How Ankr’s open-source scaling enhancements bring unprecedented performance to BNB Chain | tech news

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Ankr has made headlines in recent weeks as the Web3 infrastructure provider continues to help developers, decentralized applications (dApps) and gamers easily interact with multiple blockchains. Just this week we wrote about Ankr after the blockchain infrastructure startup became an RPC provider for the Ethereum L2 scaling solution Optimism.

Ankr is one of those companies whose services you have probably used before without even knowing it. Ankr provides underlying infrastructure installations that enable the use of dApps, crypto games and wallets by connecting them to the blockchains they need to communicate with.

Additionally, transferring assets across different blockchains has been a complicated affair for some time. This is now facilitated by the growing Web3 ecosystem. Ankr is an integral part of this movement and was designed for users looking for a streamlined way to connect and interact with multiple blockchains.

The best way to understand Ankr is to think of all of Web3’s projects and dApps as city blocks. Ankr is like the underlying utility service or grid that powers everything. However, connecting projects and users to blockchains is not the only thing Ankr does.

In addition, Ankr also helps blockchain companies run their blockchains faster so that they can provide users with the best Web3 experiences. Ankr enhances the Web3 user experience from top to bottom to lay the foundation for Web3 adoption at scale. For this reason, Ankr offers a comprehensive level of technical support for the public goods that enable Web3 and ecosystems such as the BNB Smart Chain.

In the fall of 2021, Ankr heard calls for support to improve the performance of the BNB Smart Chain across its ecosystem of dApps, games, governance platforms and other stakeholders. Immediately, after consulting with the Binance team, Ankr got to work.

Since then, Ankr has implemented several open-source performance improvements that completely overhaul the BSC with a 10x increase in RPC request throughput, a 75% reduction in storage requirements, a 100x faster synchronization process, and an all-new framework for scaling the blockchain have operations with application-specific sidechains.

The BNB chain ecosystem coordinator commented on how Ankr’s upgrades have scaled the BNB chain: “Ankr is a key infrastructure provider to the BNB chain ecosystem – their contributions and expertise have been critical in implementing BNB chain upgrades 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 bring the latest benefits to both users and creators.

In a behind-the-scenes post on Medium exploring how Ankr’s upgrades to the BNB chain ecosystem are enabling the next stage of Web3 development, Ankr explained how it first addressed the inefficiencies with the BNB Smart Chain in his own operation, as they are the chain’s dominant RPC provider and one of their 21 verifiers.

Even Ankr’s team, highly experienced with BSC operations, found it difficult to stay on block level due to extreme levels of traffic. Because the BSC was such a popular choice for dApps and games (due to the high throughput and low fees), this caused the chain to become bogged down as it struggled with server capacity.

After discovering these issues, Ankr set out to develop 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 originally developed for Ethereum, they were able to drastically reduce storage capacity and synchronization time requirements. This was a project that required extremely advanced technical knowledge and resources. Ankr successfully implemented a version of Erigon for the BNB chain that solved scalability issues and made the new version of Erigon for BSC open-source and available to all. This solution is now used by the majority of the ecosystem, from Chainstack to Covalent.

BNB Application Sidechains (BAS): Ankr then made a proposal to Binance to fully scale the protocol. BSC is a fork of Ethereum but has low gas fees and fast block generation times, resulting in much higher transactions per block. This puts a huge strain on the chain and its scalability. Ankr proposed a multi-chain scaling solution that, unlike Layer 2 solutions, was mature enough to handle advanced use cases like GameFi. Ankr modified the BSC’s consensus layer to allow staking for the new sidechains’ native tokens while retaining its full EVM capabilities. This means that BNB Application Sidechains would allow projects to effectively launch their own chains as Layer-1s with their own native ERC-20 or BEP-20 tokens and complete customization across the chain.

BAS dApp jumpstart: Having helped develop BAS, Ankr is uniquely positioned to help projects launch their own blockchain with custom designs on this new scale framework with a full set of tools such as custom system contracts, custom tokenomics, inflation models and global gas fee revenues , testnet faucets, block explorers and gaming SDKs. Ankr has already successfully launched the first game on BAS, Meta Apes. Ankr provided our open source gaming SDK that enabled Meta Apes Game Studio to take an already popular game, Age of Apes, and give it full web3, blockchain and crypto capabilities.

BNB Liquid Staking: Ankr also supported the BNB chain ecosystem with the first BNB liquid staking solution, offering DeFi composability on top of staked BNB. This means BNB holders have more options when it comes to how they can earn from their assets in DeFi, with the ability to combine strategies like staking, farming, lending, contributing to vaults, and more at the same time. This solution is open source and allows integrations for all BNB DeFi platforms. This brings increased TVL and DeFi rewards across the BNB ecosystem.

By the end of Ankr’s scaling improvements, the results were evident with immediate key benefits:

  • Unlocked massive scalability for BNB Chain dApps without impacting BSC
  • Extremely positive UX with low or no gas fees and lightning fast transactions
  • 6 building blocks to give dApp developers the tools needed to build on top of BAS

Going forward, Ankr said it will continue to support the BNB chain ecosystem with upgrades to improve security with a beacon chain model of multichain communications. They will also develop solutions for more native cross-chain asset transfer capabilities with lower transfer costs and improved security.

Founded in 2017 by Chandler Song and Ryan Fang, Ankr is building the future of decentralized infrastructure and multi-chain solutions, serving 50+ proof-of-stake chains with an industry-leading global node delivery system and developer toolkit. Ankr serves over 1T transactions per year via Web3 and is the main infrastructure provider for the BNB chain, Fantom and Polygon as of 2022.


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