The Crypto Illuminati
The Illuminati Round Table
Modular Blockchains With Celestia

Modular Blockchains With Celestia

Celestia Labs COO talks with us the about the first modular blockchain network

Illuminati Round Table Call Notes:

Introducing Nick White - Chief Operating Officer for Celestia Labs & Previous Co-founder of HarmonyONE

  • Twitter: @nickwh8te

  • Celestia is building the first modular blockchain network 

  • Modular Blockchain = new blockchain architecture in which you take the typical standard blockchain functions, and you split into components made up of layers and protocols that specialize in those functions 

  • This allows chains to unlock all new properties - i.e., increased scalability and when needed, more flexibility - run arbitrary execution environments and trust minimized bridging

  • This blockchain fixes many problems and gives people more control and sovereignty 

How did you get into modular blockchain?

  • Nick was still at Harmony in August 2020, researching bridging technology 

  • Found a whitepaper called “Lazy ledger” - foundational paper for modular blockchains 

  • The idea of separating each function of the blockchain made it much more straightforward, and this brings benefits

  • Most do scaling wrong/inefficiently - sharding = way more complex and challenging to build securely or just blocksize increase = more centralization 

  • Celestia was previously called LazyLedger

Does modular blockchain align more with cross-chain or multi-chain narrative?

  • Modular blockchains unify several different narratives within blockchain infrastructure as they provide all of the benefits of all the different systems 

  • Ethereum is a world computer model as everyone has the shared blockchain to deploy on - this comes with shared security and ease of deployment

  • Problem here is = you sacrifice scalability and reduced sovereignty. You're stuck under the umbrella 

  • Cosmos Community - they would instead prioritize scalability and sovereignty and sacrifice shared security and ease of deployment. More freedom but more complex to run 

  • Modular Blockchains can achieve all 4 - scalability, sovereignty, shared security, and ease of deployment.

  • You can launch your chain, but it is as easy as deploying a smart contract with these multichain benefits. The best of both worlds.

What is Data Availability (DA), and what is its value?

  • Think of a soccer stadium - the players on the pitch are playing the game (making the transactions/using the network), and the Fans in the stands are watching and want to make sure all the rules are followed, like no fouls, no handball which is comparable to not printing money for themselves and not violating security 

  • DA is the instant replay or a recording of the game, so anyone can go back and watch it to make sure everything was legitimate 

  • Referees are delegated to watch and alert everyone to any wrongdoing and watch the instant replay 

  • Anyone can be an auditor and check the blockchain

  • Consensus is the idea that you must ensure all transactions are ordered objectively. This ensures everyone sees the same order of events and is immutable 

  • Execution layer - this is where you define the rules for how you interpret transactions and determine which are valid and invalid

  • Modular Blockchains use Zk or optimistic roll-ups so to verify transactions, you can download and view parts as opposed to having to download it all. 

  • Suppose you're looking to experiment with the execution layer. In that case, you’d be able to do so easily on the modular blockchain without making an entire chain, with less overhead. 

What are the different types of modular blockchains?

  • Consensus and DA layers - the base layer for the stack, just used to post raw data and to secure the data above it and scale. 

  • Execution layer - this is Rollups where the applications and smart contracts live. 

  • Settlement layer - an optional component but very useful - this is where disputes are resolved, and bridging occurs here.

Why would projects build on a modular blockchain over a monolithic one?

  • Everyone needs blockspace to build a chain or a dApp

  • People want that blockspace to be secure and cheap 

  • Celestia is a secure and cheapest way to deploy it 

  • The overhead costs are minimized, and your work as a developer is reduced close to as easy as making a smart contact

  • Celestia is striving to make a blockchain as easy as making a website 

Celestia’s Vision for the future? 

  • A very engineering-centered project to solve such a technical problem - so they want to build the best blockchain infrastructure 

  • Celestia, the base layer, and the tools to build on it are being created 

  • By allowing people to build their blockchains, you create broader sovereignty so people can build together and create new things 

Final thoughts

  • Keep Celestia on your radar - launching 2023 

  • Incentivized testnet on the way for people to test on and run nodes

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The Crypto Illuminati
The Illuminati Round Table
Weekly Twitter Spaces hosted by Garlam Won and Kadeem Clarke, interviewing influential builders in crypto
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