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Fundamentals
Charlie Child
Mar 1

Migrating to the sidechains

2 min read

Currently, HUMAN Protocol dApp traffic occurs on the Ethereum testnet. Although we do have mainchain functionality, high costs on Ethereum have driven us to use the Ethereum testnet as a side chain, the escrow factory of which can be seen here. However, testnet functionality is limited by low availability, low security and low performance. For Q1 of this year, we are looking to shift transaction bulk — related to the work of the Protocol, not the payments — to production sidechains capable of processing high transaction volumes at a lower cost than Ethereum.

Our plan is for different applications of the Protocol to flow to the best suited chains in the ecosystem. HUMAN’s bot-blocking technology may go to one; hCaptcha to another.

For an industry built on the principles of openness and decentralization, there is a belief that one chain can and should dominate the space. In reality, however, new technologies require cooperation for implementation. A winner takes all mindset damages the true technical goals of the industry; neither does it align with HUMAN’s vision to bring the best possible solution to our users’s data needs. We believe in collaboration.

In our experience with machine learning technology, we do not pick ‘winning’ clouds to run ML software. Instead, we adopt a multi-cloud strategy, selecting clouds according to their speed, features, customer / user requirements and the price of necessary work. To date, there has been a ‘winner take all’ attitude surrounding blockchains, as opposed to the mature computing and cloud ecosystem machine learning technologists are accustomed to.

We believe the future of blockchain technology, in a mature ecosystem, is similar. A multichain strategy is the best possible route to delivering user value, as demonstrated by Tether and USDC. Because of the large volume of transactions and human interactions already dependent on HUMAN technology today, we understand the importance of not only evaluating and working with multiple chains, but in establishing integrations and developing the ability to distribute workload to various chains based on variables such as uptime, availability, cost and speed, as well as ecosystem features that may be relevant to the given ‘job order’ across HUMAN Protocol marketplaces.

We will be conducting a sidechain bake-off, during which we will monitor chain performance relating to factors such as availability, speed, latency, centralization, security and sustainability. We will publish the results on our Wiki, and the winning chain will set the minimum standard going forward; for the chains that fail to meet that standard, there will be penalties. In order to ensure a sustainable vision for the industry, all chains partaking in the bake-off must submit a plan to attain CO2 neutrality by 2030.

We are excited by the prospect of working with new projects, and of being able to schedule load on any available chain. When you have a distributed, non-custodial model, you can schedule work anywhere. That said, we will only migrate labor pools, and the implied transaction volume, to chains when their infrastructure matures. The migration will be a stepwise process; as we migrate, we will continue to evaluate these technologies, not only theoretically but in live main-chain activities as we methodically and systematically test the management of our requirements.

In terms of selecting a winner, that’s up to the market, the users, and the stakeholders. Of course, HUMAN chooses which projects to work with, taking into account cost, speed, uptime, as well as grading chains on technical maturity. But after we work to curate, test, and evaluate the best possible technologies, we will let the market decide where to use HUMAN Protocol software and where to distribute tasks within our ecosystem.

We intend to allow for an organic and flexible deployment of HUMAN software. Our plan is for different applications of the Protocol to flow to the best suited chains in the ecosystem. HUMAN’s bot-blocking technology may go to one; hCaptcha to another. Just as some machine learning jobs are better suited to certain clouds, some HUMAN Protocol users and jobs will be better suited to certain chains.

We believe this carves out a path for the maturation of the blockchain industry. More established cloud technologies have shown the benefits of a multi-platform strategy, and we believe the same benefits — namely the appropriate migration of specific work to the best suited chains — apply to the blockchain industry. As this is a case-by-case basis, the flexible solution offered by a multichain strategy is the best answer for now, and for leading the industry to a multichain future.

We will be releasing another article related to the Foundation’s work with mainchains, such as Solana and Polkadot, soon.

For the latest updates on HUMAN Protocol, follow us on Twitter or join our community Telegram channel.

Legal Disclaimer

The HUMAN Protocol Foundation makes no representation, warranty, or undertaking, express or implied, as to the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or reasonableness of the information contained here. Any assumptions, opinions, and estimations expressed constitute the HUMAN Protocol Foundation’s judgment as of the time of publishing and are subject to change without notice. Any projection contained within the information presented here is based on a number of assumptions, and there can be no guarantee that any projected outcomes will be achieved.