A Beginner's Guide to Off-Chain Computations

Deepshikha  |  Oct 19, 2020

Off-chain computation is the execution model that transfers and verifies the off-node transaction. It happens before adding transactions to the chain for computations. Ethereum blockchain is a concoction of computing and economic concepts. Ethereum Blockchain works on the fundamentals of decentralization and trusts minimized arbitrary computations. In Ethereum, computations can be outsourced to a third party, that pushes external data onto the blockchain. One of the predominating protocol that falls into the category of off-chain computing solutions is - TrueBit. 

In reality, the developers are limited to the types of off-chain computations that can be included in the smart contracts. Also, the heavy tasks become prohibitively expensive to run due to high gas costs associated with it. As a result, smart contract developers have several options to work around these restrictions today. 

Off-Chain Computation Solution to Developers

TrueBit is one of the most promising verifiable off-chain computation protocols, that extends the idea of computation by introducing verifiers and solvers.

Solvers perform off-chain computations of the transaction. And, Verifiers work on detecting errors in solutions conformed by solvers. Let’s understand it with the help of a block diagram given below.

As soon as a task giver provides the need for computations, the smart contract sends it to solvers, who then send the solution to verifiers. The verifiers are paid for correctly identifying errors in solutions. Additionally, to closely monitor the verifier’s incentives, TrueBit forces solvers to occasionally submit solutions with errors that verifiers are tasked to report. 

TrueBit might be an ideal solution for scalability. According to the given development needs, Ethereum developers should go beyond rather than relying on TrueBit alone. They need to keep it as a single component of the off-chain computation solutions. 

Is TrueBit is the Only Off-Chain Computation?

A smart contract unlocks interesting possibilities to integrate off-chain computations. A production-ready TrueBit is an intelligent protocol that can help developers architect future long off-chain computations. At the same time, they should not rely solely on it but, needs to constantly develop a road map for the time horizon.     

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