Layer 2 solutions for Ethereum showing promise

While the Ethereum 2.0 update to the main Ethereum stack will take some time to implement, teams pursuing layer-2 solutions for scaling are stepping up the efforts to boost Ethereum’s processing capacity. Recently, encouraging developments came from at least two projects: Celer Network and LeapDAO. Importantly, both of these projects are aiming to tackle not just payment transfers but also smart contract functionality on the second layer.

Celer Network is developing a set of tools for scaling blockchains primarily using generalized state channels technology, although, according to the white paper, their tools are also applicable to the sidechain model. The innovations claimed by the project include a novel approach to generalized state channels (cChannel), an algorithm for optimizing the path for value transfers in the channel network (cRoute), an operating system for off-chain computations (cOS), and a set of principles for getting the cryptoeconomic incentives right (cEconomy).

Yesterday, the Celer team announced on Medium the release of their second public testnet Sirius, as well as CelerX, a beta-version mobile app for iOS and Android. Those of you who would like to get a taste of Celer’s technology right now may use CelerX to play their board game tournament with a chance of winning $3000.

Meanwhile, LeapDAO published an article with a roadmap for developing SolEVM, a solution essential for the correct functioning of Leap’s Plasma implementation that is being developed in parallel with SolEVM.

According to the team, the latter is important because the Plasma implementation that they are pursuing is supposed to allow not just value transfers but also computations off-chain. In order to resolve potential disputes about smart contract implementation on plasma chains, a generalized Plasma implementation needs to have a tool for verifying the execution of the smart contract code.

This is where SolEVM Enforcer comes in. According to the Leap team, it is a computation verification game similar to Truebit with the advantage that it operates on the Ethereum Virtual Machine code instead of the WASM code. Interestingly, this tool may be used even outside of the Plasma context for various potentially important off-chain computations.

The SolEVM roadmap lists three milestones with the particular deliverables for each. It is, however, not clear from the article whether some progress on any of the milestones has already been made.

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