What is Raiden? (Not the Mortal Kombat character…)
Raiden (also known as Raiden Network) can be viewed as Ethereum’s answer to the Lightning Network. It is a second-layer network of nodes, aiming to solve Ethereum’s scalability issues by introducing state channels to the ecosystem.
We can remember Raiden as the state-channel solution for Ethereum. It is important to note, though, that state channels aren’t very well suited to large transactions.
How Does Raiden Work?
Imagine a second layer introduced to the Ethereum blockchain, in which nodes establish two-way channels between themselves and others. They record the payments that occur between them.
For instance, I could open a state channel with you, and we could use it to record all of the transactions between us. Then, at the point at which we close our state channel, the transactions are recorded on the Ethereum mainchain, which can be done in one transaction.
It’s like a network of neighbors.
What would’ve been a multitude of microtransactions, has instead been just one transaction for the Ethereum mainchain — the state channel recorded all of the microtransactions (sort of like a tab at a restaurant) and then sent the result in one transaction to the Ethereum mainchain.
Also, as the microtransactions are grouped and only the result is sent from Raiden nodes to the Ethereum mainchain, the individual transactions that occurred to form the result are not displayed on the global Ethereum ledger.
(From an Ethereum block explorer, you would only see the ‘result’, and not the individual transactions)
- Raiden is suitable for handling microtransactions
- For these smaller transactions, it is:
- Super quick
- Super cheap
- Interoperable between all ERC20 tokens
When Should We Expect Raiden?
We cannot be certain. There is currently an early version of the network released, named uRaiden, but it is only a segment of what will be offered in the Raiden Network.
Our guess would be to expect the full Raiden Network in the first half of 2019.
Raiden’s development has been much more public than the other solutions (Casper, Plasma and Sharding), although, this is probably because Raiden is completely separate to the Ethereum Foundation. In fact, Vitalik himself stated quite clearly that “Raiden Network is not an Ethereum Foundation product”. It is instead run by Brainbot Labs.
Vitalik’s most notable comment, though, was that he sees Raiden as one of the solutions that can help Ethereum along with Plasma and Sharding.