Loom Network, a blockchain-based startup, is creating a platform for social apps and online gaming. It intends to improve the scalability of Ethereum DApps. Raiden Network and Plasma are also trying to come up with solutions for the Ethereum scaling problem. However, it seems Loom Network has already made progress with the release of DelegateCall, a DApp that is a competitor to Stack Overflow.
Ethereum’s Scaling Problem
Ethereum has opened up the possibility of decentralized applications (DApps). Programmers can use solidity to create smart contracts and run on the Ethereum blockchain. After the smart contract creation, developers pay gas fees and submit the contract. Then, they have to wait for the transaction to complete and get back a contract address.
They can use web3 to automate part of the deployment and testing process. But still, it’s complicated to set up all the configurations.
Also, transactions on the ethereum blockchain are expensive. Depending on the size of the transaction, the fees can add up and make large-scale applications unrealistic. DApp developers need more affordable solutions that are easier to use.
Loom Network’s Solution
The Loom Network started with the objective to run fast and cost-effective DApps. Ethereum transactions are costly and time-consuming. Yet it treats all transactions as the same. It doesn’t differentiate between high and low-priority transactions. An exchange of monetary value and a social media "like" will go through the same amount of scrutiny. Loom Network saw an opportunity to improve the process by moving some of the work to “sidechains”, also known as “DAppchains”. When there is a new application, the Loom Network creates a separate DAppchain and connects it to Ethereum. The network can offload some of the workloads to the DAppchains and save time and money.
However, Loom Network DAppchains come with a consensus. DAppchains are not centralized under control of the Loom Network. Developpers can choose their consensus algorithms and decide on a trade off between decentralization and scalability. The Loom network does not host the DAppchain but supplies a SDK to build it.
Even though security is an issue, Loom Network is placing its bet on the fact that developers will know the weaknesses and they will design the DApps accordingly. The devs will decide on what information is sent to ethereum and what information to sent to the sidechains.
Loom Network’s Achievements
DelegateCall, the DApp running on Loom Network, will let users answer questions and receive ERC20 tokens based on the answer’s upvote performance. The company is also developing 3 games on the network with expected releases in Q2 of 2018.
The Loom Network is following a membership model where you can buy a lifetime membership to use any of the DApps on the network.
The Loom Network is a solution to a high-profile Ethereum problem of scalability. It also addresses the deployability challenge on ethereum by making the process easier for developers.
The success of the network will depend on how the business side is handled. For now, Loom Network seems like a solution that will gain traction in the Ethereum world.