The crypto story of the week. Ethereum Layer 2's Progress

From now on, we are changing the approach to our weekly feature. It will now be devoted to what, in our view, was the story (the set of developments) that defined the previous week in the crypto space.

It is true that many exciting things transpired last week, from the announcement of J. P. Morgan’s cryptocurrency to the first foray of public pension funds into crypto investments, however, from our perspective, the foremost story of the week has been about the flowering of the second-layer solutions for Ethereum.


Celer Network’s generalized state channels

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).

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.

LeapDAO’s plasma implementation and SolEVM

Meanwhile, LeapDAO has released on mainnet its implementation of the Plasma technology in alpha. The LeapDAO community is now running the so-called More Viable Plasma chain the ultimate goal of which, in contrast to some other Plasma implementations, is to allow any smart contracts to be deployed on it.

The developers who would like to play with this release can find all the information they need on this website. It already allows registering ERC20 and ERC721 tokens.

Several days before that, LeapDAO had also published an article with a roadmap for developing SolEVM, a solution essential for the correct functioning of Leap’s Plasma implementation.

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.

And, finally, OmiseGo’s alpha release

Finally, OmiseGo’s implementation of Plasma has from the start been the flagship project in the Layer 2 space. Now, it has finally also arrived in its alpha version codenamed Ari.

The first major application that has tested OmiseGo’s plasma implementation has been the Hoard Exchange in the context of the Bufficorn Skin version of the Plasma Dog game. At the EthDenver event last week, the attendees were given the opportunity to try the game on the Rinkeby testnet. As a result, around 28,500 transactions have been processed in 24 hours with relatively low fees.  

In its post devoted to the launch, Hoard Exchange added that in Q2 2019, they are aiming to release an open-source software development kit that will allow game developers to easily integrated Ethereum and Plasma into their products.

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The rapidly-developing second-layer scaling approaches are one of the key pillars that may allow Ethereum to actually scale much faster than the widely-publicised development of the Ethereum 2.0 PoS and sharding-based framework may allow. Bernhard Mueller from Consensys even went so far as to say in a tweet that Ethereum 2.0 was not really that urgent at all given the layer 2 progress and the upcoming introduction of the eWasm virtual machine alongside the existing Ethereum VM. Vitalik Buterin expressed relative agreement with the idea.


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