Anatoly Yakovenko on Solana as an Ethereum rollup

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. I know that there are many smart people in the Solana community who would be open minded to the best technological solutions in the space, leave their egos aside, and I firmly believe zkRollups are the holy grail of blockchain scalability, bar none.

That said, there was a lot of misunderstanding and pushback. There were obviously some trolls who just personally attacked and abused me without actually reading the post, but by and large I think it was just innocent misunderstanding and misinformation. The biggest misunderstanding I saw was conflating rollups with shards. So, let me make it clear once again:

Rollups are not shards! They retain full composability! They benefit from Moore’s law and Nielsen’s law as much as any L1 would, except they’ll always be 10x to 100x more efficient. So, whatever Solana can do as an L1, Solana will always do 10x to 100x better as a zkRollup!

Note that rollups are not about Ethereum — it’s just a coincidence that Ethereum’s roadmap is currently aligned to offer maximum security and data availability. It’s actually just leveraging whoever offers the best security and data availability in the industry — and even offering multiple options.

But don’t take my word for it. Listen to Anatoly Yakovenko himself! After writing that post, a podcast dropped (shout out to u/SwagtimusPrime to making me aware of it).

Skip to 21:15 on the podcast, where Anatoly talks about Solana and Ethereum. Quoting him:

Ethereum vs Solana narrative is going to start to break down. (….) What’s interesting is that these are pareto-efficient (?) symbiotic systems, especially the eth2 (sic [1]) case, where the only execution that’s really happening is checking fraud proofs ([2]) so it needs an execution layer (…..) so that users can get their messages in cheaply and quickly, finality in the execution environment is established quickly (….) all of those execution instance are instances of being on Solana. Pick and choose what you want your eth2 execution to look like, and it’s all running on Solana. (…) Who knows how these things will play out, but I’m really excited about this possibility.

Anatoly gets it! Anatoly doesn’t use the word “rollup” and that’s fine. Rollups are simply more efficient chains that are laser focused on execution. So whenever Anatoly says “execution instance” or “execution environment” he means what I’m calling rollups.

This is exactly what I was describing. I’ll add some further modifications:

[1] Like I mentioned the “Eth2” nomenclature is now deprecated. People can continue calling it that, but it’s all about the rollup-centric roadmap and offering incredible data availability for the blockchain industry.

[2] It’s not just fraud proofs — it’s zk proofs! Personally, I’m not that interested in fraud proofs, I see zk proofs and zkRollups as the future of the blockchain industry.

I’m delighted to see that Anatoly is thinking about this, and I’m more confident Solana will have some role to play in the rollup-centric vision of the blockchain industry. Long after most L1s like Cardano and EOS are obsoleted by zkRollups, Solana will still be thriving.

So how will this affect Solana users?

- Solana will be exactly as it is today (there’ll obviously be some minor changes). You can continue using it at always. Yes, it’ll remain fully composable, it’ll do everything it does well today now. You don’t give up anything.

- Except, Solana will be far more secure, leveraging the security of whatever’s the most secure L1 at the time. (Currently, Ethereum).

- Transaction confirmations can be reduced from ~0.6 seconds it’s averaging now to basically instant, with the latency being your internet connection.

- Solana as a zkRollup can scale to uncharted new heights simply impossible as L1s. Millions of TPS over the long-term is definitely possible, scaling to hundreds of millions over the coming decades.

- If Solana settles on Ethereum, it’ll instantly access all of Ethereum’s network effects, infrastructure and ecosystem, and even share liquidity with mind-blowing initiatives like dAMM.

- Solana remains competitive with future zkRollups like zkSync 2.0, Polygon Hermez and StarkNet which will do all of the above and outscale any L1. Indeed, it has a network effect advantage over those solutions, so it could be the premiere zk execution environment in the industry.

Solana and Ethereum are an awesome combination that can bring mass adoption to the blockchain industry. Let’s make this happen!

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