The Ethereum expansion war kicked off. What are the differentiating advantages of the Metis Rollup solution?


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Metis Rollup uses mechanisms such as multiple virtual machines, IPFS data layer, microservice framework, and new validator roles to improve scalability, security, and shorten the verification cycle.

Written by: Dove

In the context of Ethereum and DeFi users being subject to high gas fees and network congestion for a long time, the expansion of Ethereum has already been on the line. The ultimate solution is no different from ETH2.0 that introduces the PoS consensus mechanism and sharding technology, which can remove the performance lesions of the Ethereum network by improving network throughput. However, as we all know, ETH2.0 is still a long time before it officially takes effect. It is difficult to save near fire from far away. The current stubborn illness of the Ethereum network can only rely on other expansion plans, especially the progress in the direction of Layer 2.

The current Layer 2 expansion plan is mainly divided into state channel, side chain (Sidechain), Plasma and Rollup, etc. The early several solutions have little effect after trying, and the Rollup expansion solution can build a decentralized application ecosystem based on the security of Ethereum itself (long-term operation, PoW computing power protection), or with a small amount of security or The experience cost has been improved by a hundredfold. Especially after the co-founder of Ethereum Vitalik Buterin published a “Rollup-centric Ethereum Roadmap” in October last year, Rollup was once in the limelight and became a popular expansion solution for Layer 2.

The first batch of EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine) compatible Rollup solutions that can be applied on a large scale are mainly provided by two teams, namely Optimistic Rollup and Arbitrum Rollup developed by Optimism and Offchain Labs. The advantage of Optimistic Rollup lies in its general computing. Almost anything that can be implemented in Ethereum can be implemented equally, including the composability of smart contracts such as DeFi. Arbitrum Rollup is technically similar to the Optimism concept, but hopes to improve the overall experience and efficiency through multiple rounds of interaction.

The current Rollup solution still faces problems such as the use of a centralized architecture, the inability to settle transactions in real time, and limited scalability. The Metis Rollup launched by the Layer 2 DAO basic protocol Metis seems to be breaking this deadlock, or it can become a push to expand Rollup. The preferred solution for upgrades.

What is Metis?

Metis is an open framework built on the second-layer protocol. The DAO framework is built into the second-layer protocol as a basic unit to facilitate the rapid deployment, launch and management of various decentralized applications and DACs (decentralized self-organizing companies) Innovative applications. Metis Rollup is Metis’ own two-layer protocol framework.

In Metis’s view, the Web3.0 portal will be an upgraded DAO, that is, a managed DAO built on an optimistic governance mechanism, rather than the existing voting governance DAO. This managed DAO will be universally applicable to existing decentralized applications and support the rapid migration of traditional Web2.0 applications to Web3.0.

In early April, Metis officially launched the Alpha testnet. At the same time, it also launched the first MVP product built on Metis Rollup-Prologue (prologue), which allows any user to quickly create a DAC (decentralized) on Layer 2 the company). Users can experience the fast, low-cost, and rich functions on Metis Layer 2, and quickly generate DACs for task management and knowledge collaboration. Developers can test and build decentralized applications on Metis Rollup. As of April 28, more than 6,800 new DACs have been successfully registered, and more than 12,000 wallet accounts have been linked in DAC.

Four features upgrade Rollup expansion plan

In terms of specific technical implementation, the core of Metis Rollup first inherited the technical principle of Optimistic Rollup (OR) and the game mechanism of OR’s pledge withdrawal. On this basis, it was hard-forked, thereby constructing the MVM virtual machine (Metis Virtual Machine, MVM for short).

In general, Metis Rollup has upgraded the current Rollup expansion plan in four features. This is also the highlight of Metis’ Rollup plan relative to other Layer 2 projects such as Optimistic Rollup and Arbitrum Rollup.

Multiple virtual machines ensure high scalability

Current mainstream Rollup solutions such as Optimistic Rollup basically use a single Optimistic Virtual Machine (OVM) to ensure that OR can run all applications compatible with Ethereum, but this limits scalability. VMs may appear in the foreseeable future. Barriers to development.

And MVM improves the VM model through OR hard fork and fit virtual entity management. By separating the computing unit and the storage unit, a more decentralized model is built for multiple VMs, which is equivalent to that each DAC has a VM to process its own transactions, breaking the limit of one server, and solving the problem through horizontal expansion. Performance issues.

In addition, in order to make the Layer 2 structure truly decentralized, MVM also adopted an incentive mechanism. The computing power provider can obtain corresponding rewards based on the blocks produced, and at the same time, it does not know which DAC it serves, thus ensuring that there will be no malicious computing power providers to carry out targeted attacks, which guarantees to a greater extent Features of high scalability.

