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News and Announcements
L2 & Execution Layers
Introducing Sovereign: “The Internet of Rollups”
Last week, the Sovereign Labs team introduced their new project, Sovereign, which will be an ecosystem of interoperable rollups that can run on any blockchain. Here’s what we know so far:
The team is building the Sovereign SDK, which will enable developers to create their own individual, secure and interoperable zk-rollups, using a set of pre-built tools and modules built by the Sovereign Labs team (current modules include token implementation, data storage, and bridging).
This means that developers won’t need to become cryptography experts to launch their own dedicated zk-rollup. Write your logic in a language you’re familiar with, and let Sovereign take care of the compiling for you.
Their current research prototype uses Celestia for DA and Risc0 for proving, however more options will be added after this research phase, which is expected to conclude sometime in Q2
Some of the properties Sovereign will provide include: interoperability between rollups, being securely scalable thanks to the use of zk-proofs and parallelism, and giving projects the option to run on any chain.
The project roadmap is split into three phases: research (in progress), initial implementation, and hardening.
You can follow them on Twitter to stay up to date with anything else they share over time, but of course, we’ll make sure to keep you updated with this project as well.
Eclipse Releases Their Official Docs
Last week, Eclipse, a project that enables developers to easily deploy customizable rollups, released their official docs. Here’s a quick summary:
The Docs were separated into three different sections:
Choosing VM: EVM or SVM to start, but more will be added over time
DA options: Celestia, Eigen, and Polygon Avail to start
Settlement: “The Eclipse settlement layer is essentially a Celestia sovereign rollup”. Currently offer optimistic settlement, but zk will be added also.
Customizing the Execution Layer:
Projects can add customization to their execution layer, such as gas fees, compliance & privacy, MEV, and more.
Leveraging Existing Tools:
“Since Eclipse shares a virtual machine with Ethereum or Solana, you can deploy any smart contracts that are already written for the EVM or SVM.” Use familiar wallets, explorers, and other tools.
Eclipse has spun up some private testnets for partners to experiment with and provide feedback about. You can reach out to them via Twitter or email if interested.
Scroll Introduces “Weekly Updates”
Last week, the Scroll team announced that they will start doing weekly updates for their community. Here are some of the highlights from their Weekly Update #1:
We should be expecting more details soon, as it relates to their upcoming deployment on Goerli
An improved v2 bridge design for a better user experience
68% improvement in prover memory
For you developers out there, “Graph protocol support is on the way”
Uniswap v3 was deployed on Scroll’s testnet
The Scroll team will be at EthDenver later this month, for anyone who wants to pay them a visit at their booth
Introducing Dove Protocol
On January 27th, the Dove Protocol was introduced to the world.
Usually, we’re used to seeing fragmented liquidity (liquidity on Polygon Uniswap cannot be shared with liquidity from Arbitrum Uniswap), however, that changes with Dove’s cross-chain AMM.
Dove Protocol uses cross-chain messaging to allow for trading to take place on multiple chains (Polygon, Arbitrum, Optimism, etc.), while liquidity stays unified and secure on Ethereum.
“Provide liquidity on L1, trade on L2.”
This means users won’t have to bridge their assets away from Ethereum in order to become an LP on Arbitrum or Polygon. They’re able to do this because of the fact that unlike a typical AMM, Dove decouples liquidity and pricing.
The protocol is not live for the public yet, as they’re still looking to get their codebase audited and make sure everything is safe and ready to use for the broader community. You can follow them on Twitter or Discord to stay up to date with the project.
Saga partners with Polygon for the Automated Deployment of Supernets
Supernets are Polygon’s appchain solution, allowing teams to spin up their own dedicated chain without having to bootstrap their own validator network, and on February 1st, Saga announced that they will be “automating the instantiation of Supernets.”
Saga enables developers to launch their own dedicated chains, or “chainlets” as they call them, and according to the team, “A project deploying a Supernet blockchain on Polygon can choose the Polygon Edge Chainlet stack on Saga and then deploy to their MATIC validators.”
It looks like this partnership will focus mainly on gaming and entertainment, so if that sounds like your project, make sure to reach out to the team via Twitter or Discord to see how you can spin up your own dedicated appchain with ease.
