Vitalik Buterin aims for faster transaction confirmations with new proposals

Vitalik Buterin aims for faster transaction confirmations with new proposals

Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum, has announced new strategies to reduce transaction confirmation times on the Ethereum network.

He acknowledged the need for faster transaction speeds and emphasized the need for latencies of “hundreds of milliseconds or even less” for certain applications.

New strategies to reduce transaction time

In a June 30 blog post, Buterin highlighted Ethereum’s progress, noting that the confirmation window is 5-20 seconds, similar to credit card transactions. However, Buterin believes there is room for further improvements using new strategies.

One of these, Single-Slot Finality, will streamline the existing complex slot and epoch architecture. By ensuring that each new block is completed before the next one is proposed, SSF can dramatically reduce transaction confirmation times. However, the proposal poses certain challenges, especially the additional burden it is expected to place on the blockchain due to the frequent messages sent by validators.

Another promising approach is Rollup Preconfirmations, which delegates transaction confirmations to Layer 2 protocols. These protocols, such as Optimism, Arbitrum, and Base, leverage Ethereum’s security and process transactions at a higher scale and speed. This task distribution allows the base layer of the network to focus on core functions such as censorship resistance and stability. On the other hand, Layer 2 solutions will process faster transaction processing.

Buterin also proposed that users offer additional fees for instant transaction guarantees. This mechanism would allow transactions to be included in the next block, thus improving security and reliability. The approach is especially beneficial for Layer 2 solutions.

Ethereum’s competitive landscape

Compared to Bitcoin’s 10-minute block time, Ethereum’s 12-second block generation is significantly faster. Yet it still lags behind competitors like Solana, which achieves block times of 0.4 seconds and has been criticized for its complexity.

Buterin acknowledged that a 12-second block time is sufficient for certain applications. However, alternatives such as the slot-and-epoch architecture are necessary for others that require higher speed.

He added that he sees a future where Single-Slot Finality (SSF) and Rollup Preconfirmations are implemented together. Techniques like Orbit SSF could reduce the number of validators signing per slot, potentially increasing slot times to 16 seconds, while still maintaining the goal of reducing the 32 ETH stake minimum. This provides better options for both L1 and L2 users, simplifies tasks for L2 developers, and improves the network in the long run.