2023 has been a landmark year for Avail. From launching two testnets with over a million transactions, building foundational partnerships for years to come, adding super talented people to our team, and nurturing an incredibly engaged community, there’s so much we’re proud of.
Avail is built by a global team and community led by our founders Anurag Arjun and Prabal Banerjee who had this to say:
"From the inception of Avail, our vision was to redefine blockchain scalability, flexibility, and ease of use. As we look back at 2023, it’s exhilarating to see that vision start to come to life. The successful deployment of the Kate Testnet and the Clash of Nodes Incentivized Testnet, and the vibrant ecosystem we’ve cultivated, are testaments to the power of Avail’s community and the robustness of ITS technology. Our journey from an idea to the testnet that now supports a global network of validators and ecosystem partners is just the start of a journey that will redefine the potential for blockchains for everyone. Look forward to major strides forward from Avail in 2024."
Read on for a few highlights from the year and a peek at what’s coming next - starting with a deep dive into our two major launches, the Kate Testnet and Clash of Nodes incentivized testnet.
Launching Avail’s First Testnet, Kate
The Kate (pronounced Kah-tay) Testnet's success, with its robust set of objectives and the incorporation of up to 100 validators, laid a solid groundwork for future development. Key features like data availability sampling, erasure coding, and KZG commitments that were tested on the Kate Testnet have proven crucial for ensuring network resilience and security as Avail scales its block size.
- Dymension’s Devnet on Avail operated hundreds of rollapps and showcased our network's scalability and robustness.
- Integration of the light client API into the Avail network represents an additional layer of resilience for Avail.
- The Avail data attestation bridge gives the power to light clients to ensure blocks are verified and helps maintain a secure and reliable blockchain environment.
Technological Advancements during Kate
The Kate journey saw us optimizing core features for enhanced efficiency and user experience. We simplified block headers for better compatibility with ZK provers and achieved a substantial reduction in commitment generation time. Focusing on quality of life, we introduced user-friendly dashboards for staking and network monitoring, along with innovative tooling like the Identity Pallet. Our benchmarking efforts in commitment generation and querying processes underscore our relentless pursuit of excellence and our commitment to providing a seamless blockchain experience.
Clash of Nodes Incentivized Testnet
The Clash of Nodes Incentivized Testnet was launched in November as we invited validators and light client operators to engage in a series of challenges aimed at battle-testing the network. This interactive testnet not only engaged the community but also prepared the platform for real-world scenarios, ensuring a seamless transition for the upcoming Mainnet.
Clash of Nodes was a milestone launch and we’ve seen the Avail community including validators, light client operators get involved to help validate our network, earn points, and compete for fun and potential rewards.
Since its launch, Clash of Nodes has grown to 270 validators, 58,000 accounts, and a remarkable 1.35m transactions. See it all on the leaderboard.
No matter what platform you’re building on, there are Avail solutions available to you. Notably, our ecosystem series highlights the easiest way to build on Polygon CDK, OP Stack or Starkware.
On the whole, Avail's ecosystem witnessed remarkable growth through notable integrations with partners like Sovereign Labs, Succinct, RollkitDev, Paima Studios, RiscZero, Vistaralabs, Alt Layer, and most recently, the exciting collaboration with StarkWare.
These collaborations have enriched Avail's network, leveraging diverse expertise to enhance the platform's capabilities and reach. See the full list on our Ecosystem page.
Significant Technical Achievements
A note from our Product Lead, Dan Mills:
"Avail's technical achievements in the past year have been groundbreaking, showcasing a commitment to innovation and scalability in the blockchain space. These advancements not only highlight Avail's technical prowess but also set a new standard for blockchain technology."
Here's a summary of the major highlights:
- Pioneering Developments in Rollup Technology: Avail developed a unique Op-EVM sovereign optimistic rollup prototype built on its platform. This prototype features working fraud proofs, a significant advancement in ensuring the integrity and security of blockchain transactions.
- Integration with Ethereum through Zero-Knowledge Technology: In collaboration with Succinct Labs, Avail implemented a Zero-Knowledge (ZK) light client bridge to Ethereum. This development enhances the interoperability between Avail and Ethereum, expanding Avail’s reach and functionality.
- Expanding Wallet Integrations and Light Client Innovations: Avail successfully integrated with various wallets, including Subwalletapp, and embedded DA light clients with validity proof verifiers. Moreover, an upcoming Metamask Snap integration is set to further extend its capabilities.
- Testnet Success and Decentralization: The testnet operated flawlessly with hundreds of validators in the active set, showcasing the robustness and decentralization strength of the core chain. Plans to increase the active set to at least 350, or more, will further test and demonstrate this capability.
- Building a Robust Light Client Network: Avail's light client network, comprising thousands of clients, can efficiently perform data availability sampling on blocks and facilitate block data sharing through a Distributed Hash Table (DHT).
- Commitment to Large Block Handling: The platform demonstrated its ability to produce commitments for very large 128MB blocks well within the Avail block time, indicating significant scalability potential.
In addition, Avail achieved several other milestones:
- A novel multi-commitment scheme was implemented to improve efficiency, though details are still under wraps for public disclosure.
