase the overall efficiency of DApps and decrease operational costs. This, in theory, should encourage a greater number of DApp developers entering the ecosystem.
Currently in the TestNet phase, the SUN Network will facilitate smart contract deployment whilst conducting vital overarching testing on the network’s sidechain. Scalability has long been an issue as we strive towards the mainstream adoption of TRON. The SUN Network will therefore facilitate faster transactions, whilst increasing overall accessibility and liquidity within the network; factors integral to encouraging TRON’s mainstream adoption.
The deployment of TRON’s side-chain, the SUN Network, will be executed in three phases:
- 30 May 2019: this phase will aim to focus on the unlimited expansion of the TRON MainNet, also prioritising overall functionality of the sidechain’s smart contract. This phase will also look to establish certainty surrounding general asset security.
- 30 August 2019: further decentralisation and enhanced asset security of the network as a whole.
- September 15 2019: the SUN Network is proposed to be fully operational; easy deployment and integration of side-chains.
See the TRON Foundation’s Medium post to see a picture explanation of the SUN Network.
The view of the Sun Network from Perspective of IGLabs: The Benefits
As the first feature within the IGGalaxy to utilise smart contracts, our community have commented on the high energy fees required for the IGLabs application, which has not gone unnoticed.
TRX fee per Capsule: ~3 to 4 TRX ($.10)
Energy Consumption per 10m Capsule: 303,000
(As per TRONScan) Total Energy (frozen + burned) since 23/05/2019: 517,957,339
- 1 TRX burned provides 100,000 energy
- 1 TRX frozen provides 102.83 energy
Total Capsules Created: 1,689
Total Active Capsules: 1,437
As per TRONScan, a substantial amount of energy has been used in the first month of the IGLabs smart contract. Whilst we understand that this may prove costly to some users, we can assure you we have maximised the efficiency of the operating smart contract. What’s more, we have tried to mitigate this through our ORB reward structure.
Using IGLabs as a point of reference, we envisage the energy fees within the IGGalaxy being high for smart contracts. As we head towards the public release, many more users will have access to our platform. This may be users solely on the IGLabs application, interacting with the freeze or quest smart contracts, or for players and teams; the latter of which makes the most sense to begin exploring sidechain options.
On a basic level, there will be regular IG, partner, community, or sponsored tournaments; players and teams exchanging value with each other; and services available via the Grand Galactic Exchange (GGE), which brings with it the potential for an extremely high volume of transactions. This itself can result in a much slower network for IG, but this is also likely to have a strain on the main TRON network. A sidechain, in this instance, will greatly reduce the burden placed on TRON’s network to verify team and player transactions. As discussed, sidechains support scalability. As more players and teams enter the IGGalaxy, we will be able to provide far more tailored technical support and security, whilst allowing us to also build a blockchain dedicated solely to competitive gaming and esports, powered by TRON, but maintained primarily by IG.
Furthermore, a sidechain will provide our developmental team with a greater deal of flexibility, essentially allowing prospective partner tokens to launch, with the incentive of making it to the main chain. The benefits of this are twofold; we can reduce the number of TRC tokens entering the ecosystem needlessly, but again, also establish a bespoke competitive gaming and esports sidechain.
In addition to this, it provides a space to test further platform features with our platform users without having to immediately deploy it to TRON’s MainNet.
- Example: If a team has more than one owner, these owners may wish to test the sale, tracking and share portions of ownership prior to deploying them on to the TRON network.
Last, but by no means least: energy efficiency. Migrating our smart contracts onto a sidechain brings with it the opportunity for reduced transactional fee requirements. As mentioned above, reducing fees and increasing our free energy ceiling will be central to ensuring value for gamers that are new to crypto and may not understand efficient energy consumption, but also reduce the consumption for the IGLabs and future applications.
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