HUMAN Protocol to supercharge the Ethereum blockchain

Katie McDonaldSeptember 26, 2018
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HUMAN Protocol has developed a new API it says can transfer tokens 9,500 per cent faster on the Ethereum blockchain.

Ethereum has become known for being slow and costly, but HUMAN Protocol’s new Bulk API, a secondary transaction function (like a plug-in for a website), could be one solution to Ethereum’s transaction-related problems.  

The popular open-source public blockchain has faced criticism over its ability to process mass transactions at once as well as its transaction verification speed, often leaving users waiting for hours.

This inability has emerged as a major setback for Ethereum when it comes to scalability and mass adoption of the technology.

Ethereum can take 15-30 seconds to clear and settle one transaction.

But in comparison, the networks in use by credit card giants Visa and Mastercard can process more than 5,000 transactions per second.

HUMAN Protocol founder Eli-Shaoul Khedouri said one of the biggest issues for token transfers on the platform, was that it didn’t properly support payments to multiple Ethereum addresses.

“This has prevented wide adoption of Ethereum’s public chain for micropayments and other high-volume use cases,” he said.

“As part of our work on the HUMAN Protocol we needed to scale settlements to handle billions of task payments per day. Turns out this is possible to do in a backwards-compatible way even on the Ethereum mainnet; we call it the Bulk API.”Click To Tweet

HUMAN Protocol is a decentralised protocol for tokenising human labour that runs on the Ethereum platform.

The first application of the HUMAN Protocol system hCaptcha compensates websites for the work that their site visitors do when answering a CAPTCHA – the system used to distinguish humans from machines.

Mr Khedouri said under the current transfer function of Ethereum, users were only able to send tokens to one address at a time.

When users want to send tokens to multiple addresses, they need to wait for the transaction to be mined first before sending tokens to the next address in line.

This causes major bottlenecks in the system, resulting in lengthy transaction times.

“The reason for this is due to the way Ethereum was designed: every Ethereum address has its own nonce (not to be confused with miners’ nonces) which tracks its transaction count,” Mr Khedouri said.

“The problem is that you have to wait for the confirmation of the network that your nonce has been incremented successfully each time before you can continue with the next token transfer.”

Mr Khedouri said HUMAN Protocol’s Bulk API added two new functions to Ethereum’s existing token implementation standard, ERC20.

Bulk API’s ‘transferBulk’ function enables users to send bulk transactions, without having to wait for previous transactions to confirm, speeding up the process significantly.

And its ‘approveBulk’ function lets multiple Ethereum addresses ‘withdraw’ their tokens instead of a direct bulk transfer.

Beyond transaction speed improvement, another Bulk API benefit is reduced transaction fees, due to tokens being distributed in one transfer instead of multiple.

The Bulk API has already been audited and is available for use, and HUMAN Protocol is now preparing to submit a fully comprehensive Ethereum Improvement Proposal.

“We will be proposing the Bulk API as an extension to the existing ERC20 standard so that everyone can benefit from faster and cheaper token transfers to multiple Ethereum addresses,” Mr Khedouri said.

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