How Ankr transformed the scalability of the BNB Chain
Cryptocurrency’s tussle with scalability is well known. Ethereum suffers from sky-high gas fees making it unusable for a lot of customers, leading to a lot of alternative Layer-1’s popping up.
Binance, one of the world’s leading exchanges, was one such firm to develop its very own blockchain. While some criticise the BNB Smart Chain for being centralised, one cannot argue against the basement-level fees and impressive scalability that it offers.
Its impressive performance is partially due to Ankr, the Web3 infrastructure provider. Consulting with the Binance team, Ankr implemented several open-source performance improvements which transformed the network. There was a 10x increase in RPC request throughput, 75% reduction in storage requirements, a sync process that is 100x faster, not to mention an entirely new framework for scaling the blockchain’s operations with application-specific sidechains.
BNB Chain’s Ecosystem Coordinator Samy Karim said, “Ankr is a key infrastructure provider for the BNB Chain ecosystem — their contributions and expertise were critical in implementing upgrades to the BNB Chain with the Erigon client, rewriting Archive Node infrastructure, and creating a framework for BNB Application Sidechains. This allows the BNB Chain ecosystem to remain competitive and offer both users and builders the latest benefits.”
Ankr first discovered the inefficiencies with the BNB Smart Chain in its own operations as they are the predominant RPC provider to the chain and one of its 21 validators, more specifically the difficulty staying at block height as it experienced extreme traffic volumes.
After discovering these problems, Ankr took it upon itself to create a multi-pronged approach to increase the capacity of the BNB Chain:
- The Erigon Performance Upgrade: Ankr’s engineering team found that by implementing the Erigon client that was originally created for Ethereum, they could drastically reduce storage capacity and sync time requirements.
- BNB Application Sidechains (BAS): BSC is a fork of Ethereum but has low gas fees and fast block generation periods which lead to much higher transactions per block. This puts a great deal of stress on the chain and its ability to scale. Ankr proposed a multi-chain scaling solution that was mature enough to handle advanced use cases like GameFi, unlike Layer-2 solutions. Ankr modified the consensus layer of the BSC to enable staking for new sidechains’ native tokens while preserving its full EVM capabilities.
- BAS dApp Launching Assistance: Since Ankr helped create BAS, they are uniquely positioned as an onramp to help projects launch their own blockchain with customized designs on this new scaling framework with a full set of tools such as customized system contracts, custom tokenomics, inflation models, global gas fee revenues, testnet faucets, block explorers, and gaming SDKs.
- BNB Liquid Staking: Ankr further supported the BNB Chain ecosystem with the first BNB Liquid Staking solution that brings DeFi composability on top of staked BNB.
These changes helped transform the BNB Chain into what we know today, and Ankr will continue to support the BNB Chain ecosystem going forward, as well as building solutions for more native cross-chain asset transfer capability with lower transfer costs and enhanced security.