Clarifying Misconceptions on Parallelizing Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM)
Parallelizing the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) has gained attention for its potential to boost transaction throughput and enhance scalability. However, Rachel Bousfield, tech lead at Offchain Labs, cautions against overstating its value. While parallelism can increase efficiency by processing multiple transactions simultaneously, Bousfield highlights that fee reductions attributed to parallelism are often influenced by other factors.
She emphasizes that different blockchains have distinct hardware requirements, citing Ethereum’s design to accommodate low-end computers. Bousfield notes that although parallelism exists on networks like Solana, running a node becomes more expensive, challenging Ethereum’s approach of ensuring broader participation.
Bousfield suggests that real-world blockchain demand often involves contention, where multiple users attempt similar actions simultaneously, leading to higher gas prices. She cautions against viewing parallelism as a silver bullet, stating that it’s not universally applicable. Instead, she advocates for strategies like Arbitrum Stylus, which simplifies data interpretation for hardware, achieving significant speed improvements.