The Avail Explorations team are emerging from their underground bunker where they have been busy plotting a course for world domination. No, but really, they have just released their open source repos and are inviting you to join them. You can join the Avail Explorations team and their quest to explore uncharted horizons and scale modular blockchains through Avail Uncharted.
Avail Uncharted is a new initiative launched by the Avail Explorations team to collaborate with the community on foundational and exploratory projects. The Explorations team is a small group of developers at Avail that have begun building key open source infrastructure with a number of integrations and experimental projects already underway. In this post we share what the Explorations team has been working on, how you can get involved and links to the repo.
Quick background. Avail started inside Polygon in 2020 and became a separate entity in 2023, joined by Polygon’s co-founder Anurag Arjun and former Polygon research lead Prabal Banerjee. The team is now fully dedicated to building a scalable base layer for the modular ecosystem that’s laser-focused on data availability.
Avail is fast approaching mainnet release which will unlock a new type of L1 blockchain focused on data availability, not execution. This new blockchain provides hyper-scale for rollups built on top. Right now though, new opportunities have already begun opening up for developers to build and explore integrations with Avail, preparing its novel base layer to integrate with the rest of the modular blockchain ecosystem upon the launch of mainnet. These vital integrations will enable new and existing projects across the modular blockchain ecosystem to access Avail’s raw blockspace that’s been fine tuned and optimized for data availability (DA).
This new approach to blockchain scaling can make an impact industry wide. Early adopters of this technology will be first to unlock a hyper-scalable DA layer that will provide them with a huge advantage and potentially change the competitive landscape. This is because they can slash their data publishing costs while still integrating with a decentralized blockchain network. The cost savings unlocked from an integration with Avail’s DA layer can also be passed on to L3s and their users, and L2s can choose to still settle on Ethereum via Avail’s Data Attestation Bridge. The Explorations team has built integrations with the Optimism, Polygon and Starkware ecosystems with more integrations just around the corner.
Another huge opportunity is for Sovereign app-chains and rollups. Developers can build a future-ready rollup construct leveraging the unique benefits that come with building on top of a scalable and modular DA layer from the ground up. This is an exciting new area to discover and one potential answer to the question, “If you were to build a new rollup today from the ground up leveraging all the benefits of the modular blockchain ecosystem and ZK technology, how would you do it?”
The Explorations team is actively working on a number of projects which explore these opportunities and more. You can see the current projects in the Avail Uncharted Repo. Here’s a quick summary of what the Explorations team has been working on, and where your adventure begins.
OpEVM is an EVM-compatible sovereign optimistic rollup SDK with working fraud proofs and has support for a decentralized sequencer set. Because it operates on the assumption that transactions are valid until proven otherwise, this design can provide greater efficiency as users don’t need to re-execute transactions and the working fraud proof mechanism incentivizes honest behavior.
It gives applications on Ethereum the opportunity to take their existing code and deploy it as a sovereign app-chain rollup on Avail without spinning up their own validator set to do so. This gives developers the ability to customize their app-chain for their specific needs, free from the constraints of a shared blockchain. Because it’s EVM compatible, it also gives developers the ability to use familiar tooling out of the box providing a familiar developer experience.
Due to its unique implementation, the app-chain has the ability to hard-fork by social consensus if needed. This is because the rollup’s logic is not embedded inside a smart contract bundled up on the L1 blockchain, something which prevents this from happening in a typical smart contract based rollup design today.
This prototype also includes support for a native token freeing up developers to concentrate on the app-chain’s core logic and functionality while OpEVM takes care of the underlying blockchain infrastructure.
We invite developers and enthusiasts in the broader community to use, contribute to, and enhance the technology. You can learn more about it here.
ZK Apps & Async Composability Exploration
The Explorations team is working on an exciting and exploratory project that delves into async composability within validity proof-based applications running on top of Avail. This will unlock innovative user experiences and also fortify secure communication between independent sovereign app-chains in a modular context.
The team is working on a PoC implementation to showcase cross-app message passing and how that can be used to perform atomic operations without synchronicity assumptions across chains. The same DA layer enforces a common trust zone between apps and the project aims to leverage that to showcase newer interoperability constructs, highlighting the growing powers of the modular ecosystem.
