Tag: layer 2

Week 2 Optimism L2 Twitter Spaces Recap

Crypto is how you program money. Money is how you program people. 

Listen to the recording:

https://twitter.com/i/spaces/1yoKMWjqrLRJQ?s=20

Why would a developer want to build on Optimism?

The answer is incentives.

“Incentives motivate behavior.”

The ecosystem needs developers to actually BUILD DAPPS on Optimism. 

Why should a developer want to use Optimism as opposed to any other blockchain network?

Incentives to build on Optimism: the “Optimism Governance Fund” donates money to teams and projects that have built useful things for the community. 

These useful projects are known as “public goods”.

The idea here is to reward those that contribute in positive ways.. incentivizing new developers to launch their dapps on Optimism. 

  • Public Goods make people want to join an ecosystem. Science is and example of a public good that is valuable to society.
  • With retroactive public goods, whatever turns out to be the most valuable tends to be retroactively rewarded after proving its product-market fit. This is the opposite of traditional venture capital firms that go out to fund a bunch of different ideas without knowing for sure what will succeed. 

Why Did You Get into into Optimism Ecosystem??

jrocki.eth – Twitter Spaces Co-host. supported Optimism during OptiPunks launch because of Public Goods Funding Infrastructure.

Mark, Co-Founder of Quixotic.io:

Mark was a software engineer at an ad-tech company. Later learned about ETH, Optimism, and the possibility to host projects on IPFS.

  • Participated in ETH global hackathon in 2021… involved with Feudals Ethereum community… worked on some various developments in Ethereum.
  • Looked at other Layer 1’s, saw the high cost of trading NFTs on L2. Saw Layer 2’s as the future. Wanted to build something and make something happen in the space.
  • Build / launch Quixotic.io
  • Currently building CryptoVania / Storyverse on IPFS

On Building + Dapps in the Optimistic Rollup space:

Even though the markets are down it feels like the builders are full-steam ahead. 

On the Space, Mark raised the question: what do users need for adoption to increase?

One specific need was brought up: we need a decentralized app store / decentralized app platform.

  • For example, you don’t see substack app on the App Store. Why not? Because App Stores take too big of a cut due to policies around in app purchases etc. Effectively creates a roughly 30% markup on everything.
  • Browser apps are harder to block and shut down, however, performance and computation are more difficult in browser.
  • Huge opportunity for decentralized apps.

IPFS – communication and naming protocol. Similar to bittorrent, everyone can access files on IPFS thru peer to peer network.

  • With Brave Browser you can visit IPFS, similar to using http.
  • If no one is pinning the file, it might be really slow. So, you can pay someone in Filecoin or Pinata to pay the network to access the file, if no one pins it.

Warp speed bridge – standard protocol level bridge for optimism…Eth in escrow / burns the eth etc. Came out of a project called teleportal.

Storj – startup for decentralized storage. They encrypt your file.. many copies of the data in little chunks. Users of dropbox could move to something like this – around $7 per month for $1 TB.

Bridging crypto between Layer 2 blockchains – not currently supported?

The Problem: Bridge protocols don’t enable users to bridge between Layer 2s

Crypto holders should be able to use their tokens whenever they want, across any set of blockchain networks.

Ethereum gets you security, but it is a very expensive layer. The benefit of Layer 2 networks is that they are more scalable – fees are lower in L2.

Unfortunately, users cannot move funds directly between Layer 2 networks.

Interoperability for tokens among different chains in web3 is a critical technical problem with crypto bridges today.

Bridging between Layer 2 networks is impossible

For example, users can’t go directly from from Optimism to Arbitrum, no matter what bridge they use.

In order to move tokens between these layer 2 networks, users are forced to take a multi-step process, bridging back to Layer 1 from Optimism before moving their funds to Arbitrum.

You can try it to see for yourself.

As shown below, after adding both Arbitrum Network AND Optimism Network to my wallet and going to the Arbitrum Bridge, its clear that the only connection possible is to go between Layer 1 and Layer 2.

arbitrum bridge only enables funds to go from L1 to L2
Aribitrum bridge only recognizes assets available on Layer 1, even though funds are in Optimism on the same connected wallet.

Layer 2 direct jumps don’t exist (yet).

