RNDR Dev. Diary: Building the Layer 2 Solution
Since DeFi Summer came and refused to leave, turning into DeFi Winter and soon to be DeFi Spring, Ethereum has seen droves of projects flocking to link with their chain, prices soaring with every new DApp hit.
Unfortunately for the RNDR network this newfound congestion has seen gas prices rise dramatically over the last year, causing myriad issues like inflated job prices, slower transaction times, and unfortunately less frequent payment disbursal for our node operators powering the network.
Since the beginning of the DeFi boom our development team has been working diligently to find a solution to the rising gas prices, and we’re happy to announce that we have released a Layer 2 scaling solution that will reduce transaction costs and times across the network.
Below is an account from members of the RNDR development team detailing their experience building out the Polygon (Matic) Layer 2 solution on RNDR.
How did you decide on which scaling solution was right for RNDR?
Victor Naumik (RNDR Blockchain Developer):
We were choosing between a lot of scaling solutions throughout the process, jumping from one to another based on how they [each project] were progressing. We had several candidates and approaches. ZkSync was the least intrusive system, keeping the current system and just rolling payments to ZkSync. But then we decided to move all [RNDR] contracts to a separate layer, as it would present benefits down the line.
Josh Bijak (RNDR Project Lead)
ZkSync still exists within RNDR, it’s still there. People can use it, but we’re not going to use it for smart contracts because it does not support anything else but token transfers.
What was it about Polygon (Matic) that put it above the other L2 options?
Around the New Year, Polygon (Matic) suddenly gained a huge public following and widespread support from major projects, including DeFi projects. The turning point was when they implemented their PoS (Proof of Stake) bridge around that time, which greatly reduced their transaction times compared to their Plasma bridge, from 7 days to 30 minutes.
Like Victor mentioned before, down the line it helps that we can still use all of the technology we have with ETH. Being able to use the same tools and developers makes the development work going forward easier.
What were some of the hurdles the development team faced setting up Polygon (Matic) on RNDR?
Nothing serious, the system was relatively easy. Well, not exactly easy, but it was mixing a lot of “ingredients” together to get a functioning product.
There was some difficulty in proving our system could operate correctly, but I’d set up L2 systems before, so I came in with some experience that definitely helped.
Matthew McClure (RNDR Blockchain Developer)
Victor and Josh did a lot of the work so far, most of what I did was harassing them on how it would change things for our artists and figuring out next steps from there. Most of my work implementing all of their work into the backend of RNDR is yet to come.
What was something unexpected that came up during the process of setting up the L2?
We had a contract with ETH (Ethereum) from years ago that needed to be upgraded to modern standards [of code], so the upgrade to L2 afforded us to upgrade and clean up our contracts all around. This also meant that we needed to essentially audit all of contract codes, which took some work, but has yielded us publicly verified contracts on Etherscan.
Are there any drawbacks?
There are some hurdles that existing users are unfortunately going to have to clear, but we’re also working on getting rid of them. Right now, current users will have an extra step to enter into the L2, and for node operators who want to convert earned RNDR to Fiat, they will need to go through an exit process to convert their earned tokens.
Who is Polygon (Matic) for?
For artists, they get lower gas fees and faster transactions, and for miners it means a return to the original payout system where as soon as they finish a job, they are paid out. For RNDR, it allows us to explore more interesting smart contract options because the cost has been greatly reduced, and opens the door for building out features and scaling the network.
Picking a L2 like Polygon (Matic) also gives us the option to easily transition away in the future if we decide that’s the best option for the network. It’s very easy to use and move on from eventually.
It essentially leaves the way to transitioning onto ETH 2.0 and any other options that may present themselves in the future.
For an in depth breakdown of Layer 1 vs. Layer 2 blockchain, please check out the RNDR Knowledge base.