Avail embarks on its journey to empower rollup and application blockchain communities with a highly scalable, modular consensus layer

Avail will exist separately from Polygon Foundation and Polygon Labs. I am fully committed to Avail long term, in terms of leadership and funding the project development.

By Anurag Arjun 4 min read
Avail embarks on its journey to empower rollup and application blockchain communities with a highly scalable, modular consensus layer

I’m pleased to announce that Avail will be spun off and exist separately from Polygon Foundation and Polygon Labs. As a result, effective as of today, I will transition across from Polygon Labs and continue to lead the Avail project.

Through my journey of founding and running early-stage companies in the past decade, I have gained valuable insights into the power of technology. My experiences led me to establish Polygon with other co-founders and subsequently create Avail, a modular consensus layer that provides exciting opportunities for bringing visionary ideas to life. In this post, I will share Avail's purpose, discuss why leveraging modular blockchains is an exciting endeavor and elaborate our motivations.

The Emergence of Modular Blockchains

The landscape of the blockchain revolution has evolved since it began a little over a decade ago with the launch of Bitcoin and, soon after, the arrival of Ethereum. Over the years, many who joined this movement sought to enhance this cutting-edge technology. However, a few roadblocks persist - scalability, flexibility and verifiability. Transactions need to be processed at lightning-fast speeds to attain mainstream adoption. Execution environments need to evolve. Users should be able to verify execution efficiently and cheaply. The traditional monolithic blockchain design falls short in this regard because all four core functions – consensus, security, data availability, and execution – are handled on the same chain.

What if there was a new approach? Enter the world of modular blockchain - a game-changer that just might hold the key to unlocking the full potential of blockchain technology. Modular blockchain is the way to make transactions efficient and fast because it breaks down the essential functions and handles them separately. Layer-2 rollups initiated the modular blockchain trend by enabling execution on a separate chain with dedicated blocks.

The emergence of modular blockchains tells me that we have entered a new stage in the evolution of blockchain. Thus, we initiated the Avail project in late 2020 after realizing the importance of data availability sampling (DAS) in blockchain architecture. Our team created Avail to enable builders to focus on what they do best - building innovative, high-performing applications. With time, we established a stellar team and solution within the Avail initiative at Polygon Labs.

Avail - Fast, Efficient and Scalable

Avail is a base consensus layer that allows other blockchains or applications with any execution environment to be built on top. Avail enables application developers to optimize their execution by ensuring the sequence of transactions is available. Its strength lies within a peer-to-peer network of light clients, potentially numbering in tens of thousands to millions, that perform DAS to ensure the data is available. In other words, Avail decouples the data availability layer, making it easier for chain developers to focus on execution and settlement. By using Avail, it allows builders to make their applications fast, efficient, and scalable.

Avail works with any execution environment that is designed to scale blockchains. It has been built with the clear focus of enabling the development of the following solutions, but not limited to

  • Sovereign rollups, particularly those powered by zero knowledge (ZK) cryptography
  • Sovereign chains,
  • Validiums,
  • Optimistic chains,
  • Various new constructions made possible via a secure data ordering and availability API

Avail’s key advantage is its ability to allow the builders to have complete control over how they want to create their applications. The platform serves as a blank canvas, with specialized functions that can be tailored to perform specific tasks according to your needs. This approach makes it incredibly easy to get started, allowing you to bring your ideas to life without any unnecessary obstacles.

Our goal is to enable the community to build and deploy these solutions on demand. This is an exciting time in the development of this technology.

Protocol-Agnostic, Open Source and Community Owned

We've worked hard alongside the Polygon Labs team to put suitable structures and processes in place to ensure that we can benefit the broader community, including the Polygon ecosystem.

As of today, March 16th, Avail will exist separately from Polygon Foundation and Polygon Labs. I am fully committed to Avail long term, in terms of leadership and funding the project development. As part of our independent governance structures, we will create a new not-for-profit foundation, reflecting Avail's protocol-agnostic and open-source nature. The community will eventually govern Avail under a decentralized model.

I have seen the triumphs and failures of numerous early-stage companies, which taught me the crucial role of technology in empowering and enabling innovators. Innovative blockchain applications have the power to facilitate social and economic coordination among people. Thus, what our team does is enrich an interconnected economy. With the emergence of opportunities for blockchain innovation through modular blockchain architecture, we are enthusiastic about assisting those seeking to realize the full potential of this technology.

On a final note, as you will see, I am hugely excited by Avail's potential. In order to ensure that I can focus my full attention on Avail and turn this potential into progress, I’m stepping back from Polygon Labs. It fills me with immense pride and gratitude to have been a part of the talented team that brought a wave of Web3 adoption. I want to thank Sandeep, Jaynti, and Mihailo for their unwavering dedication and support.

Our public testnet is already live, and we’re looking forward to making further announcements on our roadmap and public mainnet plans soon.

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