Current Functionality: Bridging from Ethereum to Layer 2 is simple

Bridging from Ethereum Mainnet any one of the Layer 2’s is pretty simple and straightforward.

For example, a user’s first experience exploring the Optimism ecosystem (covered in this post) is pretty straightforward:

The Ethereum –> Optimism bridge allows for funds to be transferred quickly, letting the user get started with dapps like NFTs, DeFi, and more.

Similarly, bridging from Ethereum Mainnet to Arbitrum is pretty easy.

Users use a service like Chainlist to connect to any number of different Layer 2 blockchain networks directly, without manually typing in the network ID and other information.

How to use the Chainlist website, where you can connect to EVM powered Layer 2 networks.
Connect directly to EVM powered networks using Chainlist, without having to manually enter network details into your wallet

Optimism and Arbitrum are just two examples – Chainlist offers hundreds of connectable networks – an overwhelmingly large amount of software to explore.

Improving crypto bridges will reduce fees for users

The fact that a user can’t move funds between two different rollups without sending funds back to Ethereum Mainnet not only makes the user experience more cumbersome, but it means users pay higher fees.

The bridging process requires two additional transactions on Ethereum Mainnet, instead of a single transaction on Layer 2 between networks.

This multi-step process ultimately requires more gas.

At this point, the ability to move funds between layer 2 networks is an aspect of UX that is missing, and is a big gap in crypto.

The ideal UX features simply have not been built out yet.

Poor user experience is the nature of emerging technology

When you are exploring the frontier of emerging technology, some difficulty of use should be expected.

To put things into perspective, this lack of user functionality is part of what makes crypto most exciting.

If the UX was perfect and every blockchain app was easy to use, then crypto would already be mainstream.

When you are using emerging technology before other people, it is going to be clunky and difficult to use.

We are early; blockchain technology still has so much un-realized value. This is part of exploring and seeing tech trends before everyone else.

We Need to Enable Users to Migrate Between Layer 2 Blockchains

The good news, is that interoperability problem currently exists within similarly EVM compatible blockchains.

Because Layer 2 networks share protocols with Ethereum’s foundational Layer 1, the challenge should be solvable.

The Ethereum ecosystem, with the EVM protocol fundamentals, was made for this type of universal compatibility… shared components allowing protocols to integrate.

Axelar Network seeks to solve interoperability

We know its possible. Still, bridging between Layer 2’s is a feature that is not yet present in web3.

One network focused on this is the Axelar Network.

On the recent Zero Knowledge podcast episode, Sergey Gorbunov discussed how to make layer 2 protocols more interoperable.

Sergey shared information about how Axelar is focused on interoperability, making it easy for users to migrate between chains.

He mentioned that by building service layer protocols on top of the core networks, end to end flows between applications will be easy and seamless for users.

This will also enable bridging between Ethereum L2s so that users don’t have to go back to the main chain.

Playing Conway’s Game of Life on StarkNet

Conway’s Game of Life is a simulation-based computer game where life-like structures emerge from the rules governing movement of the squares on screen.

From such simple rules, the Game of Life the entities on screen behave with completely unpredictable and complex interactions.

A basic, web2 version of the game can be played at the two links below:

There are also a number of mind-blowing YouTube videos on this type of thing, where “emergence” occurs from particle motion after basic rules are codified. [1]

To play the Game of Life on the StarkNet platform, visit the following link: https://www.gol2.io/

In order to play the game on StarkNet, you need a Argent X wallet. Fortunately, Argent X is pretty easy to setup as a browser extension. [2]

Since the game is new and currently in Alpha development, I used the Goerli test net to try the game for the sake of experimentation, because it does not feature live transaction data.

Game of Life on StarkNet Goerli Testnet

Conclusion

I did notice that transactions unfortunately take quite a long time to process.

While the game is interesting and it’s exciting to see new developments on Ethereum Layer-2 scaling solutions like StarkNet, I’m not sure that featuring this particular game on a blockchain is worthwhile.

Since evolution data doesn’t need to be stored and the game is really just for entertainment and viewing the progress of the simulation overtime, users who are curious about the Game of Life are better off trying it in the web2 versions I’ve shared above.

Sources

  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=makaJpLvbow
  2. Consensys blog post: https://consensys.net/blog/cryptoeconomic-research/layer-2-and-scaling-solutions-march-2022-week-1/