Behind Solana and Arbiturn Outage — How Would DeFi Projects Choose Public Chain Scaling Solution?
Decentralized application development has come to a period of explosion, and with the recent booming of NFT and GameFi, diversification of blockchain ecosystems has become inevitable. While “trading” was still the main scenario and majority of user base, Asteria Protocol is committed to define the decentralized protocol of option pricing, trading and hedging mechanisms. Hence choosing a stable, low-cost and efficient public chain scaling solution to build on becomes quite crucial for the development of Asteria ecosystem. This article will simply analyze the current public chain scaling solutions.
Throughout the growth of Ethereum and block size arguments of BTC, either the “Revolutionaries” such as Solana or the “ETH Royalists” as Layer 2 provider are making efforts on scalability improvement for a much larger user base to collaborate at the same time.
Solana, with their new consensus mechanism of Proof of History and comparable well-developed ecosystem, is becoming a representative of Ethereum “Revolutionaries”. However, Solana had a network failure for nearly 18 hours on September 15 before rebooting. The periodic instability of Solana’s Mainnet Beta version causes on-chain applications unable to run.
According to Solana officials, Solana Mainnet Beta encountered a sudden jump in transaction load which peaked at 400,000 TPS. These transactions flooded the transaction processing queue, and the lack of prioritization of network-critical messaging caused the network to start forking. Forkings led to excessive memory consumption, causing some nodes to go offline. Engineers across the ecosystem attempted to stabilize the network but in vain. The verifier community chose to coordinate a reboot of the network and is currently preparing a new release.
As we can see, the complete adoption of a new consensus would bring uncertainty of security and stability compared to ETH. After all, Ethereum has been in production for years.
Ethereum Royalists — Layer 2
The concept of Layer 2 is a collection of those various scaling solutions based on Ethereum mainnet, some popular Layer 2 projects as following:
- Side chain: Polygon, Loon, Ronin, xDai
- Plasma: OMGNetwork, LeverJ
- ZK Roll-up: dYdX, LRC, ZLS, Herme, zkSync, Aztec
- Optimistic Roll-up: Metis, Arbitrum, Optimism, Habitat
- Others: CELR, SKL, Nahmii
The Arbitrum One, which was launched at the beginning of this month and gained huge attention among those Layer 2 solutions, experienced a 45-minutes outage because its sequencer was overloaded by too many transaction requirements. Various DeFi DApps launched on Arbitrum One were also stagnated during this serious outage.
The Arbitrum team attributes this outage to a “bug causing the sequencer to get stuck” after a very large batch of transactions were submitted to the Arbitrum sequencer over a short period of time.
When it comes to sequencers, we need to talk about Roll-ups. Roll-ups are solutions that perform transaction execution outside the Ethereum mainnet (Layer 1), but post transaction data on Layer 1. As transaction data is on Layer 1, this allows roll-ups to be secured by Layer 1. Roll-ups require “operators” to stake a bond in the rollup contract. This incentivizes operators to verify and execute transactions correctly.
Sequencers are responsible for “rolling up” these transactions in a batch and publishing the data on Ethereum, however, the classic Optimistic Roll-ups (including Arbitrum One) use single-sequencer, which caused the Arbitrum One outage. In contrast, Asteria Finance Lab is going to deploy applications on a sequencer pool developed by Metis. Metis’ pool of sequencers will be integrated into DACs (Decentralized Autonomous Company), the protocol will extract a new sequencer from the DAC, then this sequencer will send all information to L1 for the transaction. Compared to single-sequencer solutions, Metis’ sequencer pool is faster and more decentralized.
With the booming of the DeFi market and the increasing TVL, more and more DApps are choosing to build on chain scaling solutions, and that’s the reason why Layer 2 track is really hot. There is not a definite answer to which Layer 2 solution is the best, at least at this early stage, but choosing a stable and secure Layer 2 platform might define the future of a DApp. Asteria Finance Lab would keep exploring and look forward to the new progress of Metis and new evolutions of all solutions.
1. Asteria Testnet tutorial is online: https://asteria.gitbook.io/asteria/asteria-testnet-tutorial
2. Asteria Testnet video tutorial is uploaded: