Rollup as a Service: A New Era of Blockchain Scalability
Blockchain Scalability: Rollup as a Service
In short, Rollup as a Service (RaaS) is a product for launching custom Rollups for new applications. The product is similar to software-as-a-service (SaaS) products, where users do not need to maintain or host any part of the service product, so there is no need for complex software and hardware management. With RaaS, developers can get an SDK or dashboard to launch a summary of a specific application. Developers do not have to worry about finding nodes to operate the summary, nor do they have to worry about building or maintaining any code, as it will provide tools and services to deploy Rollup products. This product provides powerful anti-audit capabilities, secure transaction processing, and ensures the sustainable operation of the blockchain network.
Currently, RaaS projects on the market can mainly be divided into three categories: SDK, no-code solutions, and shared sorters.
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SDK solutions provide developers with a complete set of universal software development kits, making it as easy to deploy Rollups as it is to deploy smart contracts. Representative products include OP Stack, Rollkit, Sovereign SDK, and so on.
OP Stack: is a software stack for modular blockchain architecture developed by the Optimism team. OP Stack divides Layer2 into three layers: consensus layer, execution layer, and settlement layer, and then standardizes the three layers, making it easy for developers to assemble and simplifying the construction process of modular blockchains.
Rollkit: is a modular development chain SDK developed by the Celestia community. The Rollkit framework has a modular node that can run summaries and expose ABCI-compatible client interfaces, and can be used as an alternative to Tendermint in any ABCI-compatible blockchain application. By default, the node uses Celestia as the data availability (DA) layer, but other data availability layers can be integrated.
Sovereign SDK: is an open and interconnected Rollup ecosystem and the first rollup framework that eliminates zero-knowledge complexity, enabling all developers to seamlessly deploy interoperable and scalable Rollups that can run on any blockchain. The goal of Sovereign SDK is to simplify the creation of zk-rollups, similar to what Cosmos SDK has done for Layer1.
These SDK projects provide user-friendly and easy-to-use solutions, simplify the deployment of Rollups, and make the RaaS market increasingly mature.
No-code solutions provide tools and resources for developers to efficiently deploy scalable Rollups without the need to write code. Representative products include AltLayer, Eclipse, and Caldera.
AltLayer: An extension layer built on Optimistic Rollups that can connect to Layer1s such as Ethereum as well as Layer2s such as Arbitrum and Optimism. AltLayer supports multiple chains and multiple VMs, and it defaults to supporting EVM and WASM. Thus, it is not bound to a single Layer1 or Layer2 but serves as a modular and pluggable extension solution for all EVM and WASM compatible chains.
Eclipse: A sovereignty Rollup based on the Cosmos ecosystem that provides developers with a customizable Rollup framework. As infrastructure for modular blockchains, it can provide a common settlement layer solution for any public chain. It aims to be a universal Layer2 platform compatible with multiple Layer1 blockchains. Currently, Eclipse supports Ethereum virtual machine and Solana virtual machine.
Caldera: A customizable Rollup framework built on Optimistic Rollups that focuses on building high-performance, customizable, and application-specific Layer1 blockchains. These customized blockchains provide high throughput, low latency, and customizable features to optimize the performance and user experience of decentralized applications. Caldera Chains can choose any EVM-compatible chain.
The no-code solutions RaaS project provides simple, efficient, and easy-to-use solutions for deploying Rollups, each with specific features (such as support for multiple chains and virtual machines) to meet specific needs. The development of no-code solutions has also helped drive Rollup technology forward.
Sequencer is a very important component in Layer2 architecture, which makes Layer2 run efficiently by collecting user transactions from many Layer2s off-chain and submitting them as a single transaction of a collection to the Layer1 main chain. The shared sequencer is essentially a set of sequencers compatible with Rollup that can serve different Rollups. Currently, all Layer2 Rollups on Ethereum use centralized sequencers, but some RaaS projects are developing decentralized sequencers. Representative products include Dymension and Espresso.
Dymension: A sovereignty Rollup built on Cosmos, it is a modular blockchain project that simplifies the deployment of RollApps through Dymension Chain (settlement layer), RDK (RollApp development kit), and IRC (Rollup intercommunication). RollApp is a Rollup specific to the application, and the security and agreed application status of RollApp are maintained by the Dymension settlement layer, which requires RollApp sequencers to stake DYM tokens as part of the ecosystem participation.
Espresso: Espresso Sequencer supports Layer2 decentralization. It handles decentralized ordering and data availability of Rollup transactions, acting as middleware between the aggregator and its underlying Layer1 platform. Espresso Sequencer is designed to be a platform that can deploy any zk-VM or optimistic VM. Eventually, Espresso can also serve as an interoperability layer by replicating both zk-VM and optimistic VM to multiple Layer1s.
Decentralized sequencer nodes can handle multiple Rollup programs simultaneously and use tokens as incentives. Sorting and creating blocks for transactions on different chains also makes cross-chain Rollup more secure.
RaaS Advantages and Challenges
Multichain and multi-Rollup are a trend in the future crypto industry. As more projects emerge, they will look for public chains with higher performance, lower costs, and even customized services. The development of RaaS has laid the foundation for this.
First of all, from a customizable perspective. RaaS modularizes Rollup, allowing developers to build and use Rollup-based applications more flexibly and meet specific business needs for projects, bringing more innovations to the entire ecosystem.
Secondly, from a performance perspective, Rollup technology, as a Layer 2 solution, can improve the throughput of the Ethereum network and reduce costs. RaaS can maximize developers’ deployment of applications while reducing costs.
Finally, from a business model perspective, the development prospects of RaaS are very broad. As the number of on-chain applications grows, the congestion problem of the Ethereum mainnet will become more serious, and the demand for RaaS will also increase.
Of course, Rollup itself is developing slowly under the constraints of technical conditions, and the RaaS track is in its early stages. For example, security, centralization and bridging vulnerabilities, and liquidity fragmentation issues. However, with the advancement of technology, Rollup is also constantly improving, and the key is whether the project can land and be implemented in the future. With the help of RaaS, Rollup is also developing and achieving a big explosion in the track and ecology.