IPFS data layer strengthens data security

Due to the separation of the limitation of the computing unit and the storage unit, a more detailed distinction is needed in storing data. MVM divides the stored data into two modules. Regular data is stored in MVM, and a large amount of confidential data such as DAC’s own business is packaged and stored in IPFS.

It is worth noting that the data will be encrypted and stored according to the signature of the DAC, and will not be packaged and uploaded to Layer 1. It only needs to store the file handle for fraud proof.

In addition, the IPFS cluster can only be accessed through the IPFS resolver of MVM Layer2. Each IPFS resolver on the Layer 2 chain uses a unique key to encode the identifier to ensure that other Layer 2 DACs cannot access confidential data. This greatly reduces the performance pressure of Layer 1 while ensuring data security, and achieves a greater degree of decentralization.

New validator role shortens fraud proof cycle

As mentioned above, the core difference between Optimism and Arbitrum is that the scheme of the fraud proof mechanism is different (single-round interaction and multiple-round interaction). Optimistic defaults to “optimistically” (Optimistic) believes that nodes will publish the latest and accurate data to the host. On-chain; Arbitrum provides a more complex “fraud proof” mechanism to improve system security through multiple rounds of interaction. Although the risk of principal loss is very low, the user exit period of both is relatively long (calculated in weeks), and the user experience is relatively poor.

In order to minimize the fraud proof cycle, Metis Rollup introduced a new role-L2 Ranger. These L2 Rangers will form a special DAC, and periodically collect transactions in Layer 2 for state root verification. To put it simply, Metis places the verification of the fraud proof on Layer2 for verification, and promotes Ranger to verify it through a series of incentive mechanisms. If a contradiction is found during the verification process, the Metis token incentive will be withdrawn to Layer 1, and the challenge program will be opened. In the case of a successful challenge, the validator will receive a part of the deposit as a reward.

In addition, Metis also created the concept of dynamic margin threshold DBT, and thus introduced a unique dynamic sequencer. If the number of tokens pledged by a sequencer does not meet the DBT requirements of the DAC, the sequencer cannot participate in the sequence work of the DAC. DBT will be automatically updated when performing token storage and withdrawal operations. If after performing a certain storage operation, none of the sequencers in the sequencer pool meets the standard, the operation will be blocked until a qualified sequencer is found.

From the official data, under the background of L2 Ranger and new sequencer technology, the fraud proof cycle of Metis Rollup can be shortened to a few hours, which is a great improvement compared to Optimistic and Arbitrum.

Microservice architecture provides high functionality

After solving the problems of performance, data and verification time, MVM has been further optimized in terms of functionality. MVM’s microservices organization can enable each microservice to be deployed independently, and developers do not need to coordinate the deployment of service upgrades or changes, which strengthens the level of application modularity. This allows each service to be independently developed and extended by a team dedicated to this service.

According to official information, the relevant teams only need to register the microservice provider identity in the MVM ecosystem to serve all DACs in the form of toolkits. Supported services include Oracle, transmission, and legal services. In order to lower the barriers to participation, the system assigns SDKs to service providers so that they can easily interact with any Metis Layer2 structure including collections. It further reduces the threshold for service providers to join the blockchain ecosystem.

It can be said that this architecture ensures that the services provided by the MVM ecosystem can expand indefinitely, and is a key link between the off-chain economy and the blockchain economy.


In summary, compared with Optimistic Rollup and Arbitrum Rollup, Metis Rollup is more scalable and decentralized, has a shorter challenge verification period, supports integration with IPFS to protect private data, and supports microservice frameworks to achieve rapid application development, etc. Advantage.

Metis simplifies a variety of processes, including creating a decentralized company, establishing trust between community members who originally distrusted each other, and managing all commercial collaboration activities through sidechain tools. According to official information, the system framework currently established by Metis aims to lower the threshold for users and developers. After completing most of the framework construction work, Metis will also support multiple high-performance first-tier networks such as Casper and Polkadot in the future, so developers can directly use the platform, or use templates, APIs and tools to integrate it into their own DApps.

In April 2021, Metis successively completed an angel and seed round of financing of USD 1 million, and a round of A round of financing of USD 3 million. Investors include nearly 30 crypto investment institutions and individuals such as Ralf P. Gerteis, P1X Capital, Waterdrip Capital, DFG, Block Dream Fund, Autonomy Capital, AU 21, Master Ventures, Parsiq, Genblock Capital, Cryptomeria Capital and ConsensusLab. I believe that for them, Metis and its outstanding Rollup expansion plan will bring a new catfish effect to the current Rollup track, which is why they are optimistic about Metis.

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