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Everything Blockchain TeamSep 1, 2023 5:23:00 AM2 min read

Understanding Blockchain’s Scalability Barriers

Blockchain technology has revolutionized the concept of secure transactions through its distributed ledger system. However, one of the significant challenges faced by blockchain is scalability. The inherent limitations of blockchain architecture have hindered its widespread adoption. In this blog post, we will explore the architectural problem behind blockchain scalability and introduce the BuildDB™ architecture. This patent-pending solution aims to overcome scalability challenges without compromising the core components of blockchain technology. 


Understanding Blockchain’s Limitations: 

To comprehend the limitations of blockchain architecture, let's first delve into the basic concepts of blockchain technology. At its core, blockchain is a specialized distributed database or ledger. Unlike traditional relational databases that rely on a single source of truth, blockchain distributes and replicates transaction copies across multiple nodes. This decentralization ensures the immutability of transactions and protects against fraud. 

The blockchain consists of blocks, each containing a timestamp and a hashed link to the previous block. These blocks create a chain, forming the blockchain. By utilizing cryptographic hashing, blockchains achieve high resistance to tampering, as any modification would break the entire chain. This immutability is maintained through concepts like SHA256 hashing and Merkle Trees. 


Inefficient Approaches to Scalability: 

Several attempts to enhance blockchain scalability have been made, from GPU farms to large clusters of virtual machines. However, these solutions often prove inefficient and fail to provide the desired scalability. L. Peter Deutsch's "Eight Fallacies of Distributed Computing" highlights the disparity in knowledge required to develop scalable applications versus those that lack the same functional requirements. 


Introducing BuildDB™ Architecture: 

To address scalability challenges while preserving essential blockchain components, we have developed the BuildDB™ architecture. This architecture incorporates multiple design patterns tailored specifically for distributed computing. 


Private "Permissioned" Blockchain Network: 

The BuildDB™ architecture utilizes a private blockchain network based on the Pivotal.IO platform. Private blockchain networks offer enhanced security compared to public networks. By leveraging a unique combination of the BuildDB™ architecture and a private cloud infrastructure, this solution delivers the performance of a public blockchain network within a highly secure environment. 


Event-Driven Design Pattern: 

Taking inspiration from leading internet service providers like Google, the BuildDB™ architecture adopts an event-driven design model. This model enables scaling when handling millions of external requests. Internally, services communicate through a proprietary event-driven architecture at the microservices level, utilizing faster TCP protocols. This design pattern optimizes the process of finding the parent Merkle Tree associated with a specific blockchain transaction hash. 


Event Messaging Design Pattern: 

The BuildDB™ architecture employs a messaging design pattern. With support for various envelope messaging formats such as JSON, XML, CSV, and more, it offers flexibility in intra-service communications. The default internal messaging format, MessageWire, ensures fast serialization and efficient intra-service communications. 


Event Actor Design Pattern: 

Instead of relying on numerous containerized service instances or GPUs, the BuildDB™ architecture adopts the Event Actor design pattern. Event Actors are primitive units of computation that are extremely fast and stateful. Each Event Actor contains a mailbox for intra-service communications, and its statefulness allows for the persistence of hash keys and parent Merkle Tree hash keys. This design pattern achieves greater density and enables rapid consensus through the Chain of Events Consensus algorithm. 



The scalability barriers faced by traditional blockchain architectures can be overcome with innovative solutions like the BuildDB™ architecture. By incorporating private blockchain networks, event-driven and messaging design patterns, and event actors, BuildDB™ offers a scalable and efficient blockchain solution. This architecture opens doors for widespread adoption of blockchain technology across various industries, making it suitable for applications that demand superior performance, scalability, and security.