What is Plasma and why is Vitalik Buterin into it all over again?

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin wants to bring back Plasma as a blockchain scaling solution that could sidestep existing data availability concerns.

First created in 2017, Plasma networks can be considered “child” chains of the Ethereum mainnet. These execute transactions away from Ethereum using their own block-validation mechanisms, then periodically post final states back to mainnet.

Plasma chains differ from popular scaling solutions such as Arbitrum or Optimism, which instead post computed data back to Ethereum mainnet, although it is compressed.

In the blockchain world, data tied to computational tasks — such as processing transactions — must be stored somewhere. When…

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