I’m delighted to see the enthusiasm around Arbitrum One. I concede I was too pessimistic — the growth it’s seen over the weekend has been exponential and unlike anything I’ve seen in the smart contract space, going from $300M to $2B TVL in less than 48 hours. Within 12 short days, it’s pretty much propelled itself to be the #2 smart contract platform in the industry after Ethereum. Awareness about rollups is increasing exponentially, but there are still too many bad takes. Here, I’ll address some of these myths and misconceptions to the best of my knowledge. Feel free to…


The argument for rollups + data shards (rads henceforth) is usually it’s more secure and decentralized. But this is only part of the story. The real reason rads are the only solution for global scale is scalability — because it’s the only way to do millions of TPS long term. Specifically, I’m going to consider zkRollups, as optimistic rollups have inherent limitations. So, why is this? It comes down to a) technical sustainability, and b) economic sustainability.

Technical sustainability

Breaking this down further, a technically sustainable blockchain node has to do three things:

  1. Keep up with the chain, and have nodes in…


Researchers have been hard at work on the blockchain scalability problem. The key tenet to a decentralized, permissionless and trustless network is to have a culture of users verifying the chain. Some, like EOS, Solana or Polygon PoS aren’t interested in this, and go for a centralized network where users have to trust a smaller number of validators with high-spec machines. There’s nothing wrong with this — it’s simply a direct trade-off. Some, like Bitcoin, have given up on the problem, presumably deeming it unsolvable — instead relying on more centralized entities outside the chain. …


Preface: Since I often post about rollups in this blog, I thought pinning this older article will be helpful. Originally posted here.

It feels to me like there’s a lot of confusion around Ethereum’s roadmap, with a common perception being “Ethereum 2.0 is the next version of Ethereum that’ll replace the current version”. This is not true. Indeed, Ethereum has pivoted to a rollup-centric roadmap, which I don’t see nearly enough people talking about. …


For the first decade or so, the blockchain industry only had monolithic blockchains. Early experiments like plasma, multi-chain and sharding attempted to break this up, but it’s only recently with rollups, validiums and data availability chains that it’s become clear that the era of the monolithic blockchain is ending. Yet, we are still tied to the monolithic perspective, using terminologies like L1 and L2 which are limited and do not capture the expressiveness of this revolutionary new design space. Here’s a thought experiment from a few months ago with more descriptive nomenclature.

I believe we a shift in perspective is…


Please consider this as a work of hard science fiction. I had written present tense prose (from 2025’s perspective), but had to rework this post to add in some future tense (i.e. 2021 perspective) for context so it has turned out to be a total mess! So, it’s a terrible work of fiction, but certainly more informative than it was before.

Ethereum is the global settlement layer. Or more technically, the global security and data availability layer.

There’s a flourishing ecosystem of external execution layers like rollups and volitions building on Ethereum. …


Arbitrum One, in my opinion, is the most important smart contract platform release since Ethereum in 2015. Here are some details.

What is Arbitrum One?

Arbitrum One is a smart contract chain. It’s just like Ethereum, has similar security properties to Ethereum, except it’s much faster and cheaper.

If you want to dive into the technical details, Arbitrum One is an optimistic rollup. Here’s a great video explaining how optimistic rollups work. For an even deeper dive, see Inside Arbitrum. For the normie user, this doesn’t matter. …


Reposting this from r/solana: Anatoly Yakovenko on Solana as an Ethereum rollup : solana (reddit.com)

So, yesterday, I wrote up an article about Solana’s endgame: becoming an Ethereum rollup : solana (reddit.com). Huge shout out to the Solana community for embracing the post, and making it the top voted post. There’s a reason why I posted this on r/solana and not, say, r/cardano. …


There’s a lot of misinformation and animosity in the space, people love to pit Solana as an “Ethereum killer”. In this post, I’ll make the argument that Solana and Ethereum are better together — each working to the best of their strengths. As the blockchain industry, we have to come together, leave our egos aside and build what is actually the best engineering solution for mass adoption. And I believe this is Solana being a zkRollup on Ethereum.

First, let’s get some misconceptions out of the way.

Ethereum 2.0 does not exist. I repeat — Ethereum 2.0 is not a…


I’ve mentioned in multiple comments and posts that I expect rollups to mature “in a couple of years”, so around late 2023 / early 2024. In this post, I’ll go through the roadmap and expected evolution of rollups, and why we’re not going to see adoption overnight. I’ll assume that you are familiar with how rollups, the role and risk of sequencers etc. Do note that there are many unknowns, but I’ve estimated things to the best of my knowledge.

Application-specific rollups (2020)

The journey to rollups began with application-specific rollups, starting with Loopring in March 2020. zkSync and DeversiFi (validium, not a…

Polynya

Rants and musings on blockchain tech. All content here in the public domain, please feel free to share/adapt/republish.

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