The team will be releasing more about this project and how you can get involved soon.
The Explorations team has built a number of adapters allowing developers to leverage Avail’s highly optimized data availability layer and plug Avail directly into the modular blockchain ecosystem. More adapters are coming soon so keep an eye on the Avail forum for the most recent developments.
Optimism’s OP-Stack has become a popular choice for building rollups for a number of teams. The Avail OP-Stack Adapter allows anyone to quickly integrate Avail into the OP-Stack and leverage Avail’s highly optimized and cost effective DA layer. This provides rollups with massive cost savings while still allowing settlement on Ethereum via Avail’s Data Attestation Bridge. It’s EVM compatible, providing flexibility over a wide variety of tooling.
Polygon zkEVM has become a popular choice for developers looking for zk-rollup technology with EVM equivalence. zkEVM doesn’t rely on fraud proofs like optimistic chains and can provide correctness guarantees as soon as the proof is verified. This zk-proof and verification model provides users with a better UX in most cases.
The original zkEVM uses Ethereum for data availability and settlement by posting transaction data and execution proofs to be verified on chain. The zkEVM Validium built by the explorations team has adapted this stack to post transaction data to Avail instead, while still posting execution proofs for settlement on Ethereum. Avail’s data attestation bridge makes it possible to verify on Ethereum that data was correctly published on Avail too.
The vast majority of existing smart contracts, tooling and wallets also work seamlessly with the zkEVM and those building with the zkEVM stack can unlock huge scaling and cost saving benefits with the zkEVM Validium.
The team is working on a number of interesting future directions to extend the capabilities of this project. Avail’s light clients do not rely on an optimistic approach and can verify DA directly using validity proofs. Combining this with the ability for light clients to use validity proofs to verify execution correctness as well, presents the opportunity to build unique and powerful constructs with Avail. This is something which differentiates Avail from similar DA solutions.
The Sovereign SDK provides the ability to build new sovereign ZK blockchains. This construct enables correct chain execution and DA verification to be done on the client side giving users greater control and autonomy. Smart contracts are not embedded in the L1 like they are with Ethereum based smart contract rollups. This embeds the fork choice rule with the users themselves, providing greater sovereignty than what’s offered by today’s popular rollup constructs. The Sovereign SDK also enables developers to build blockchains with custom logic using tools like the risc0 VM that allows verification of execution of any arbitrary code, instead of having to build a general purpose VM as a rollup, providing greater flexibility in how the blockchain operates.
The Sovereign DA Adapter makes it simple for developers using the Sovereign SDK to implement Avail as the base layer. You can learn more about the Sovereign DA Adapter and this novel Rollup construct here.
Madara is a project by Starkware to build a decentralized sequencer for the Starkware ecosystem, using the Substrate (now Polkadot SDK) node. Madara will use the Starkware prover and will allow Validiums to be constructed. The Madara DA Interface built by the explorations team makes it simple for developers using the Madara Sequencer to utilize Avail’s DA layer. This is particularly useful for developers building chains that leverage Starkware’s ZK technology and developers can still settle on Ethereum via Avail’s Data Attestation Bridge.
Rollkit allows developers to deploy any Cosmos chain as a sovereign chain on top of a DA layer like Avail. Currently Rollkit operates as a pessimistic construction with full-nodes re-executing all transactions. However the Rollkit team is working on support for optimistic constructions to avoid re-executing transactions and Avail will support this when it’s done. Rollkit is particularly well suited for developers who have experience with the Cosmos SDK and want to use Avail as the DA layer. The Rollkit DA Adapter was built in collaboration with VitWit.
Join Avail Uncharted
If you’re ready to explore the uncharted depths of modular blockchains with Avail, check out the Avail Uncharted Repo on Github where you can learn more about these projects. You can also join the Avail Forum for more in-depth discussions on modular blockchains and data availability, as well as get answers to your technical and integration related questions.
We’ll be releasing a grants program soon too, so if you’re just getting started and want to know more about anything we’ve discussed here you can always reach out to the team on Discord.
We also love to see the community come up with novel solutions such as avail-anywhere which allows Avail light clients to run on Android phones. If you have an idea for something new, discuss it with the team on Discord, through our forum or via this contact form.
Now let the uncharted exploration begin!