Arbitrum & Optimism stETH Trading Volumes Surpass Ethereum
According to data from Blockpour, a multichain defi data and analytics platform, both Optimism and Arbitrum each have over 10x the stETH trading volume compared to Ethereum!
For anyone unaware, stETH is a product of Lido Finance, a multichain staking platform. Users can deposit ETH into Lido, and receive stETH in return, a liquid staking token that can be used across several defi protocols.
According to the data, total trading volumes for both Arbitrum and Optimism have exceeded over $15M, while for Ethereum L1, this number is still below $5M.
For anyone interested, you can check the data for yourself here.
Coinbase Wallet Adds Support for the Optimism Network
Last week, Coinbase Wallet announced their support for the Optimism Network, allowing users to leverage the network’s low trading fees to swap between different tokens on the Coinbase app.
This was the sixth network integration for the wallet, and only the second L2 (after Polygon). Some of the first tokens you’ll be able to transfer to and from the network include DAI, ETH, and wBTC.
For anyone interested, you can head here to download the Coinbase Wallet and start trading on Optimism. Congrats to the whole Optimism team!
Other Execution Layer News & Updates:
Hamilton Lane, will be tokenizing its $2.1 flagship fund by leveraging Securitize’s platform on Polygon
Primex beta just received its first major update (Beta 0.3.0) with deployments on Polygon and zkEVM testnet
Polygon announces Mobile Play (“decentralized open source dapp stores”)
Dopex is officially live on Polygon
Polygon zkEVM Road to Mainnet Twitter Space on the 7th
SoRare announces Premier League partnership
Modulus Labs announces the release of “The Cost of Intelligence: Proving Machine learning Inference with Zero Knowledge”.
@freshpizzadev just made this StarkNet defi and STRK token dashboard
Zkx protocol announced their testnet launch date (March 14th) and also announced the open sourcing of their ZKX smart contracts”
Switchboard Labs expands to StarkNet. Switchboard is a permissionless, customizable, multichain oracle protocol
Lync collaborated with zkSync to simplify the game development process
For any devs on zkSnc’s 2.0 testnet, the network will be going through a regenesis on the 8th
A thread on what to expect for zkSync’s upcoming Fair Onboarding Alpha
“Announcing Vest Exchange, “a decentralized perpetual futures exchange on Arbitrum that enables users to propose and trade almost any asset.”
Vela exchange starts opening access to their platform
Lyra’s options protocol, just went live on Arbitrum
Nuon Finance is now live on Arbitrum: “the first flatcoin, pegged to inflation, not fiat”
Dinosaur Finance, a yield aggregator on Arbitrum, just released their whitepaper
Binance completes integration of $BUSD on Optimism
BibliothecaDAO, the DAO behind LootRealms game, raises $668K USDC in a private sale community raise
Settlement & DA Layers
What We Can Expect From Dymension’s Upcoming Testnet Launch
The Dymension team just posted an article going over what we can expect in regard to their upcoming 35-C public testnet launch. For those unaware, Dymension is a network of easily deployable modular blockchains, or “RollApps”. Here are some of the highlights from the post:
Testnet launch will begin with the deployment of the PoS Dymension Hub chain, which will act as a “bridging hub” for RollApps
RollApp deployments will happen soon after. This will be a permissioned process at first, but will then open up to the Dymension community.
The first RollApp to be deployed is “RollApp X”, which “is its own app-chain with a dedicated sequencer full node that utilizes Celestia’s Mocha testnet for data publication and the Dymension Hub as the source of truth”
Users will be able to go into Dymension’s Discord faucet and request tokens, which they can then transfer from the Hub, to RollApp X, “the first IBC-enabled modular chain”
After stability assurance, the core team will launch two more RollApps - an EVM RollApp, and a CosmWasm RollApp.
Make sure to give them a follow on Twitter, or join their Discord, if you want to stay in the loop with everything going on with Dymension.
Informal Systems Launches CometBFT
Last week, Informal Systems, which is the original team behind the development of the Cosmos Hub (as well as different interchain tools & infrastructure), announced the launch of CometBFT, “a state machine replication engine for the interchain and beyond.”
To be specific, CometBFT is a fork and successor of Tendermint, the consensus engine across the Cosmos ecosystem.
