The Story of Velas 3.0
How we are upgrading the Velas chain to move seamlessly and in an interoperable way to navigate in a fast evolving industry
The blockchain industry is actively developing and gaining pace. Over the past 3–5 years, many unique project architectures and systems have been developed on the blockchain, with more arriving by the week. They are all globally created for similar purposes, but implementation can vary significantly between them.
Today, many different communities are developing different blockchain systems. Take, for example, these industry leaders:
- Ethereum 2.0
All of these different technologies are sufficiently different from each other, but still have many common components:
- P2P communication layer
- DPOS Consensus
- Block / transaction processing and validation unit
- Smart Contracts
Nevertheless, despite the similar architecture of these components, each of these blockchains today is:
A separate standard
For example, a developer of Solidity cannot simply migrate to EOS, since he needs to learn C++ to write smart contracts. Or, if you have already developed Solidity Smart Contracts for Ethereum, then the migration to EOS will force you to rewrite all contracts again.
The entire Ethereum infrastructure is completely incompatible with that of the EOS infrastructure, Solana, and others. You need to develop another block explorer, wallet for all platforms, and all related infrastructure for each blockchain just to provide basic functionality for the user.
Carry out separate work on compatibility with different blockchains
The varying underlying technologies are different, the infrastructure is also different, but the problem of cross-chain transactions requires full compatibility with all other blockchain technologies. Therefore, in pursuit of different blockchain communities, each project develops its own compatibility at the level of their application.
Thus, to develop a new blockchain framework that will be better than existing analogs, it is necessary to implement the entire basic stack of components. We believe that today it is much more efficient to take existing frameworks and enhance them.
The Velas team started by developing the code from scratch and eventually came to the conclusion that such a project could last for many years. At a time when ready-made and high-quality blockchain frameworks already exist in the public domain. Additionally, no-one forbids developing a fork, creating a new framework, and subsequently supplementing it with your own improvements. The target user validates the final positive properties of the solution — but not the code itself.
This requires a paradigm shift from MVP (minimal viable product) to MVC (minimal viable change), when the product is not completely developed from scratch, but only an important change is made to the existing product which makes sense to the project and product as a whole.
After a period of rethinking the process and analysis of the Velas product ecosystem, we have developed the requirements for the blockchain that we need. We have determined that for the fully-fledged operation of products within the ecosystem, we need the following aspects from within the blockchain level:
- High throughput. More than 30,000 transactions per second.
- Resistance to various types of attacks.
- DPoS consensus based on VLX tokenomics.
- Support for applications written for the Ethereum ecosystem. In other words, support for Metamask, Solidity Language and Ethereum Virtual Machine.
- New level cross-chain interaction. Fully decentralized custodian and management of assets of different blockchains like Bitcoin, Ethereum, ZCash.
- Decentralized and autonomous storage of user secrets and secrets managed by smart contracts.
We put special attention to the need to support EVM, since today most blockchain developers still write in Solidity, therefore — in addition to the fast Velas blockchain — they also need to provide a comfortable transition without having to learn something new. Thus, we provide them the opportunity to significantly speed up their applications (when switching from the Ethereum network), spending a minimum of effort, but at the same time, additionally gaining access to the rest of the innovations, for example, decentralized cross-chain interaction.
As a result of looking for ways to optimize our roadmap, we identified an opportunity to significantly speed up our processes. This happened after we got acquainted with the Solana blockchain framework where we saw an opportunity to close a significant part of our requirements for the Velas blockchain if we utilize the Solana codebase as a starting point. Finalizing their solutions is also a difficult process, it is much easier to write a project from scratch for many years, but current trends and requirements in the industry do not allow utilizing such a luxury. Also, the use of the Solana blockchain with improvements aided us with experiments on the DPOS consensus, namely, improving it with AI (AIDPOS), where we created simulations in which the blockchain was launched, and checked how it would react to a hostile environment in order to understand what parameters need to be adjusted for greater stability of the entire network.
The Solana Team has implemented a blockchain that can reach a speed of 50,000 transactions per second through GPU utilization, transaction processing parallelization and other innovations such as PoH, Golfstream … (Read about all their innovations here) The presence of such technologies in the framework significantly raises the bar for competitors and we consider this framework to be the best solution on the market. Therefore, we chose to use these developments instead of developing competing solutions. Which, in turn, allowed us to fully concentrate on developing the rest of our ecosystem.
At the moment, we have already passed the MVC stage for all the blockchain functions that we described above and received a sufficient level of confidence in their implementation. Therefore, we are pleased to announce that from this moment Velas blockchain is moving into open source development mode.
As part of this launch into open source, we will present our community with a blockchain that processes about 50,000 transactions per second, is resistant to various types of attacks, and also has support for smart contracts written in Solidity. Based on this version of the blockchain, we will continue to implement the rest of the low-level primitives for Velas Vault, which will bring cross-chain interaction and management of secrets to a new decentralized level.
After finalizing the functions of the interaction of native contracts (programs) with EVM smart contracts, we will launch a seamless migration of balances of the current Velas blockchain to the next generation blockchain. As part of this migration, no additional actions will be required from users to transfer assets.
Stay tuned — we have a lot of new things ahead that we can’t wait to share with you!