If we want the entire world to join Web3, blockchains will need to handle more transactions. Monolithic blockchains can’t scale because they’re asked to perform too many tasks (execution, settlement, and data availability) at once. But if chains were able to focus on just one part of the stack at a time, the entire ecosystem could scale to meet global demand without compromising security or decentralization.
Introducing Avail - a modular blockchain built to scale other blockchains. Avail is an efficient, scalable data availability layer that other chains can plug into so they can focus on the layers they do best. And it is now launching on a testnet.
Avail provides a leap in scalability for the entire Web3 space. In the modular world, rollups and data availability layers empower the Ethereum ecosystem to scale like never before. Avail embodies our belief that a modular approach to blockchain design is what will bring Web3 to the masses.
How does it work?
Avail works by storing transaction data from any other blockchain and proving that the transaction data it holds is available. It’s capable of supporting the storage needs of hundreds of blockchains at once because it is optimized to perform just this function.
While the benefits of outsourcing data availability may not seem obvious at first, the impact Avail will have on the space is difficult to understate. Because other layers aren’t required to store transactions that have taken place on their chains, execution environments can make necessary optimizations, and more easily experiment with improvements.
Avail will only increase the rapid pace of progress we’ve already seen in the Web3 community as it makes experimentation easier.
To be explicit, Avail solves a problem that has plagued blockchain development for the last decade: the data availability problem. It does this through novel techniques including KZG commitments, data availability sampling, erasure coding, and light client P2P networking. This enables light clients to independently verify data availability without the use of fraud proofs, and provides a secure and scalable network. Avail allows for any kind of chain with any execution environment to be built on top, and other chains no longer have to worry about data withholding attacks.
Additionally, these improvements are immediate. For existing Layer 2 chains, Avail provides a step function increase in throughput, and reduction in costs through its Validium solutions. Any rollup can integrate with Avail today.
And the best thing about Avail is that it is built to scale. Avail’s goal is to provide a shared security layer for the Web3 world for years to come. That emphasis on longevity has made its way into every design decision made when creating Avail.
For example, because Avail focuses on just the data availability layer, block size can be increased without corresponding linear increases to requirements for light client verification. This is a direct result of Avail’s unique mix of tried-and-true techniques like erasure coding, alongside cutting edge methods like KZG polynomial commitments.
And thanks to its novel application of data availability sampling, even light clients will be able to verify data availability without any need to trust full nodes, regardless of block size. This will give the light clients built for the next generation of blockchains similar security guarantees as full nodes!
In the short term, Avail propels us into the modular blockchain world. It brings immediate cost savings, and increased throughput to Layer 2 rollups.
In the long term, Avail will become the base layer for thousands of chains built atop it, enabling trustless bridges between blockchain worlds. This will enable anyone to spin up their own blockchain without having to worry about bootstrapping their own validator set, or creating a token to handle tokenomics.
We hope you’re as excited about the modular blockchain future as we are.If you want to learn more about Avail, or just want to ask us a question directly, we would love to hear from you. Check out our repository, join our Discord server.
This article was originally published on Polygon's official blog.