According to the team, “CometBFT will build on the strong foundation laid by Tendermint Core, with a renewed focus on users, quality, and integration.”
For any teams building on top of Tendermint Core, or maintaining a fork of Tendermint Core, make sure to check out the original thread to learn how you can upgrade and transition to CometBFT.
We should be expecting more details about the roadmap for the development of this new consensus engine sometime in early Q2, so make sure to give the team a follow on Twitter to stay updated.
Other Settlement & DA News and Updates:
A new Hyperlane docs page was added, detailing the project’s long-term vision
Here’s a summary of a recent AMA session between Mantle and EigenLayer, where they discuss data availability and L2s.
For all you Cosmonauts out there, results for the Game of Chains are now in.
Prop97 is now up for voting. This is a governance proposal to adopt Gaia v8.0.0. ATOM holders have until February 14th to make their vote!
Discussions and Education
Optimistic vs. ZK rollups
Steven Goldfeder (Arbitrum co-founder) explains why he doesn’t believe ZK rollups are the clear endgame for scaling Ethereum. His argument is that there’s functionality beyond EVM-equivalence that ZK rollups will be unable to keep up with, due to the tradeoffs they had to make to achieve EVM-equivalence in the first place. Meanwhile, optimistic rollups like Arbitrum will be able to support other languages like Rust / Move and custom pre-compiles.
Reactions followed from major rollup teams:
Alex from zkSync says zkSync supports other languages too
Brendan from Polygon says none of the features are impossible for zkEVMs
Ye from Scroll says Scroll has a modular design and none of the features are impossible
For a better understanding of the tradeoffs made by zkEVM teams, check out Vitalik’s article where he breaks down each type. In short, none of these features are impossible - it’s just harder to implement the closer you stick to the EVM.
We’ll have no shortage of OR vs. ZKR debates this year. Which is better? Is this even the right question to ask?
L2 vs. L1 bridging
Liam Horne (OP Labs CEO) sparks a discussion around bridging. His POV is that L2s greatly benefit from the “Secured by Ethereum” label. It’s not only safer than multi-L1 bridging but also less cognitive friction for users.
“Oo this one is not secured by Ethereum.. now I actually have to think about security 😞”
This is in contrast to the narrative that users don’t care about security and will be completely abstracted away from which chain they are using.
Reactions followed from Solana land:
Anatoly from Solana says that code complexity will hinder L2 bridge security in practice, since they’ll remain multi-sigs
Armani from Backpack says that today users don’t care about these underlying security properties so what should make us think that’ll change
Fair points! But as always, nuances are important, and Liam’s reply hints at the reality of a much broader design space for L2 bridges.
Rollup teams will experiment until they find the sweet spot between governance and immutability.
Other Discussion & Education Posts:
@milesdeutscher covers ZK rollup basics, narratives and projects
@christine_dkim explains MEV in depth
@likebeckett and @llllvvuu discuss rollup soft confirmations
@stonecoldpat0 explains how modular designs overcome the tradeoff between TPS and decentralization
Celestia explains how they see scalability
Celestia releases a Modular Insights episode discussing Metro, a new rollup design for shared sequencers
@dberenzon explains how cross-chain messaging works in simple terms
@jon_charb creates an Ethereum model to simulate scenarios like 4844 and danksharding
@stonecoldpat0 writes an article on the role of aggregators and subcommittees in PoS Ethereum
@kelvinfichter writes an article on why the optimistic rollup challenge period is 7 days
@paulbarrontv interviews David and Brendan from Polygon about zkEVM
@bkiepuszewski explains explaining a backdoor in the Layer Zero interoperability protocol
@CannnGurel frames the different security philosophies in a multi-chain world
@litocoen frames L2 tokenomics in simple terms
@stonecoldpat0 highlights the difference between a cross-chain bridge and a rollup AKA validating bridge
@stonecoldpat0 writes an article explaining how proof of stake Ethereum works in depth
@punk5736 outlines a plan to decentralize StarkNet
Scroll team hosts an interview to discuss “Cross-Chain Zero-Knowledge Messaging”
@samnotmissing explains what makes EigenDA unique from other DA services
“Introducing the Fuel GraphQL docs”: learn how to query the Fuel blockchain for a wide range of on-chain data”
A thread on how the FuelVM is designed for fraud proofs