- A diverse range of projects were built and integrated, as seen on avail-uncharted, supporting various blockchain constructions like validiums and sovereign chains.
- A fully embeddable light client library with Android support was created, enabling the development of web wallet applications.
- A web-based light client with data availability sampling was developed, showcasing the process visually to help non-technical users understand its operation.
- An end-to-end prototype for asynchronous composability across ZK Appchains was created, illustrating how applications can orchestrate transactions spanning multiple chains on the same base layer.
These achievements not only mark significant technical progress but also pave the way for a future where blockchain technology operates more like networked web services, with remote and parallel processing capabilities. This shift from a single-threaded, single-computer mode of operation to a more dynamic, interconnected approach promises to revolutionize how blockchain applications are developed and deployed.
Events Around the World
In November at Devconnect in Istanbul, Avail launched our first Hot Take Series, focusing on the “Battle of the L2s” and their different visions for the rollup future. Over 350 members of our community joined us for a full day of panel discussions, presentations, and networking.
Watch the L2 Landscape Panel session below or read the 5 hot takes from the session. Moderated by L2BEAT’s Bartek Kiepuszewski, Ben Jones (Optimism), Patrick McCorry (Offchain Labs/Arbitrum), Alex Gluchowski (Matter Labs/zkSync), Jordi Baylina (Polygon), and Toghrul Maharramov (Scroll), discussed bridges, competition between rollups and whether or not L2s are even scaling Ethereum.
Our founders also spoke all over the world, including Anurag in Vietnam at Polkadot decoded.
You may have also caught us at ETHIndia speaking at events like Polkadot Pulse, Stackr HackerHouse, Interfaces, Protocols Conf, Founder House, zk-bankai, or seen founder Prabal Banerjee at Polygon Connect.
Launched the Avail Grants Program
This year, Avail launched our Grants Program. Designed to help scale the Avail ecosystem by supporting developers who are working on innovative projects that align with our mission.
The program offers funding to help these developers bring their ideas to life and positively impact their communities. Our initial focus will be on RFPs where we fund teams, collaborators, and developers for building tools based on the specific ecosystem projects needed by the Avail Exploration Team.
Content and Community
We’ve been delighted to see our community grow this year, with 70k members and counting! Our team has put together a wide range of content for our community to learn about our tech stack, engage in discussion, and our partners. Here’s some of the hits.
Our blog’s top educational posts of the year:
- A Guide to Selecting the Right Data Availability Layer
- The Data Availability Problem
- A Scalable Base Layer for Modular Blockchains
Our Forum is our new hub for all types of discussions and announcements. Join us!
- DA Publishing Cost: zkEVM Rollup vs zkEVM Validium on Avail
- Succinct x Avail: Creating a ZKP-secured bidirectional bridge from Avail to Ethereum
We’ve been diving deep into blockchain architecture in our Whiteboard Series with Avail’s co-founders and partners.
- Stackr Labs: Micro-Rollups
- Polkadot: The Relay Chain, Parachains, and Substrate Explained
- Paima Studios: Building Games & Tools for Game Builders
- Watch the full playlist of whiteboard sessions.
We’ve also been leading the charge about our vision of the blockchain future across podcasts and Twitter Spaces this year.
- Movement Labs x Avail
- The Interop: Modular Base Layer with Anurag Arjun
- The Avail Vision
- Data Attestation Bridge: Enabling Secure Validiums and L3s
- Created by our Developer Relations Lead, Robin captured the importance of validators and light clients to our Clash of Nodes incentivized testnet.
We expanded our team from 16 to 39 - and it’s been an awesome ride according to the team. Kathleen, our Marketing and Communications Lead, had this to say:
“The Avail team has achieved remarkable strides this year, all stemming from a single idea. Anurag’s vision saw the immense potential of Avail, leading to its separation from Polygon. Our journey has been truly transformative, with Avail launching the incentivized testnet this year and the mainnet set for launch early next year. Apple’s famous ad comes to mind, celebrating those who dare to think differently. `Here’s to the crazy ones.’ ♥”
This blog post is published on Avail's Blockchain!
We thought it would be fun to post this blog post the Avail blockchain to show how far we've come.
To read it, follow these steps:
- Get the data from the Avail blockchain explorer here. Copy the string after the 'data: Bytes' section.
- Remove the '0x' at the beginning of the string and paste it into the 'bytes' box on this utf8 converter.
- Voilà! Happy reading 😄
What’s Coming in 2024?
Clash of Nodes will continue with further challenges, and will start to feature exciting partner challenges - kicking off with Dymension - soon!
On the testnet front, we are testing different set-ups of the network for our light client network. We are now constantly testing with around 1K light clients and testing different performance profiles.
The big question if you’ve read this far is wen Mainnet. We can confirm we’re hard at work on Mainnet - incorporating the learnings from Clash of Nodes and putting the pieces in place. We will be ready to share some news early in the New Year - follow us on Twitter and join our mailing list to make sure you hear it first!
Join us in Clash of Nodes by contributing to challenges for anyone, from validators to enthusiasts at clash.availproject.org.