6 Ways Avail Scales Web3: Foundations for Mass-Adoption

The Avail Network provides unprecedented opportunities for developers to build scalable blockchains that are secure and decentralized, but exactly how is this possible? 

By Avail Team 6 min read
6 Ways Avail Scales Web3: Foundations for Mass-Adoption

Avail DA provides a new way to build scalable, affordable and secure blockchains on a decentralized foundation built upon ZK based validity proofs. By providing this secure foundation, developers can empower their users to sample data and get verifications from within their own hand-held devices. This unlocks an exciting future where a unified network of scalable, decentralized and secure blockchains can thrive.

Here’s 6 scalability unlocks you get when you build a blockchain enabled by Avail DA

1. Improve Ethereum Throughput

Rollups have massively scaled the amount of execution throughput possible within the Ethereum ecosystem by off-loading execution onto a separate Rollup’s blockchain. A proof of execution is usually sent to Ethereum along with the transaction data, placing massive upwards pressure on the demands for data availability, which is showing no signs of slowing down. Utilizing Avail DA helps increase the throughput possible on the Ethereum network, making Ethereum accessible to a whole lot more users.

Developers can now leverage one of many Rollup stacks to build their own L2 blockchain, send transaction data to Avail and settle on Ethereum.

2. Cross Ecosystem Support

With Avail DA you can build a blockchain leveraging one of the many popular Rollup stacks like the OP Stack, Arbitrum Orbit Chains, Starkware Madara Chains, Polygon CDK or zkSync Hyperchains

Avail DA is a foundational and unopinionated layer which produces and secures blockspace for the data availability needs of other blockchains. Leveraging Avail DA you can send transaction data to be secured and made available, but will need an execution layer to execute the transactions. You can build on Avail DA using one of the many popular Rollup stacks and our Rollup-as-a-Service providers have made this even easier. With Avail DA, you can build across different ecosystems making for a more unified experience for developers and users.

3. Increase Block Size with Demand

By optimizing each part of a blockchain into separate purpose-built components, you not only break free from the blockchain scalability trilemma (see point 5), new opportunities to improve those components open up. Expandable blockspace is one example of this. The building blocks for Avail’s Expandable blockspace are Validity Proofs, Avail’s Light Clients and Data Availability Sampling. These work together to form a decentralized P2P light client network that will support expandable blockspace. Let’s see how it all fits together.

3.1 ZK Based Validity Proofs & Light Clients

Avail nodes use ZK based validity proofs to verify whether or not data is available in the Avail network, providing users with a cryptographic guarantee to confirm when data is available. This highly tuned method of verification is perfect for decentralized blockchains as it enables even the lightest of hardware, like a user’s smart watch, to verify whether transaction data is available to the network. Avail light clients verify these validity proofs in a secure and scalable way. Light clients can be leveraged by developers to enable users to independently verify DA on decentralized networks from consumer-grade hardware as light as a smart watch.

3.2 Data Availability Sampling (DAS)

Another super-power of Avail’s light clients is Data Availability Sampling (DAS). By taking random samples from the network, Avail light clients increase their confidence with each successive sample taken and generate a confidence score. Light clients can quickly generate data availability guarantees very close to 100% with 8-30 samples providing comparable security guarantees to a full node

3.3 Fast Finality

New blocks are finalized every ~1 min on Avail DA, which is the fastest out of all the DA layers. As soon as blocks are finalized by validators they can be sampled and independently verified by light clients without needing to trust a full node. 

3.4 P2P Network Grows with Demand

Each time a new light client joins the network they enter the light client P2P network. This light yet powerful decentralized network expands with usage. The more light clients that join, the bigger the blocks can be. This is what enables Avail DA to grow its block size with demand.

Consumer grade hardware all around the world can be contributing towards this network of light clients, collectively forming a replica of the Avail blockchain. Avail DA is unique in its ability to sample from this replica of the blockchain. This empowers entire communities of users to sample from, and contribute to, the security of the network. This positive feedback loop expands block size and adds resiliency and security to the network as demand increases.

4. Decentralize Critical Blockchain Infrastructure

While we have developed fantastic decentralized protocols, a lot of core infrastructure still relies heavily upon centralized entities. RPCs are a great example of this, where dApp developers can either run a full-node or trust one of a handful of centralized providers. Due to the economic inefficiencies of running a full-node, most developers choose to route calls through these centralized RPC providers. This less than ideal solution is compounded by the competitive landscape among RPC providers which forces them down a path of ever-more consolidation to drive their prices down. This has meant the industry now places significant reliance upon a handful of trusted, centralized providers. 

In order to scale, the blockchain industry must decentralize many core layers of the stack. When building with Avail DA, Avail Light Clients play an incredibly important role in achieving this. Light clients no longer have to trust a full-node run by a centralized infrastructure provider to give developers or users DA guarantees. Instead, light clients can sample data directly from the Avail network and verify their own DA guarantees locally, right from a user’s device. The light client is so efficient that it can run on a mobile, smart watch, and in the browser. This provides a scalable foundation for the blockchain industry to build from, and reduces the heavy reliance we’ve placed on centralized infrastructure providers in the past.

5. Overcome the Blockchain Scalability Trilemma

When building a Rollup or app-chain with Avail DA, you benefit from the separation of concerns principle which enables developers to break free from the blockchain scalability trilemma. This breakthrough lies in the ability to break up a blockchain’s stack into separate components where each is hyper-optimized to play a specific role within the stack, and then brought back together to function as a complete whole.

This is not too dissimilar from the approach used to scale Web2 through micro-services. The needs for running a global information superhighway are broken down into specialized and purpose-built components that work together to provide us with the many different experiences we enjoy on the internet today. If the blockchain industry is to build the internet of value, then we need highly scalable, secure and decentralized systems to build these experiences on, breaking free from scalability constraints.

By building on Avail DA you get to plug into a highly tuned and purpose-built data availability layer. This approach has the significant impact of solving the data availability problem, a critical component for all blockchains, and providing a foundation for blockchains to break free from the constraints of the blockchain scalability trilemma. 

6. Economic Performance

While the main scalability improvements discussed in this post are technical in nature, this one is more about economic efficiency and how that relates to blockchain scalability. When you post transaction data to Avail DA, you can offer users significantly cheaper transaction fees, saving 90% in some cases vs using Ethereum for DA. This is another benefit of the specialization characteristic already mentioned above, but it has the important impact of making transaction fees lower for end-users which means that it’s possible to create more usable applications. 

Regular users are not comfortable paying high fees to update their social media accounts. By continuing to bring down the financial barriers to entry for this technology, while maintaining high security and decentralization guarantees, we can encourage more users into this new space and make it possible for more developers to build affordable applications.

Unleashing Blockchain Scalability

We’ve long heard about the promises of blockchain technology, and while the industry has made numerous improvements over the years, fundamental scalability challenges have remained. 

We are now moving into a rollup-centric future where multiple Rollups will begin to thrive. The importance of a scalable foundation that is built from the ground up for Rollups, which prioritizes decentralization and security, cannot be ignored. 

Learn more about Avail as we rapidly approach mainnet on Discord, Twitter, GitHub, Telegram.