Ethereum’s Rollups Emerge as Leading Scaling Solution, Plasma Protocol Under Scrutiny, Says Buterin

Plasma, a once-prominent Ethereum layer-2 scaling solution, should be revisited by teams currently working on zero-knowledge (ZK) Ethereum Virtual Machines (EVMs), said Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin.

Invented in 2017, Plasma diverts data and computation — except deposits, withdrawals and Merkle roots — to an off-chain environment.

It was superseded by optimistic and ZK-rollups as the two solutions offered cheaper client-side data storage costs and security properties that “cannot be matched,” Buterin explained in a Nov. 14 X (Twitter) post.

Buterin said rollups remain the “gold standard,” but Plasma is an “underrated design space” that shouldn’t be forgotten.

“Plasma can be a significant security upgrade for chains that would otherwise be validiums,” Buterin added.

“The fact that ZK-EVMs are finally coming to fruition this year makes it an excellent opportunity to re-explore this design space, and come up with even more effective constructions to simplify the developer experience and protect users’ funds.”

Like Plasma, validiums move data and computation off-chain but implement ZK-proofs to validate transactions. Plasma, on the other hand, uses fraud proofs, which are much slower.

Buterin argued improvements in ZK-proofs, such as validity proofs, address the past limitations of Plasma, making it more viable as a scaling solution.

Adapting Plasma for applications beyond payments has also proven to be an Achilles heel for Plasma before ZK-proofs entered the mainstream, Buterin acknowledged.

Buterin expects the Ethereum layer-2 ecosystem to evolve with diverse technological approaches.

Minimal Viable Plasma, Plasma Cash and Plasma Cashflow are among the iterations that have stemmed from Plasma.

Ethereum layer-2 scaling-focused firm Polygon Labs implemented Plasma in 2019 but has incorporated several other solutions since.

The movement away from Plasma was partially attributed to Plasma Group, a nonprofit research firm announcing that it would cease working on Ethereum-based scalability in January 2020.

OMG, the token of OMG Network — which uses Plasma — spiked 28.6% to $0.78 in a three-hour window following Buterin’s post, according to CoinGecko. However, it has since fallen 14.3% to $0.67.


Twitter Post: Exit games for EVM validiums: the return of Plasma – vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) November 14, 2023

Twitter Post: Babe wake up Vitalik just revived Plasma – sassal.eth (@sassal0x) November 14, 2023

Related Article: Did Ethereum Silently Give Up on Plasma? –

Magazine: ZK-rollups are ‘the endgame’ for scaling blockchains: Polygon Miden founder –

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J-S Tremblay
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I've been involved in the cryptocurrency world since 2016 and trading since 2019. I started Moon and Lambo in 2021. I'm passionate about crypto and love to share my knowledge. I hate bankers and I hope that cryptocurrency will change the financial world for the better. View full profile...

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