Original author: @DefiIgnas
Original compilation: Biteye core contributor Crush
Modular blockchain may be the key to unlocking a new crypto world, and more and more people are discussing this narrative ahead of the next bull run.
What makes it so special and why should you care? Today’s article tells you everything!
From monolithic to modular
Compared to the modular blockchains mentioned above, Bitcoin and Ethereum are monolithic blockchains that can only handle three core functions:
Consensus layer: Provides security and is responsible for handling PoW/PoS/PoH consensus
Data availability layer: ensure transaction data is available
Execution layer: responsible for processing transactions and data
The problem with a monolithic blockchain is that nodes need to perform the above three operations at the same time, which is not an easy task.
Due to the above limitations, it produces the famous Blockchain Impossible Triangle.
For example, Ethereum L1 sacrificed scalability in order to achieve decentralization, resulting in high gas fees and slow transaction confirmation speeds.
Therefore, modular blockchain has its place.
Modular blockchain focuses on specific functions and offloads the rest to separate layers, so it can perform specific tasks better and more professionally.
Modular blockchains are composed of multiple layers, each with its own specialized functionality.
For example, one layer handles execution, while another handles data availability, and a third handles consensus.
Among them, Rollups can also be processed by bundling multiple transactions into one transaction, and then the data is published in L1 for verification.
This is how Optimistic rollups (Optimism/Arbitrum) or zkRollups (zkSync/Starkware) work.
To further improve scalability and maximize data availability, Ethereum will be upgraded to a sharded architecture in the future.
In short: Ethereum’s sharding design can process transactions in parallel or serve as a storage “warehouse” for data blocks from different blockchains.
This allows nodes to only store data they publish on the shard chain, reducing storage requirements and improving performance.
Ethereum is becoming a modular blockchain due to the emergence of Rollups and sharding technology.
Sharding is being developed in phases, and the next EIP-4844 upgrade (the upcoming Cancun upgrade) will be launched in 2023. After this upgrade, the cost of L2 Rollups will be reduced by 10-100 times!
@CelestiaOrg claims to be the first modular blockchain network that focuses on consensus and data availability, while placing the execution layer on a separate chain.
Celestias vision is to combine the sovereign interoperability zone of Cosmos with Rollup-centric Ethereum with shared security.
In practice, this means that applications, or application chains, can be launched quickly using their own governance rules while achieving secure sharing.
(Translators Note: Celestia provides different solutions for modular expansion, and its architecture currently has three types:
1. Sovereign Rollup: The data availability layer and consensus layer are Celestia, and the settlement layer and execution layer are their own sovereign chains;
2. Settlement Rollup: The data availability layer and consensus layer are Celestia, the settlement layer is Cevmos, and the application chain is the execution layer;
3. Celestium: The data availability layer is Celestia, the consensus layer and settlement layer are Ethereum, and the application chain is the execution layer. )
Other cases of modular design: Mantle (formerly BitDao)
Mantle recently launched a three-layer structure Modular Ethereum L2 Public Chain
One layer for transaction execution
Another layer is used to confirm the final transaction
The third layer is data availability
GAS fees will be paid through its token $MNT.
In addition, with the inherent characteristics of modular blockchain, users can easily create new blockchains, which reduces deployment time and minimizes costs.
(Translators note: Mantle is currently hosting the Mantle Jounrey event after its mainnet was launched recently.)
Cosmos’ road to modularity
The Cosmos SDK already allows users to deploy specific application chains, and the whole process is very simple.
Currently these Cosmos Hub (dApps) do not have shared security, but this will change with the launch of Atom 2.0 and Interchain Security!
Overall, modular blockchains have advantages over monolithic blockchains, such as improving scalability to solve the blockchain trilemma.
@Delphi_Digital calls it a paradigm shift: we expect their network effects to become increasingly evident in the coming years.