So, get this, in ten years (or less, depending on the rate of innovation), no more blockchains. Well, that isn’t to say we’re going to collectively decide that the benefits of distributed ledger technology is just not worth the scaling and network support issues, and revert back to legacy systems. No. Blockchain will exist, but it will be completely unrecognisable to the systems we know today. How? No more blocks.
Yes! No more blocks. That means a complete overhaul of consensus protocols, management mechanisms, and transformation right down to the blockchain’s overall structure. Talla.com’s Will Murphy postulates that future blockchains will feature a “system where transactions are linked together and can confirm previous transactions.”
In order for your transaction to be submitted to the network, you will have to validate and confirm previous transactions. This potentially removes the need for minors and makes for faster transaction times. The more people on the network, the faster transactions are confirmed.
Instead of transactions being bundled together in blocks and linked linearly, transactions will likely interlink in myriad directions in a kind of transactional tangle. Kind of how IOTA works. Not sure if this will render all current scaling attempts invalid or if they’ll eventually lead to it but this concept offers an end to the scaling squabbles of the Bitcoin community.
The proposed evolution will work similar to a Directed Acrylic Graph or DAG. Much of the groundwork still has to be laid down for this new transactional synaptic network as the concept is still theoretical but Proof-Of-Work and Proof-Of-Stake protocols will join the ranks of the abacus and typewriter in our collective memory should developers manage to pull this off.
This multilink (we’ll call it that until Will comes up with a name for it) promises to take care of scalability, slowing transaction times due to network congestion (the network theoretically gets faster as new nodes are added).
Hopefully, we will have learned enough from Blockchain and ICO mania apply the technology to wider more universally beneficial projects when it becomes available.